Thursday, October 26, 2006

Making computing a people science

Intel pushing the boundries of human-centric products ...

"Intel’s ethnographers (also referred to as social scientists) believe that technology has to cater to human values of emotion and family more than just computing requirements. “Human beings fundamentally do not care about technology. What they care about are the emotions they feel when they use a product to achieve an objective at work or family life. As a technology company, Intel wants to push the boundaries and think about how we can make our products deliver on this aspect,” said Herman D’Hooge, Innovation Strategist, Platform Architecture and Solutions Division.

Ethnography, the branch of anthropology that provides scientific description of individual human societies will therefore help the Intel team of scientists study human relationships and come up with ways in which technology become a part of enhancing human interaction. “You have to look high up on the scale by looking at human interaction. So Intel is taking a top down approach and understanding the customer first, instead of the technology,” D’Hooge added.

For the company, this also means that fresh ideas can spring up from almost anywhere, which explains why Intel has derived a value chain of research activities that helps the staffers get from stage one to product design and launch. The company also supports a core team of globally dispersed ethnographers, social scientists, interaction designers, architects, engineers and technologists, who focus on studying human interaction and the role of technology.

“We have formulated a model where we have the human values right at the top and cascading down to human needs, user experiences, solutions, systems, platforms, subsystems and the core technology ingredients. All projects need to be evaluated at all levels,” he said."    (Continued via    [Usability Resources]


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