skip to Main Content
Don Norman Interview Design Usability

“I Think We Have to Start Over”: Usability Guru Don Norman on the Next Internet

“I Think We Have to Start Over”: Usability Guru Don Norman on the Next Internet

“I Think We Have to Start Over”: Usability Guru Don Norman on the Next Internet

Read Next

Lily Irani

Lilly Irani: Seeking to the Community Behind the Wheel in Tech

Lilly Irani is currently an associate professor in the Communication department and an affiliate faculty member at The UCSD Design Lab. She’s the winner of the 2020 International Communication Association Outstanding Book Award and the 2019 Diana Forsythe Prize for her book Chasing Innovation: Making Entrepreneurial Citizens in Modern India. Inspired by the work of Lucy Suchman, Lilly’s research in the field of design extends beyond simply “asking what’s right and wrong and for whom,” but encompasses giving workers and communities “an actual voice in shaping the technology” and getting “political agency over the technologies that we use,” as she put it. 

Her involvement with the community is nothing short of impressive. For ten years, Lilly co-designed and maintained a website for online gig workers on the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform to let workers share reviews of employers and jobs to take or avoid. Over the last two years, she has grown the software platform into a worker advocacy organization run by Mechanical Turk workers themselves, so they can also organize to improve their work conditions in ways that matter to them. 

More recently, she has worked with the United Taxi Workers San Diego to champion a program to digitize access to taxis for first and last mile transportation in San Diego. This project works towards maintaining good wages and rights for essential transport workers while working towards climate justice by using taxis to make public transit more useful to San Diegans. Design Lab members Udayan Tandon, Vera Khovanskaya, Enrique Arcilla, and Sam Muñoz work on this project. 
Ucsd Design Lab Biometric

Researchers Develop Biometric Tool for Newborn Fingerprinting

Researchers at the University of California San Diego say they have dramatically advanced the science…

Albert Lin National Geographic

Design Lab member Albert Lin hosted 3 National Geographic series, using technology to uncover lost cities, treasures, and secrets

Full length episodes available for streaming on the Disney+ app.

Lost Cities With Albert Lin: “Lost Cities brings adventure, science, and archaeology together through our host Albert Lin. Our ambitious approach applies 3D scanning to some of the most extraordinary sites of antiquity."

Lost Treasures Of The Maya: “National Geographic Explorer Albert Lin ventures into the Guatemalan jungle to explore how a new high-tech treasure map is revealing tens of thousands of ancient ruins.”

Buried Secrets of The Bible With Albert Lin: “Albert Lin seeks out the truth behind two great stories of the Bible. To solve these mysteries, Albert will use satellites and space-age technology to look beneath the earth’s surface to reveal secrets that have been buried for thousands of years.”
Ford People-centered Automation

Ford Gifts $50K to Design Lab People-Centered Automation

Colleen Emmenegger, Head of People-Centered Automation at The Design Lab, was recently the recipient of a $50,000 grant from Ford Motor Company. The grant was awarded for her work regarding how drivers can understand, negotiate, and manage shared autonomy with their vehicles in a way that is accessible and easily translatable.

“We're trying to figure out if you can build a contract with the driver and her automated vehicle co-pilot so the driver knows exactly what they need to do and what the system does," says Emmenegger. "We're trying to build something that explicitly and continuously communicates, and that doesn't act as an invisible ‘controlling entity’ of the car. A system that provides dynamic, yet constant feedback to the driver and not sudden, startling warnings." 
Report: Military Remains Economic Bright Spot In San Diego

Report: Military remains economic bright spot in San Diego

Design Lab member Michael Meyer discusses San Diego's defense economy during Covid with ABC 10 News San Diego.

The coronavirus pandemic appears to have been no match for San Diego's defense economy, which a new report says keeps on growing.

The San Diego Military Advisory Council study says from the fiscal year 2020 to 2021, direct defense spending was $35.3 billion dollars, a 5.3 percent annual gain. Jobs grew 2 percent to nearly 349,112. In all, it made for a $55.2 billion dollar gross regional product.

"That means continued stability and economic prosperity for San Diego, buffered by, or provided by the military economy presence," said Michael Meyer, a professor at UC San Diego's Rady School of Management, which researched the report.

The study points out that military spending impacts more than the people employed by the federal government or serving on base or active duty. Instead, there's a multiplier effect in San Diego, with nearly 190,000 San Diegans employed by private companies contracting with the defense department -- such as in programming or shipbuilding.

"Retraining for electronics, computers, aviation, the engineering fields, the technical financial fields. That's all valuable and an effective way of getting into the military economy," Meyer said.
Overcrowded Verganti Design

Don Norman: Overcrowded, by Roberto Verganti: In favor of criticism

I was just in Germany, in Herzogenaurach to be precise, at Adidas headquarters. (Hardly anyone knows where Herzogenaurach is — it’s a 20 minute taxi from Nuremberg.) I was at a conference organized by my old friend (and co-author) Roberto Verganti, from the business school at Politecnico di Milano. Years ago, he and I had a debate in Milan about the value of Human-Centered Design (HCD) and the way it is normally practiced. To the audience’s great surprise, we both agreed:

1. HCD is a powerful tool for improving existing products. That is, it is a powerful tool for incremental innovation.
2. HCD, by its very nature (hill-climbing plus a kind of design by committee), is a really bad tool for radical innovation.
Back To Top