Great products meet the user’s expectations and their circumstances. Every designer can tell you how understanding user needs requires lots of direct observations and interviews. DtM has learned that the most valuable feedback requires something more than the standard research toolkit. This short video explains why we go back to some of our favorite hospitals overseas again and again.
The Kinkajou Microfilm Projector is a teaching tool for nighttime adult literacy courses in rural communities without books or electric lighting. It was DtM’s very first projected, started back when the company founders were still graduate students at MIT. It’s been more than a decade since the Kinkajou pilot in rural Mali and what was once cutting edge appropriate technology is probably no longer the best tool for the job. How did Kinkajou teach us that context-appropriate design is a moving target?
On a field research trip in 2012, we met a very sick newborn whose severe jaundice couldn’t be treated with conventional phototherapy. After two days of treatment with Firefly, baby Khang was out of danger and on his way to perfect health. His exhausted but happy parents invited us to follow them home from the hospital.
We just returned to the same village in Vietnam, going door-to-door through the narrow alleys in the hopes of finding the family. Meeting baby Khang as a four-year-old was a powerful reminder of why DtM exists.
Ever since Firefly entered production in 2012, DtM partner MTTS has continued to iterate and improve upon the original design. The latest model Firefly has taken a huge leap in clinical intensity: 50% brighter intensity from above the baby, and almost double the intensity from below. Learn how we validate phototherapy intensity, and what brighter lights means for treating jaundiced newborns and for the design of our Otter newborn warmer!
A team of students from Olin and Babson College brought the Otter Warmer prototype back to Vietnam this month for additional user-testing and a detailed manufacturing review. They returned with even more confidence about key design decisions, and ideas on how to significantly reduce the product cost. DtM really wants to know: how many Vietnamese iced coffees did it take before they experienced arrhythmia, and is there such thing as too much pho?
Fed up with the design world’s fetish with aesthetics and artistic pretension? Don’t be fooled by the cover--this book is radical dynamite. We love Alexander’s approach to identifying the appropriate design opportunities, managing the real world’s bewildering complexity and delivering meaningful results for real people.
One of the highlights from Autodesk University was meeting the team from Core77. Designer and journalist Rain Noe captured the highlights of our hour-long discussion about everything from design and partnerships to stolen equipment and spies. Learn how DtM was inspired by a predawn boat ride with an underwater robot and some Navy SEALs. Warning: salty language!
We just returned from Vietnam, where we followed up on Firefly installations in and around Hanoi, and tested our Otter Newborn Warmer prototype with nurses and doctors at rural hospitals, and with our partner MTTS.
As we begin the monumental process of field data reduction, here’s a quick slideshow of DtM at work! Also, a thousand thank yous to our many hosts in Vietnam.