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Design Research and Innovation: An Interview with Don Norman Johnny Holland – It’s all about interaction

Don Norman

Don Norman Interview

In this interview with Don Norman, Johnny Hollands founder Jeroen van Geel gains some valuable insight into the thoughts of one of the industries finest on the topics of innovation, research and emotional design.

Innovation:

Innovation is a very complex topic, very thoroughly discussed in academia, which is not something most designers follow. The important points are these: There are many forms of innovation–process, product, radical, incremental, and so on. I considered two forms of product innovation: radical (e.g., the invention of the telephone) and incremental (e.g., releasing a new version of a mobile phone, automobile, or kitchen appliance).

Research:

Unfortunately, the term “research” has two very different meanings in design. One is the way it is interpreted by practitioners: design research is the early studies of the needs and characteristics of the people for whom the product or service is being produced. Let me call this “Design Studies.” The other is the interpretation by the university academic community as well as industrial research laboratories, where research is an activity aimed at increasing our fundamental knowledge in a field or of producing new concepts, ideas, and realizations. 

Emotional Design:

Everything has a personality: everything sends an emotional signal. Even where this was not the intention of the designer, the people who view the website infer personalities and experience emotions. Bad websites have horrible personalities and instill horrid emotional states in their users, usually unwittingly.

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