Week 9 – Human factor experiences
Kaitlyn is a Product Design lecturer at GSA and today she discussed designs and products that specifically target different types of people. The first point Kaitlyn made, I had never actually thought about before, but it was so incredibly true.
Most products are designed for a man, of perfect capabilities, on the 50th percentile line. In today’s society it is crazy to believe people still design to such a small minority. Around the world, there are people of all shapes and sizes, living with visible and non-visible disabilities and different skin colours.
An example discussed was the car. The shape and size of the seat has to accommodate the tallest man but also the shortest women. How can the car be deemed safe when the seat was designed for the average man?
It is likely we will all experience a disability at one point in our lives. A disability is not something you can necessarily see, and it should not be neglected within the design process. Kaitlyn talked about her experience with designing 3D prosthetic limbs for those affected in fatal accidents or who suffered from birth defects. Previously in my Great Design blog, I discussed the importance of prosthetics in athletics however, this time it’s about using the limb for everyday life.
Currently, there are cosmetic limbs which give the appearance of a real limb, however, do not provide the functionality of one. Kaitlyn wanted to help those in less fortunate situations and help them regain independence with a 3D printed limb for example, a hand, focusing mainly on the functionality.
As I say on my website, “Perfection lies in the imperfection”, we are all different but that is what makes us special.
When we design a product, it should not be specifically designed to one skin tone. There is no reason as to why only one skin colour option would be available. This is not a black or white matter, there are many different skin colours and I believe when designing a product to go on the skin, it should be available in every colour no matter the cost.
The common plaster is a prime example of poor design. Only recently have more colours been released.
If we want to succeed as designers, we must design for everyone despite any challenges. We treat everyone as equals.
9th March 2021.