Watch Timothy Prestero’s “Design for people, not awards” talk at TED

Timothy Prestero thought he’d designed the perfect incubator for newborns in the developing world — but his team learned a hard lesson when it failed to go into production. A manifesto on the importance to design for people’s real-world use, rather than accolades. (Filmed at TEDxBoston.)

Timothy Prestero loves a flashy “concept car.” But in his own work, he aims to design products for social impact, keeping users in mind.

Timothy Prestero is the founder and CEO of Design that Matters, a nonprofit that collaborates with social entrepreneurs and volunteers to design products for the poor in developing countries. A former Peace Corps volunteer and MIT graduate, Tim has worked in West Africa, Latin America and Asia. He is a Martin Fellow at the MIT Laboratory for Energy and the Environment, a Draper Richards Kaplan Fellow, and was named an Ashoka Affiliate in 2004. His awards include the 2007 Social Venture Network Innovation Award, and the 2009 World Technology Award. This year, Design That Matters was named the winner of the National Design Award in Corporate and Institutional Achievement.

Tim and his team made a splash when they created the NeoNurture Infant Incubator, named one of TIME Magazine’s “50 Best Inventions of 2010.” However, the product wasn’t a hit with manufacturers or with hospitals in developing countries and forever remained a prototype. Design That Matters learned an important lesson from the experience — that good design must keep in mind who will procure equipment, who will be using it, as well as the myriad ways it could be used incorrectly. As Timothy says, “There’s no such thing as a dumb user; there are only dumb products.”

via Timothy Prestero: Design for people, not awards | Video on TED.com.

Itamar Medeiros

Originally from Brazil, Itamar Medeiros currently lives in Germany, where he works as Lead Product Design Strategist at SAP and promotes User Experience Design as visiting lecturer at Köln International School of Design. Working in the Information Technology industry since 1998, Itamar Medeiros has helped truly global companies in several countries (Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland, United Arab Emirates, United States) create great user experience through advocating Design and Innovation principles. During his 7 years in China, he championed the User Experience Design discipline as User Experience Manager at Autodesk and Local Coordinator of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) in Shanghai

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.