Water, water, design for caregivers, and more water
It was absolutely pouring it down today, haven’t seen weather like this in a while (see the picture). A puddle decided it would be fun to swallow my shoes as I got out of my car. 🙁
Anywho! That was just over 4 hours ago and I’m still sopping at the end of these lectures plus workshop. It was an event organised by the IDC (Industrial Design Centre); an initiative aimed at bundling (local) knowledge and experience in the field of Industrial Design with the intent to increase its (inter)national presence. The IDC aims to make businesses aware of the importance of industrial design as a competitive tool and demonstrate that integration of design in business activities can really contribute towards a successful business strategy. The IDC organises lectures and workshops on a regular basis with a wide variety of topics – today’s topic was “design for caregivers”.
The lecture highlighted useful design tools when designing for the medical market, as part of the IDC’s upcoming online “design for caregivers” toolbox, similar to the existing 55+ toolbox. The toolbox sounds interesting, though the design tools highlighted during this lecture were unfortunately rather trivial and not of any added value to the experienced designer.
Amongst the lecturers were caregivers from Carinova, a professional home care organisation. They gave some insight into their work, their daily struggles and their views on the future of home care. There was also one lecture by a designer from Panton, a healthcare based design studio that aims to apply design in an intuitive, effective and thoughtful manner. Healthcare related products are often complex; Panton’s take on it is that there is a strong need for clarity, which can be achieved by designing with and for users. Their design cases were quite interesting and showed a distinct preference towards bridging product and interface translation using basic easy-to-understand metaphores. This approach works very well when dealing with users who require extra time and attention (infants, people suffering from autism, dementia, etc), though may come across as patronising to the regular user.
Perhaps I was biased due to already having experience developing medical products, or perhaps I expected too much, but unfortunately the added value of today’s event was minimal. Hopefully the next IDC event will be more promising.