The Power of Observation and Personalization in Design and Learning


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 22, 2023

3 min read


The Power of Observation and Personalization in Design and Learning

Design and learning are two fields that rely heavily on observation and personalization. In Tony Fadell's TED Talk, "The first secret of great design," he emphasizes the importance of stepping back and looking at the bigger picture when tackling a problem. He encourages designers to think broader and consider the steps that lead up to the problem. By doing so, they can identify opportunities to make improvements, whether it's by combining or removing certain elements.

This concept of looking broader can also be applied to the field of education, as discussed in "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of 1-1 Learning." The traditional classroom environment may not always cater to the individual needs and learning styles of students. However, through one-on-one tutoring, students have the opportunity to personalize their learning experience and achieve better results.

In both design and learning, paying attention to the finer details is crucial. Fadell urges designers to look closer and question the importance of certain elements that may have been taken for granted. Similarly, in the context of learning, the article highlights the benefits of finding a tutor who can provide personalized guidance. This tutor may not have a structured curriculum or plan, but their expertise and insights can help students identify areas where they are stuck and suggest strategies to overcome challenges.

Thinking younger is another valuable approach in both design and learning. Fadell mentions how children often approach problems with fresh perspectives, unencumbered by preconceived notions or habits. This can lead to innovative solutions that adults may not have considered. Similarly, in education, the article suggests seeking out tutors who are early in their careers and eager to share their knowledge. These individuals may be more open to unconventional approaches and can provide a fresh outlook on the subject matter.

Incorporating young minds into teams or learning environments can be a catalyst for creativity and innovation. Picasso's quote, "Every child is an artist," resonates with the idea that maintaining a youthful mindset allows for continuous growth and exploration.

To apply these insights in practice, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Look broader: Whether you're designing a product or studying a subject, take a step back and consider the bigger picture. Examine the steps leading up to the problem or challenge and explore opportunities for improvement.
  • 2. Look closer: Pay attention to the details and question their significance. Challenge the status quo and explore whether certain elements can be removed or revised to enhance the overall experience.
  • 3. Think younger: Embrace a fresh perspective and seek out individuals who bring new ideas to the table. Incorporate young minds into your team or learning environment to foster creativity and innovation.

In conclusion, the power of observation and personalization is evident in both design and learning. By looking broader, closer, and thinking younger, we can unlock new possibilities and uncover innovative solutions. Whether it's designing everyday products or seeking effective learning methods, these principles can guide us towards continuous improvement and growth.

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