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How the Home Telephone Sparked the User-Centered Design Revolution #makereducation

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WIRED has a story on the new book Beautiful Users by Ellen Lupton. The book details the seemingly obvious yet crucial shift in design history in which the user became the prime focus.

In 1955 industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss published Designing for People, a seminal book for the design industry. Way back when, Leonardo da Vinci theorized on man as the main unit of measurement for the world. In the 1920s, Bauhaus student Ernst Neufert published a book on human dimensions that helped set certain building standards. But no one since had promoted the idea as carefully as Dreyfuss. He introduced the ideas of user-centered design and ergonomics by drawing diagrams of a typical man and woman and using them to map out human movement. (His model humans, “Joe” and “Josephine,” were based on heaps of data from the military and the fashion industry.) Products, Dreyfuss argued, should be crafted according to these measurements and movements.

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