Design: breaking the chains of habituation

June 14, 2015 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: news.

Design is important, but not always for the reasons we believe.

In the TED video below, Tony Fadell, the designer of the iPod, talks about the things that really make design something that innovators should pay attention to.

Here are some of the points that Fadell makes:

Habituation – “We get used to things as they are. Our brains encode everyday things in habits.” Mostly, this is good, but if it stops us from noticing and fixing the things around us, it’s bad.

— The job of the product designer is to notice things and solve problems. “It’s had to solve a problem that almost no one sees.”

— In the early days of the iPod, we noticed that gadgets that had batteries had to be charged before they were used. At Apple, they noticed. They determined that customers wanted products that they could use immediately.

Fadell’s tips:

  • Look broader. Try to see the invisible problems.
  • Look closer. Focus on details and see what is necessary and what isn’t.
  • Think younger. Listen to newbies (young or old) to see what problems they notice and what solutions they have.

Design then is more than just the way things look. It’s helping people use the things we create.


The designer behind the iPod talks about ways to see your product in a new light.

Source: The First Secret of Design | The Scholarly Kitchen

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