Lecture: Technology design: Narrator: Listen to part of a lecture, in an introductory computer science class. Lecturer: Okay, so we've discussed some basic underlying concepts of computer systems that drive application and programming. Uh – now I want to focus on a related topic. Technology design. Uh the way developers think about and design computer systems and software. This isn't just a technological problem, but a philosophical one as well. Which is made clear in one of the books you've been assigned to read this Semester. To illustrate – let's talk about Leonardo Da Vinci. And.. the outlook that his work seems to reveal. Uh Leonardo Da Vinci as you may know was both a great artist of the Italian Renaissance and a great inventor with contributions to multiple fields. Including architecture, anatomy, and engineering. Uh Da Vinci was able to think both scientifically and artistically. And he blended science and art in his drawings of human anatomy. His work demonstrates that humans were front and centre in his way of thinking about the world. Um as though he was thinking what human problems can my designs solve? Now, it may seem obvious to say we want our computers to solve human problems, but, there's an important distinction made in the book you'll read – the distinction between old computing and new computing. Now, old computing refers to a way of thinking about computing that was driven by thoughts like improving computing power and speed, how many Gigabytes a machine might have, how fast a machine is, and so on. Uh, heh don't get me wrong – these features are still important, the problem is when these are the end goal – because the power and processing speed are sort of irrelevant if the machine is poorly designed and doesn't meet the expectations of the user. New computing on the other hand, uh refers to technology design, focuses on the end goal, or more specifically, the end user's goal, what the individual might need. Or uh, or want out of the computer. It places humans front and center. In new computing, the focus shifts from what computers can do to what people can do with computers. So, instead of thinking about big power for the sake of having a fancy impressive machine, developers concentrate on individuals or specific groups of individuals. For example, they create products that support human activities. Um, activities like – collecting information! Or, communication, or disseminating information to others. I think, Da Vinci would be very surprised about how well informed people are about medical issues today, when they arrive at their doctors' office. Okay, uh, so, it's really important to find out what people want – what's useful to them, before we develop new technology. Which brings me to the next point about new computing: that designs should be not only useful, but also user-friendly. Uh besides usefulness, usability is important. The idea that computer programs, accessories, websites – really anything related to your computer should be easy to use. Sounds simple I know. Ah the term user friendly has been around for years – the problem is, we don't always create things that are easy for users to use. Take websites, many of you've probably been on websites that were very confusing. You couldn't find the information you were looking for, or there was so MUCH information on the site, that you just gave up. Again, this is where thinking like Da Vinci, can help. The goal is to solve problems not create new ones. Those websites might be really easy for their designers to navigate, but, they aren't the ones who need to use the sites. So again, designers need to involve the users from the beginning, to find out their expectations – and what kind of tasks, they want to perform. I should tell you that the, not only computer science researchers but, researchers from other disciplines, like sociology and psychology for example, are involved in this new computing approach, which makes sense. But again, old computing is still important. We still need people to think bigger and faster, and, be able to take care of computing issues that are secondary to other developers, who think like Da Vinci. Who are concerned with human set of computing.