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Dave Hong
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Something I've been thinking about of late. There's a strange irony to the pursuit of human centered design in that the final designed product, though intended to meet real human needs (in this case, our need to be social creatures across physical distances), sometimes ends up promoting a less than human lifestyle where we spend more time locking eyes with our smart devices than we do with one another. To look into the eyes of another human being and engage with them in the same physical space is, in my humble opinion, still the best case of "human centered design". Technology should be designed to promote this beautiful (and now rare) connection instead of hindering it. Currently, what we gain from technology is the ability for us to be connected globally with other humans. It's a sort of superpower - omnipresence if you will. We like it because it gives us a sense of super-community. However, even though we are connected to hundreds and thousands of "friends" online, across vast reaches of physical space, it is near well humanly impossible to maintain meaningful ties with all of those individuals, let alone just a handful. That said, I don't think technology causes us to be less social per se, because it can be argued that we likely wouldn't even acknowledge some of our facebook friends if facebook didn't exist. I guess it's a little bit better that we "sort of" acknowledge their existence by "friending" them on facebook (while never so much as saying a simple "hello" over the course of several years). There's always something unsettling and bizarre though when someone I've not talked to in years, tells me how they've been following my facebook feed and knows all about my family antics and such. I guess that's my fault since I post so much haha. But the elephant in the room remains, at least for me - that the quality of my friendships is directly proportionate to the effort I make to see them face to face over a meal or an activity in the same physical space. In an age where convenience is king, it is too easy to look facedown into our devices but this video echoes my thoughts of late, that maybe this isn't the way we were designed to behave. We were meant to engage each other (and God) in direct communication and not through technological aids. The latter should help, not hinder our human need to be social. I do think there's hope however. Basically, whoever finds a way to design around the human need to be connected in the most human way (face to face), will have succeeded in augmenting what is already a perfect design by the One who is relational at His core - Jesus. This is something that silicon valley has yet to nail. But I'm believing for a solution, even if that solution is something as simple as tech companies promoting messages like the one found in the video below. That may seem like a regressive step from a marketing standpoint, but dig a little deeper and you'll see that it really is in the best interest of companies who truly value "human centered design" to help humanity preserve what actually makes us human. To alter this most basic genetic code of human behavior is self defeating in the end and actually makes our jobs as designers even more difficult to design around human needs. Do we really need to be connected to millions of people, 99.9% of whom we never talk with? Maybe, maybe not. But if we can find a way to advance our thinking past "quantity" to facilitate the unparalleled "quality" of a face to face interaction, everybody wins. And if we can do this whilst preserving the ability to be connected with our 100's and 1000's of online friends, well that's the icing on the cake, and who doesn't like icing?

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Check out my first tutorial on graphicdesign.com - 3D Tracking In After Effects Video Tutorial http://www.graphicdesign.com/article/3d-tracking-in-after-effects-video-tutorial/
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