This blog as it was in 2005, courtesy of the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine
A Brief History of Designing for Humans
This month marks the 10th anniversary of Designing for Humans. While I started the blog format in 2005, I had created an even earlier, more traditional website back in 2000. Originally, the site served as the online presence for the Human Factors section of the Industrial Designers Society of America.
In my professional work I often found myself looking up human factors references again and again, so I started to document recommended resources on the blog. Over time the site gained a life and following of its own, far beyond the IDSA membership.
While I was no longer officially involved with the IDSA section, I continued to write and develop the blog as my own, and took it in a more broad direction to cover not just human factors, but product design and usability.
I recently browsed through all of the posts (over 300) that have seen almost 600,000 visits over the years. I've made an attempt to summarize some of the highlights and to give a sense of what I have written about over the past decade. While I don't post on the blog as nearly as frequently as I used to, I still enjoy writing both online and offline, and will continue to maintain the blog for a few key posts throughout the year. Thanks for your support!
Without further ado, The Best of Designing for Humans:
- Research Tools - One of the areas that I emphasized in the "early years" was adapting technology to support user research. I took early looks at the LiveScribe Pulse, various versions of Morae, and even FitBit. I even conceptualized the ultimate research tool kit, FieldCREW as a stand-alone toolkit, and later as a concept app.
- Original Essays - Essays are what make a blog a blog. I've written a few, most notably the Ergonomics for Interaction Designers series, a criticism on What the FDA can Learn from the NHS, and the esoteric User Interfaces as a Force of Entropy.
- Books - I've done a handful of book reviews. I loved a few like Customer Visits, 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School, and one of my all time favorites, Universal Principles of Design. All the more reason I was excited to contribute to the "sequel", Deconstructing Product Design.
- TV - I've mentioned a few noteworthy commercials showing the influence of touchscreen and gestural interactions in advertisements. And had my own 15 mins of fame on Bloomberg.
- Awards - I was fortunate to judge both the IDEA awards and the ID Magazine awards in the same year and even managed to win a few awards for medical and scientific devices in subsequent years.
- Print Publications - Blogging opened up opportunities to write offline, including the fun, but short-lived series, Bureau of Ergonomics for Design Bureau magazine, and a great piece on simplicity for Barlcays360.
- Presentations - I like to present almost as much as I like to write, so what's better than writing about my presentations - how about watching a video of the presentation. Here's a few examples: Measuring Your User Experience, Ergonomics for Interaction Designers, and Documenting Physical Behavior.
- Blogging - At the risk of being meta, I've blogged about blogging on other sites such as Fast Company, Medium and Intuitive Company's We See.
- Patents - More recently I've been blogging about patents, and their utility to designers. You can browse a variety of my patent-related posts.