Bill Moggridge has been an industrial designer for 40 years. In 1979, he designed what many call the first laptop computer: the GRiD Compass, which was used by businesspeople as well as by NASA and the U.S. military. The Compass established the language of laptop design: hinged closure, flat display, low-profile keyboard, and metal housing. In 1991, Moggridge cofounded Ideo, a design consultancy based in Palo Alto, CA. He is the founder of a movement known as “interaction design,” which aims to do for the virtual world what industrial design does for the physical. In the recently published book Designing Interactions, he interviews 42 influential designers.
Technology Review: You say that at the beginning of any design, two things matter most: people and prototypes. Why?
Bill Moggridge: What we’re looking for is the latent user needs in a situation where, at least at the beginning, you don’t know what you’re going to be making. So you have to have insights about people driven from their psychology, their desires, their interests, and then apply that to the context where you might be inventing or coming up with a solution for a new product or service or space, or whatever the context may be. Once you’ve got to a first prototype, build it quick and try it out. As soon as possible–even a small attribute of it–try it out, because you’re likely to be wrong.
(via Usability in the News)