ֱ Master Classes

21st Century Design with Don Norman

Webinar with Don Norman, Director - Design Lab, University of California, San Diego. Co-Founder, Nielsen Norman Group
Originally aired on

Don Norman earned the epithet “Grand old man of ֱ design” for no small reason. Not only was he among the first users of the terms “User Experience” and “Cognitive Engineering”, but he introduced the concept of affordance into design and is one of the developers of what we now call “Human-Centered Design”. Today, he continues to push its boundaries through his research. This Master Class webinar is an unparalleled opportunity for you to learn from his lifetime of expertise at the cutting edge of design. After all, who better to guide you through the future of ֱ than the person at the forefront of both its past and future!

In today’s hyper-connected world, technology is a driving force that shapes human development, geopolitics, ecology, the economy and much, much more. From the corridors of power to the cafés we unwind in, our collective reality is shaped by innumerable technologies, products, and services. This makes the 21st century an era where the power and potential of design is unprecedented. Never before has technology meshed with our world at so many levels, areas and dimensions – to the point where it’s all too easy to take these shifts for granted and overlook the vital dynamics behind them. It takes a special kind of discipline and talent to navigate this flux-like reality and achieve true innovation.

The 21st century poses many new challenges and opportunities. New advances in technology will allow both new artifacts, new ways of communicating and collaborating, and powerful new tools to aid in creating appropriate solutions. At the same time, there is a renewed sense that the standard way of doing things is bad for the environment, bad for the many existing native and indigenous cultures, and harmful to the many who suffer economically and by the multiple racial prejudices and class differences across the societies of the world.

So, to solve the chaotic complexity that characterizes the 21st century, designers are the final piece of the puzzle. Design is a set of methods and a way of thinking that can be applied to virtually every discipline and problem. Each particular problem requires the knowledge from many different fields: from economics, the social and behavioral sciences, engineering, management, environmental science, and the life and health sciences. The field of Human-Centered Design adds the intense focus upon the needs and capabilities of the people who will be the recipients of the results. The future approaches will involve less top-down dictates by the design community and more bottom-up development, where community members are co-designers and the design professionals and subject matter experts are facilitators and mentors. This is a new future for design, one that allows the field to address some of the most critical societal needs of the 21st century.

However, most designers wrongly believe that creating a pleasing product or service is the most they can hope for – and that meaningfully influencing our planet is a matter of luck. How can we, as individual designers hired by corporations and clients, make any impact on the world at large?

This Master Class webinar with Don Norman will address many of these big issues. You’ll learn:

  • What design in the 21st century is
  • Why designers are particularly well equipped to help reach the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals
  • Why design – and designers – can be considered harmful
  • Why designers are especially suited to lead complex projects tackling major global challenges
  • What designers essentially need to know to handle major environmental and humanitarian problems
  • and much, much more!

Register for the Master Class webinar to avail this one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn first-hand from Don Norman. Even if you cannot attend the session live, register and you'll receive a recording to watch later.

Speaker

Don Norman
Don Norman, Director - Design Lab, University of California, San Diego. Co-Founder, Nielsen Norman Group

Don Norman is a legend in ֱ design. Since the 1960s, he has been at the forefront of human-computer interaction and user-centered design (or human-centered design, as he prefers to call it). His group coined the term “User Experience” while working as vice president of the Advanced Technology Group at Apple in the 1980s.

He has a long legacy in academia, for example, at the University of California, San Diego, where he is professor and head of the UCSD Design Lab. He also co-founded the Nielsen Norman Group, a world-renowned design consultancy. He has published the globally best-selling book on design, The Design of Everyday Things, which has become foundational to the field of design.


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