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Business Tech: UI/UX Part IV: Kansei Engineering


If you had to define Kansei engineering in one sentence, it would be, "You should put the cup holder where the hand wants to go when the person is thirsty." It is, like Feng Shui, a philosophy which drives design decisions. The difference is that Feng Shui is driven by the positions of the heavens, but Kansei is driven by empathy.

When we design that next desktop GUI, mobile app, web page, or even green screen, we need to consider what philosophies drive our design decisions.

True Story

Recently, I had the chance to do what I rarely get to do: redesign something from the ground up. My last several passes on this project were a gradual transformation of what the last programmer/analyst/designer did. His view was based on negotiations with the same people I was working with, so that was the prudent course.

Compliance, changing needs, and new demands on the process, all worked together to create the opportunity to create something better. I chose to look at things through the lens of Kansei. Everything was on the table. I gave myself permission to blow up the status quo. If you've ever had the chance, I suspect you know what comes next: very little changed in a big way; everything changed in small ways.


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