by Itamar Medeiros on April 24, 2009
At Autodesk, we believe the power of innovative design serves to positively impact the economy, the environment, and society as a whole. We drive awareness and increase adoption of sustainable design principles not only by delivering great solutions to our customers, but also by fostering innovation within the User Experience Design community by sponsoring several design conferences in the past few years through the world, like TED, UPA’s UserFriendly 2007, ACM’s SIGCHI, and both IxDA’s Interactions ’08 and Interactions ’09, to name a few.
In China, Autodesk is raising the awareness about User Experience Design, both through university collaborations with our Research and Development Center in Shanghai – the biggest R&D center among multinational firms in the country – and through sponsorship to local design organizations. One of these organizations is IxDA.
The local chapter of IxDA in Shanghai has hosted a number of activities, including software demos, seminars, best practices sharing sessions, and so on. Most recently, a round-table discussion was held on the topic of Innovation: from Design Vision to Market. The moderators included Mark Rolston (Chief Creative Officer of frog design ), Baili Liu (Project Manager for HFI), and Douglas Wang (User Experience Design Manager for Autodesk).
With over 50 designers attending, the round-table covered many interesting aspects of the interaction design practice, ranging from “What is Chinese design?” to “What is innovation?” Here are a few take away points:
Thoughts on Innovation
- Innovations are not necessarily all about new inventions, but more about finding beneficial and effective applications and enabling a larger population of people to take advantage of something more simply and more conveniently than they have in the past.
- Innovation is to see what everybody has seen and think what nobody has thought.
- Innovation in the West: innovate to create a better future.
- Innovation in China: innovate to gain an equilibrium between people and nature.
- Culture defines the behaviors facilitated by innovations.
- The purpose of Design is to create and manage a good experience of a tool and deliver to the users gracefully.
Social Impact of Good Innovation and Design
- Good designs build good confidence for the people we are designing for.
- When things are made easy to use, creative, and cultural appropriate, people become self-powered on the tools around and receive great productivity on doing things.
- With all the technology advances and possibilities, designers are responsible to realize the dreams that could never before be realized.
Challenges and Opportunities for Designers
1. Designers should equip themselves with broad domain knowledge:
- in technology trends,
- social studies,
- and especially in cultures.
2. Designers should also have deep understanding of a specific subject; for example, the primary users’ behavior, history, and other awareness.
3. Designers need to be creative in proving the return of investment to the business decision makers as an important factor to bring the strategy to execution.
Autodesk will continue to support the interaction design community in China. So stay tuned for future events!