Temple Grandin - UXD vs AXD - Animal Experience Design

I like to bring you close to a person you might never heard of - this person is Temple Grandin, Ph.D..
Why? Because I firmly believe that it is essential to have a holistic perspective, how users feel about using a system, and in general if we talk about users and their systems it doesn’t really matter whether we talk about humans or animals. And I also think that it's important to learn as much as one can - to study as much various systems, devices, touch points, interfaces and surfaces as possible - and as well everything about users neither they have two or more legs - because quite often you will discover things you can use in a total other situation.

Temple Grandin is an American doctor of animal science and professor at Colorado State University. She is now for sure the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world. Temple Grandin brings a unique perspective to animals’ environment and how to deal with animals - even if she mainly works in the slaughtering business. She describes by visual elements of processing experience and how her own thinking as a person living with autism guided her to become the developer of more humane livestock handling facilities throughout North America.

Dr. Temple Grandin was a speaker at the UX Week 2009 September 15-18 in San Francisco.
UX Week 2009 | Temple Grandin | Autism, Drawing and Design: Insights into Innovation and Creativity (Part 1 of 2) from Adaptive Path on Vimeo.

And I have no idea to which extent I might be different, and I am sure we all think a little bit different – because since I was a child I think in pictures, diagrams and graphs. As little boy I often build buildings, flats, sceneries and stage design with Legos - and I began to draw blueprints in advance before I build my Lego constructions – I am sure that’s the reason why I studied architecture and town / urban planning. I know my brothers are thinking in words and numbers - all of my brothers and my sister we love mathematics but when I saw a equation I had a graph in my mind. But back to Temple Grandin and her way of thinking and understanding. Autism is a different way of experiencing the world, but the individuals who are autistic are individuals as anyone else. Sometimes I think it is ignorant and unaware to say that these people are all people with savant syndrome or have ‘special’ abilities, but if they are settled in an environment that suits an autistic person's needs and way of thinking, then they will grow, thrive or fail as any other individual – so where does autism start? And don’t we all arrange our environment in a way we are able to understand it? We have no idea how over people think, understand and interpret things, systems and relationships.

In our business we talk about HCD, Human Centered Design, and UXD, User Experience Design.
When I listen to Temple Grandin’s talks or I read her book – I often ask myself, if she would start her work today, would she call it ACD, Animal Centered Design, or AXD, Animal Experience Design?

Temple Grandin’s remarkable way of looking at the world has brought her huge success as both an animal behaviour expert and a parenting guru.
Now her life has been turned into an inspiring film. As far as the movie illustrates to us, in Temple Grandin's life, she needed to be taught self-reliance, self-awareness, and have her potential recognized and cultivated as well as patient, loving, and understanding emotional support.



Temple Grandin’s remarkable way of looking at the world has brought her huge success as both an animal behaviour expert and a parenting guru.

And as I said at the beginning I firmly believe that I / we can learn from something from everything even if you might thik it has nothing to do with your current matter in the first place.

Limitless urban legends and Native American tales enlighten of the bond between human and animals.  And let us think about what we can use for our project, problem or live.
I feel it is only fair to conclude with feelings of gratitude and respect for animals, and hopes for our species to progress; leaving you with this thought from Native American, Black Elk.
 "We should understand well that all things are the work of the Great Spirit. We should know the Great Spirit is within all things; the trees, the grasses, the rivers, the mountains, the four legged and winged peoples." 
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So I strongly recommend you to listen to Temple Grandin - She is really great!
And I also recommend the books of Temple Grandin to everyone developing user interfaces on a professional level or to whom who are interested in psychology .

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