During this past week in sustainability we went over and discussed empathic design. Reading and learning more about empathic design it makes more than sense, I believe that every designer should incorporate empathic design in their work. The main reason to design something is to be able to eventually sell your product to a consumer. So to make sure your consumer will fall in love with your design and be able to get use out of your work why not start from the beginning working with them on what exactly they want and need in a product. This will not only make to best product possible for a disabled consumer but also make that consumer feel involved in the process, making them care for the product even more and feel empowered.
The Paul Bennett TED talk we watched this week was over empathic designs.He talks about how we don’t necessary need to look at the big(companies), we need to start with the small(consumers). Small is the new big. We tend to over look problems. He talks with us about the patients that lie in their hospital beds looking up at the ceiling all day. In what ways could we improve their stay and make the patient more comfortable. Well Paul says we need to start with small things, such as adding a mirror to the patients bed so that when they are wheeled around they can engage and talk with the nurses that wheeling them. My favorite design change that they talked about was the changing of the patient’s floor in their room. Making their floor of their room different than the rest of the hospital to make them feel that that was their room, more homey for that person. Another improvement they talked about was adding white boards in the patient’s room so that other could come in and write different positive messages for the patient to see and feel better. All these designs are small but still made improvements for the patient that they enjoyed.
The sentimental item chose to bring to share with the class was this postcard from Thailand. My sister is currently living over in Bangkok Thailand where she is teaching English to children ages 2 to 5. This is special to me because my sister and I do not get to communicate much because of the time difference so her sending things like this to me means a lot. This postcard is a picture of Wat Mahathat Historical Park in Sukhothai, Thailand that she has visited. Below I have attached the postcard from my sister.
When talking to my grandma about a problem that she faces on a regular basis she told me reaching for things in high areas was a problem. Which my grandma was always had this problem because she is shorter but she said with getting older she does not have the balance that she use to so it worries her a little more now when she has to use a step stool. A empathic design I would recommend for her would to add some taller handle bar onto the step stool so that she could brace herself as she reached for an item. This would be something small and easy that would help the situation.