15 October, 2010

Must Watch Film - Udaan

Udaan is one of the best films I have relished in recent times. One of the few films which leaves a lasting impression... The film absorbed me completely thanks to its sensitive and gripping storyline, impressive performances and music that just gels too well with the film.

And this is one of my first 'original' post :p

12 October, 2010

Design without Designers by Don Norman

Two Types of Innovation: Incremental Improvements and New Concepts
In design - and almost all innovation, for that matter—there are at least two distinct forms. One is incremental improvement. The manufacturing of products, companies assume that unit costs will continually decrease through continual, incremental improvements. This is what companies call "their cash cow": a product line that requires very little new development cost while being profitable year after year.

The second form of design is what is generally taught in design, engineering and MBA courses on "breakthrough product innovation." Here is where new concepts get invented, new products defined, and new businesses formed. This is the fun part of innovation. As a result, it is the arena that most designers and inventors wish to inhabit. But the risks are great: most new innovations fail. Successful innovations can take decades to become accepted. As a result, the people who create the innovation are not necessarily the people who profit from it.

Both forms of innovation are necessary. The fight over data-driven design is misleading in that it uses the power of one method to deny the importance of the second. Data-driven design through testing is indeed effective at improving existing products. But where did the idea for the product come from in the first place? From someone's creative mind. Testing is effective at enhancing an idea, but creative designers and inventors are required to come up with the idea.

Design without designers? Those who dislike the ambiguity and uncertainty of human judgments, with its uncertain track record and contradictory statements will try to abolish the human element in favor of the certainty that numbers and data appear to offer. But those who want the big gains that creative judgment can produce will follow their own judgment. The first case will bring about the small, continual improvements that have contributed greatly to the increased productivity and lowering of costs of our technologies. The second case will be rewarded with great failures and occasional great success. But those great successes will transform the world.