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People-centred designing

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Designed products surround us all and range from bus tickets to buildings. This free course, People-centred designing, focuses firmly on usability and the increasingly important phenomenon of people-centred design. It aims to inform consumers of design (i.e., all of us) about this crucial characteristic of design. In addition to stimulating interest in areas of concern for producers of design, the course might also provide an introduction to engineering, manufacturing and business studies.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the principles of user-centred designing
  • criticise some everyday products from a user's point of view
  • suggest and apply some appropriate methods for researching how users interact with products
  • apply comparison and evaluation skills, including constructive criticism of everyday products
  • apply observational skills in the context of both personal and others' use of products.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 12 hours
  • Updated Thursday 17th March 2016
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Design
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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 course will have some experience of designs that are not usable (perhaps mobile phones or car controls). This course 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 course aims to inform ‘consumers’ of design (i.e. all of us) about one important characteristic of design.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 1 study in Design [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

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