People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

Monthly Archives: February 2014

Let’s Play A (Sustainability) Card Game

Can you design a refrigerator that discourages food waste or a tea kettle that only boils the amount of water people need?

Could the design of a refrigerator influence users to throw out less food?

Leyla Acaroglu, recent TED Talk speaker, aims to make people think about how the choices they make on a daily basis affect the environment. In her talk, she discusses four bits of “environmental folklore,”  including the idea that it’s more environmentally sound to opt for the paper bag over the plastic one. Through a sustainability design card game, she aims to get individuals and companies looking at the full life cycle of products in order to make decisions that can actually affect change. Read more and freely download the DIY sustainability design print and play cards.

XD Experience Design Magazine: Call for Submissions 2014 Launch

xd magazineXD, an Australian based magazine, will be the first magazine devoted to experience design.

According to their website; each issue of XD will feature a series of projects, interviews, visuals, reviews and creative inspiration – all of which help everyone understand why experience design is important, who does it and where, how experience design is done in practice and how experience design research can enhance practice. 

Set to launch in April, the magazine is accepting submissions for its very first issue. Send a short draft article (800-1000 words) to the magazine editors.

We are looking forward to the XD magazine launch.


Finding Your Way Around Hospitals

Hospital DesignA recent Wall Street Journal article A Cure for Hospital Design discussed the confusing design and layout of hospitals. Hospitals are realizing that patients and their visitors are having trouble navigating through the hospital and getting lost. Many hospitals are using various strategies and processes to improve hospital design including wayfinding. Wayfinding is about the ways in which people orient themselves in a space and navigate from one place to another.

The article pointed out that “confusing layouts can result from years of hospital renovations and building additions”. This happens in many organizations, including libraries. Many decisions regarding building additions or changes are made without holistically looking and considering the entire physical space.

Strategies and changes include:

  • Using plain language instead of technical terms.
  • Using universal symbols.
  • Placing prominent landmarks to assure people that they’re heading in the right direction.

We’re glad to see that some hospitals are realizing the importance of hospital design and starting to use strategies and processes to improve it. As a patient or family/friend of a patient, there’s already enough anxiety — let’s not make it worse by having confusing hospital layouts and signage.

Monthly Method Spotlight: Time-Lapse Video

video recording on tripodTime-Lapse Video

When/why: This method is useful for providing objective views of activities within a context over an extended period of time.

How: Set up a camera to record movements in a space over time. If unable to set up a camera, ask to use security cameras that may already be in place. Or better yet, use gadgets you may already have on hand like your smart phone.

Tips: Keep an eye out for patterns. Take note of factors and details that may affect patterns such as time of day, weather, events, etc.

Interested in using/applying these methods in your work? Contact us for more info.