Since the year is drawing to a close, we took time to reflect on our journals from the last year. Our topics ranged from thoughtful human-centered design tenets to industrial and product design industry insights. What we found most interesting was watching one subject in particular shift: the pandemic.
The Pandemic and Industrial Design Then and Now
Reading back now, our writings were--in large part-- a journey map of product design thinking from pandemic to endemic. Many of the unknowns from the first half of 2022 came into focus by the second half. Likewise, there has been exponential growth in several we covered as they responded to Covid-19: artificial intelligence, home healthcare, and sustainable product design.
Post-Pandemic: A World Where Home and Health Will Continue to Intersect
COVID-19 caused a massive acceleration in telehealth adoption in 2020 and 2021. Even after the pandemic recedes, a full return to "traditional" in-person care seems unlikely. This shift in medical consumer behavior not only carves out a niche for innovators but for HCD designers ready to make once-in-a-generation changes in empathy-based patient care.
Keep reading: https://www.speckdesign.com/posts/post-pandemic-a-world-where-home-and-health-will-continue-to-intersect
Post-Pandemic: The Age of AI Acceleration Part 1 and 2
Due to the pandemic, the Age of AI Acceleration is here, whether mankind is ready or not. As product designers, it is our job to prepare AI to meet humanity. To do so, we must think long and hard about the world our innovations will be changing.
Keep reading: https://www.speckdesign.com/posts/post-pandemic-the-age-of-ai-acceleratio
Adapting User Experience to Heal a Generation of Broken People: Parts 1 and 2
The user experience has changed because the users have changed. The truth of the pandemic is--none of us got out of this unscathed, untouched, unmoved, or unaffected. It is our job, as product designers, to start designing for that reality.
Keep reading: https://www.speckdesign.com/posts/user-experience-for-a-generation-of-broken-people
Design and Social Responsibility
As a socially responsible product design company, many of our insights took up questions of the day ranging from women in industrial design to the challenges black designers face. Questions of equality should always be part of civil discourse, and we will continue to do our part in keeping them there. We are forever thankful for the overwhelming engagement and support we saw around these issues and the increased spotlight on diversity within the product and design industry, even if there is further to go.
White Space: Black Designers Needed Parts 1, 2, and,3
It is no secret the design industry desperately needs more black people. In part one of our three-part blog series, Speck Design explores the disproportionately small number of African Americans in the various design verticals and the implications for human-centered design firms that fall short in representation.
Keep reading: https://www.speckdesign.com/posts/white-space-black-designers-needed-part-1
Has Higher Education Failed the Female Industrial Designer?
It appears men and women start out in pursuit of an industrial design degree about evenly, but only 19% of industrial designers are women. So, in four short years, what could possibly be happening to nearly half the female industrial design students to make them simply disappear?
Keep reading: https://www.speckdesign.com/posts/female-industrial-design-education
Sustainable Product Design
Sustainability topped our list of timely subject matter in 2022 and heading into 2023. Through our research, we came across outstanding thinking on circularity, systems thinking, and sustainability, and we put out some ourselves. It sure looks as though sustainable technology is set to explode next year. We have already seen several environmental innovation trends that look poised to ascend. Speck will, of course, keep you posted.
Post-Pandemic: A World Where Sustainable Behaviors Normalize
Though disruptive and tragic, there was a major silver lining in the pandemic--the rise of the eco-consumer. This new cohort is bringing sustainability into the mainstream and is willing to spend more on environmentally ethical products that last.
Keep reading: https://www.speckdesign.com/posts/post-pandemic-a-world-where-sustainable-behaviors-normalize
We Should Care Less About Greenwashing
We should care less about greenwashing, not because it's okay but because there is a more nefarious player lurking on the environmental scene. One that is all too conveniently shadowed by what boils down to poorly thought-out or deceptive PR practices.
Keep reading: https://www.speckdesign.com/posts/we-should-care-less-about-greenwashing
Designing the Future
Seeing how much has happened in the world in just 365 days gives us perspective on how quickly things change and how product designers and innovators play such a huge role in these societal shifts. It highlights the value of each day in our line of work, as we are very much piecing together tomorrow with each one of our designs.