Technology, analogy, evolution, and Don Norman

Technology drives analogy & evolution in design. According to Don Norman, technology comes before identification of need . That is, ...

an old and a new Mini.
Technology drives analogy & evolution in design.
According to Don Norman, technology comes before identification of need. That is, you can only recognize a need if you already know about the technology that can be used to address it.  It's not a conventional idea, and it can rub some people the wrong way, but - as I've written before - I think he's right.

You know you've got a good idea when you find different connections from it to other ideas. Here's two ideas that connect to Norman's, and that help explain why I think he's right.

Norman's tech-first idea is consistent with the notion that analogy is an essential process of designing. In analogical design, we take something we already know (a technology) and (re)use it in a different setting, having identified a correlation between two situations such that applying the technology from one situation to another will make the other better (i.e. applying the technology addresses a need). That is, designing by analogy requires something to already exist that can drive the design activity forward. So the technology must come before the need it addresses. QED.

There's also a correspondence to evolution.

Consider a situation including a market, various technologies, etc. That situation will be in a certain balance (or imbalance). (You can read about my ideas on balance and design here.) That market can be thought of as an ecosystem of sorts. The introduction of a new technology is like an environmental change. This changes the balance of the situation, by allowing things to be done that were not possible or feasible before. This stimulates the design of new products and services. The new products are mutations of existing products, (hopefully) adapted to the new situation. Some new products succeed; others fail - just like in natural evolution, where some organisms adapt successfully to new environments while others become extinct.

Technologies don't usually arise from product development - they're usually happy accidents in labs and in the garages of inventors. As such, they don't come from the usual product development cycles within markets and organizations, just as environmental changes are not part of natural evolutionary cycles. Instead, both new technologies and environmental changes drive evolution by unbalancing a situation.

So there you have it; two more reasons why Don Norman's idea that technology precedes the identification of need is a good one.

COMMENTS

Name

academia activism adaptation admin aesthetics affect ageing AI analogy android anthropology anticipation app architecture art arts Asia assistive technology automobile balance biology biomimetics book branding building business CAD Canada care case cfp change revision children codesign cognition collaboration colonization commercialization commonplacing communication design competition complexity computation computer science computing concept map conference constructivism conversational analysis craft creative arts creativity CSCW culture cybernetics degrowth dementia design design thinking digital digital media digital reproduction digital scholarship disability dissertation drawing economics education effectiveness efficiency emotion engineering environment ergonomics ethics ethnography Evernote evolution exhibition exoskeleton experience experimental studies fail fashion featured film food function modeling futurism gender studies Germany globalization grantsmanship graphic design Greece HCI health heritage history housing human factors humanism identity image inclusivity industrial design informatics information innovation interaction interior design internet of things intervention iphone journal journalism language law library life life cycle lifehack logistics luxury making management manufacturing material culture materials mechanics media method migration mobile motion design movie new product development Nexus 6 olfaction online organization packaging paper participatory design PBL pengate performance PhD philosophy planning policy politics practice predatory preservation prison proceedings productivity project management public space publishing reading Remember The Milk reproduction research resource-limited design reuse review Samsung scholarship science science fiction semiotics senses service design simplicity society sociology software space strategic design student sustainability systems tactile tangibility technology textile theatre theory Toodledo Toronto tourism traffic transhumanism transnationalism transportation tv uncertainty universal design urban usa usability user experience visualization wearable well-being women workshop writing
false
ltr
item
The Trouble with Normal...: Technology, analogy, evolution, and Don Norman
Technology, analogy, evolution, and Don Norman
http://filsalustri.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/2minis.jpeg?w=150
The Trouble with Normal...
http://filsalustri.blogspot.com/2011/06/technology-analogy-evolution-and-don.html
http://filsalustri.blogspot.com/
http://filsalustri.blogspot.com/
http://filsalustri.blogspot.com/2011/06/technology-analogy-evolution-and-don.html
true
389378225362699292
UTF-8
Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy