While the politicians, insurance companies, and health care providers debate the social and economic problems of health care, ripe opportunities for improvement are going unnoticed. What’s lacking in this process is a strong shot of creativity and a dose of good design.
With this in mind I caught up with Dave Cronin, Smart Design’s new Director of Interaction Design to discuss the possibilities. Dave’s extensive background in designing medical products and services has helped Smart fortify our health care design practice.
A few years ago, we were working on the design for new toaster. The client was looking for something that would make a statement on the countertop landscape. Aesthetics were important, but we also spent considerable time discussing the size of the toaster slots and how wide or narrow to make them for the variety of items that someone might want to toast.
For me, managing Smart Design's San Francisco office is a fantastic job: working on exciting projects, meeting with industry leaders, collaborating with creative types, and traveling the globe. But let's face it; there are also aspects of the job that are less glamorous—managing budgets, no time for lunch, collaborating with prickly creative types, and battling the never-ending office mess.
Did you ever stay with a friend or relative and, while there, need to use their microwave or oven? How did it go? Was it easy, confusing, frustrating, enraging? Did you figure it out for yourself or did you have to ask for instructions? What about their bathroom? Did you happen to use that, too? How'd that go? Did you figure it out or did you have to ask for instructions?
A few years back, I was invited by a design professor to be a guest critic for a student presentation. It's fairly common for design educators to bring in professionals from the outside. It allows for different points of view and opinions of the work to surface, and also saves the teacher from having to say something constructive and relevant about every student's project within a few hours' time frame... a challenge in itself.