The industrial design landscape is shifting constantly. The designer as entrepreneur is emerging as an alternative to the traditional choices of design consultancy or corporate design office. There are also shifts in the practice of design—concentrating first on problem finding and clarifying human needs, values and motivation, before focusing on the final design outcome. Exploring these shifts, Joyce Thomas incorporates a collaborative project between the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind and an industrial design studio at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Engaging with user experts, including people with disabilities, these design students explore product innovation for this small US manufacturing facility powered by people with visual impairment. Immersive empathic research strategies, incorporating the practices of shared language, ethnography and empathy, push designers and entrepreneurs outside their comfort zones to encourage reflection on and sensitivity to the authentic needs of real people to discover and understand the deeper why.
JOYCE THOMAS, IDSA University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Joyce Thomas is an inventor, innovator and educator with a passion to empower people through good design. Professionally, she has worked across interdisciplinary boundaries integrating marketing, engineering and consumer needs into creative products. She has utilized empathic research strategies in her product designs that have accounted for more than $4 billion in retail sales and been awarded 59 patents worldwide. Thomas is a visiting assistant professor of industrial design at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. As Chief Creative Officer for the ThomasSchumerGroup she is helping to develop creative ideas and innovative solutions for a diverse group of small businesses.
Using a Medical Device Design Approach to Shake up Consumer Product Development PETER BRISTOL
As more and more medical products are put in the hands of consumers, and as the design bar is raised worldwide, medical device design has had the opportunity to learn from consumer product design in order to increase desirability and create more successful products.
Now it’s time for consumer product design to take a page from the medical device design playbook. We are all consumers. As consumers, it’s extremely difficult to let go of all that we know about consumer products. Since most of us aren’t doctors or surgeons, we’re able to approach the design of medical products without this baggage. We have the advantage of approaching medical products with an entirely clean slate, free from assumptions and predispositions.
Working within the boundaries of our own assumptions we often get results that are little more than design evolution. By using the clean slate approach common in medical device design, we can create truly innovative results.
PETER BRISTOL Creative Director Carbon Design Group
As Carbon’s Creative Director, Peter Bristol is responsible for the creative direction across all projects and a key contributor on Carbon’s most challenging programs. A thoughtful and prolific designer, Bristol has built a track record of successful programs in the consumer electronics and medical device markets. In addition to his work at Carbon, he has received worldwide recognition for his personal projects in the realm of furniture and lighting. His unique perspective gives his work a sense of wonder, play and magic. He has accumulated over 20 design awards since joining Carbon in 2005.
The effort of transforming a spark of an idea into a company making, marketing, selling and distributing products to happy customers is arduous and risky. Or is it?
Hacker spaces, new educational institutions and open source hardware and software are transforming they way we can learn new skills. Meetups and niche communities are making powerful business connections faster and more personal. Digital fabrication is shifting the way products are designed, engineered, and made. New funding platforms are letting dreamers become fast moving start-ups. The tools of a hardware business are becoming cloud-based software services that anyone can pay-per-use. The result is the re-industrializing the United States one garage at a time.
The product design world is being democratized from a corporate endeavor to an individual venture, making large companies think differently about this new form competition and changing who will be the next great industrial designer.
The panel of experts will discuss their perspective on how these exchanges will continue to transform product design and development.
When Digital Meets Medical: The Next Generation Clinical Trial CELINE PERING
Proteus Digital Health is pioneering a new product paradigm at the intersection of the medical and consumer worlds. We make regulated medical products that are used by regular people in everyday life. So, they need to behave more like consumer products. User research to refine medical products is done using highly controlled clinical trials, while great consumer products are generally created using very different design research methodologies. Attendees will learn how cross-pollination of the clinical research with the best of consumer research opens up a whole new discipline ripe for exploration.
CELINE PERING Director of Human Factors and User Research Proteus Digital Health
Celine Pering is the director of human factors and user research at Proteus Digital Health where she is responsible for leading qualitative user research efforts as well as quantitative usability efforts to ensure that products are intuitive and highly usable. Pering has over 20 years of experience in design research, interaction design and design strategy across a broad range of industries, including medical, mobile, future technologies, consumer and enterprise. Prior to joining Proteus Digital Health, Pering worked in design consultancies such as Speck Design and frog, and consumer product companies such as Handspring, Palm and HP. Pering’s expertise in product innovation, design thinking and user experience provide a valuable balance for tackling significant design problems.
If users have been part of the design process from its beginning, why do some devices still have the potential to fail? Usability work in the medical device development world has become a hot (and mandatory) topic in recent years. With that visibility, far more companies are embracing its need in their processes—often without proper implementation. Stephanie Henze will explore how ‘creative usability’—that is, usability efforts supporting ideation, decision making and creativity during very early development—is often improperly viewed as sufficient human factors engineering.
STEPHANIE HENZE Senior Design Manager, Life Sciences LUNAR
Proudly proclaiming “Ich bin ein Berliner,” this German native has nearly 20 years of experience in five different countries. With several years of completed studies in human medicine from Freie Universitaet Berlin and a BS degree in industrial design from Art Center (Europe), Stephanie Henze is uniquely experienced in designing medical devices from the user’s point of view. Since her stateside arrival and working for companies such as GVO and Hiemstra Product Development, she has applied human-centered methodologies to user-interface and product design, human factors and usability testing in the industrial design of medical device projects ranging from concept development to manufacturing.