The question, then, is how do we design for people? Here is a simple point of application: in order to design effectively for your users, you must first know your users. The best industrial designers always claimed to know their target audience better than that audience knew themselves. The same should be true of us in the digital space. We should be asking ourselves things like: what does a person want to do on this page? Does this provide a solution to a problem they have? How will this design make them feel more comfortable, happier, or more eager to purchase?
By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth’s population will reside in urban centers. Applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends, the human population will increase by about 3 billion people during the interim. An estimated 10 9 hectares of new land (about 20% more land than is represented by the country of Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming practices continue as they are practiced today. At present, throughout the world, over 80% of the land that is suitable for raising crops is in use (sources: FAO and NASA). Historically, some 15% of that has been laid waste by poor management practices. What can be done to avoid this impending disaster?
I feel like I’m caught in a whirlpool of “ Amusing Ourselves to Death ,” as author Neil Postman predicted 30 years ago . In the book, Postman contrasts two dystopian visions of the future. George Orwell’s 1984, where power is expressed directly through Big Brother, oppressively restricting people’s freedoms. And Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, where power is expressed indirectly , by saturating people with so many delightful distractions that they can’t see their oppression. Where people “come to adore the technologies that would undo their capacities to think.”