Introduction to Design & Human Factors [1.0.0]


Hello, I’m Mr. Novikov and welcome to
Design & Human Factors where we learn how to make
things that people actually want to use. Here’s how the course is structured. There are three kinds of things we do in this
course: there are activities, concepts, and techniques. Activities are things we do together to lay
the groundwork for the concepts. If you’re not taking this class in-person, you can get together with your friends
and try them out for yourself. Concepts are the ideas I want to communicate
to you throughout the entire course. And, finally, techniques are different ways
of getting a result. In general, I’ll explain each technique, but
it’ll be up to you to practice it. So what are you supposed to get out of this course? Well, cupcakes would be great, but unfortunately,
I don’t have any to hand out. Here’s what I’m hoping you’ll get, but I need you to tell me if this isn’t working for you. This is a highly experimental course and I’ll
be asking for your feedback regularly to help make it better for you and for future students. First, you should find yourself developing
specific design habits. Like being on the lookout for interesting
problems, writing them in your notebook and coming up with lots of possible solutions. Next, there’s are skills you should have by
the time you’re done with the course. Things like making mockups, critiquing designs,
and finding ways to test your assumptions. And lastly, there are deliverables–your notebook
full of ideas that you’ve explored and also the actual things that you’ve built in class. So what topics will we cover in this course? Well, it’s actually probably easier
to talk about what’s not covered. First of all, this is not a class about aesthetics. I know I’ve got all these gorgeous unsplash
photos in my slides and everything, but beauty is really not the focus of the class. Yes, well-designed objects are often beautiful,
but we’re not going to obsess about making everything you create into a work of art. Speaking of how things look, this is also
not a class about marketing. I know it’s important to be able to convince
people to buy the things that you make, but we’re more interested in what happens after people buy. How do they use that thing which you’ve made? On the flip side, this is not a course about neuroscience. It’ll come up from time to time (we’ll talk about brains) but I care more about mind and behavior–
what a person thinks and does. Related to behavior, this isn’t a course on economics. I don’t care what theoretically rational people do;
I care about what actual people do. And last, but not least, this isn’t a course
on philosophy. Occasionally, some of the topics
will raise heavy questions like: Is there such a thing as free will? These questions are important and deserve
their own time and place, but this isn’t it. So where does that leave us? Well somewhere above neurons and below art. We’re going to be finding everyday human-level
problems and thinking through how to solve them. In some cases, all you need is
a bit of paper and tape. Other times, it’ll be an app prototype
or even a 3D-printed part. I realize this is all very vague right now,
but overall the class is about finding problems, coming up with lots of different approaches
to those problems, and then testing those approaches to find one that works well. Lastly, lots of people ask me how they can
get started learning about design if they don’t know much about it. Here are a few ways. I’ll put the links to all these things in the description. First, I recommend you get some tools to help you get a steady stream
of design-related content. For podcasts, get a podcast app like podcast
addict (for android) or Overcast (for iPhone). For articles, use an app like Feedly. Now, what should you put in these apps? I highly recommend 99% Invisible–there’s
a website and there’s also a podcast; either one is fine, although I really like
the podcast because Roman Mars is really brilliant. For reading articles, there’s a website called sidebar.io that curates 5 articles about design every day. Some of the articles are a bit too focused
on web design tools, but there’s usually a few broader articles in there that
are more interesting. Alright. So, what do you want to make? Leave me a comment to let me know. And thank you for joining the course.

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