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People-centred designing

1 Introduction

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Designed products surround us all and range from bus tickets to buildings. One of the primary considerations in all fields of design is ‘usability’ and, increasingly, the phenomenon of ‘user-centred design’. This can focus on physical attributes of products but increasingly it depends on an understanding of our cognitive abilities required to operate even simple products. All people studying this unit will have some experience of designs that are not usable (perhaps mobile phones or car controls). This unit provides you with an introduction to the principles and procedures of design usability through the critical evaluation of selected products. Taking everyday examples, it develops students’ confidence and skills in critically evaluating products around them – particularly consumer products. This unit aims to inform ‘consumers’ of design (i.e. all of us) about one important characteristic of design.

This study unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course T211 Design and designing, which is no longer taught by the University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this subject area [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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