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[Herald Design Forum 2016] ‘Simple, instinctive design drives trend’

The simple and instinctive design trend will continue in both consumer and enterprise information technology markets, said a Silicon Valley-based user interface design expert.

“All of us are interacting with an ever-growing number of IT products in our daily lives. Dealing with dozens and dozens of them is overwhelming users. That is why it has become critical for IT companies to create devices and services to allow users to do everything possible in simple orders or instinctual demand,” said Bob Baxely, a US design executive in an interview with The Korea Herald.

Bob Baxley most recently served as the head of product design at Pinterest, where he built, led, and managed a design team responsible for both the consumer and business elements of Pinterest. He will be speaking at the Herald Design Forum in Seoul on Tuesday.

Baxley, who worked at Apple and Yahoo! Answers for 10 years, said that while many believe people are closely connected by the internet or social media, human-to-human interactions should still be augmented by technology.

“It is critical to make sure that the technology supports the human-to-human relationship rather than distracting from it,” said Baxley.

He added that his most valuable insights were from face-to-face conversations, which allowed him to understand the physical and social context of human-centered designs.

He also pointed to the importance of educational support for the future of human-centered designs.

US design executive Bob Baxley (Herald Design Forum)
US design executive Bob Baxley (Herald Design Forum)

“I hope we move towards an educational curriculum that combines design, reading/writing, engineering, art and math into what I call, a DREAM education,” Baxley said.

Putting emphasis on design thinking in education can invite more new talents to the industry as well, he added.

“I think we all need to be moving towards a future that combines the best of our rational minds with the wonder of our creative imaginations,” Baxley added.

As an experienced user interface designer, Baxley said that each social media platform serves different purposes.

“Facebook is about the past, Twitter is about the present, Pinterest is about the future. That is, you post things you have done on Facebook, tweet things you’re currently doing on Twitter and pin things you would like to do in the future on Pinterest,” said Baxley.

Quoting Yvonne Chouinard, the CEO of Patagonia, Baxley stressed that “design may only be 10 percent of the cost, but it determines the other 90 percent.”

“The most important innovation I see today is the new ways that IT companies are adopting to define, design and build their products. I’m confident that an optimal, repeatable and standardized process to create innovative design will emerge within the next decades,”

By Kim Da-sol (
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