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Expert Interview (Part 2): Elise Roy on Human Centered Design and Overcoming Challenges with Big Data

In case you missed Part 1, read here!

Recently, while Elise was working with NPR, they discussed the fact that episodes of NPR programs posted online did not provide captions. While these shows generally have an article associated with them or a transcript of the conversation, Elise pointed out that NPR might be filtering out a significant portion of the population who might have hearing loss but are still able to appreciate an audio-centered show. Or, those who were completely deaf who liked the pacing captions brought and a less cluttered visual experience.

Expert Interview (Part 2) - Elise Roy on Human Centered Design and Overcoming Challenges with Big Data - banner

Because of their conversation, NPR has a better understanding of an entire market they might be missing out on.

Her way of problem-solving is catching on.

“A couple years ago I was telling people about human centered design, they had no idea what I was talking about,” Elise says. “But now they’re starting to recognize the value it provides businesses and starting to see how they can create more targeted responsive solutions.”

Big Data plays an important role in creating more customer-centric solutions. It allows organizations to better understand how to react to the human experience and build more personalized and customized experiences and identify patterns that otherwise might have been difficult to see.

Currently, one of the biggest struggles with integrating the perspective of people with disabilities is that there are such a wide variety of disabilities– it can be challenging to design with each one in mind.

Elise says Big Data can help overcome those challenges.

There are already products on the market that benefit individuals with disabilities that use the power of Big Data and the Internet of Things.

For instance, there are companies developing doorbell home security solutions that alert users to motion and allow them to monitor the door remotely– an ideal solution for individuals with mobility problems. Innovation like this and others including the Roomba or self-driving cars not only make it easier for people with disabilities to live independently but are also products that the general population enjoys as well.

In order to continue to bring innovations like these to market, it will be essential that Big Data be paired with human centered design methods.

“This is because big data can easily be influenced by bias,” Elise says. “For example, we could only collect certain kinds of data and be missing out on a key thing that would get uncovered through the human centered design process during the observation phase.”

Recently, Microsoft hired several experts in bias reduction in Artificial Intelligence when they recognized their AI applications were biased in the sense that they were designed around the beliefs of those who were designing them rather than the people who were going to experience their applications.

Moving forward, Elise believes there needs to be symbiosis between Big Data and the human aspect of design.

Elise’s consulting business is still in its infancy, but she’s excited about potential impact on innovation that of looking at innovation through the lens of the disabled offers for businesses.

“There’s a lot of people who have gotten back to me and said it’s really impacted how they’re thinking about things,” Elise says.

We also have a new eBook focused on Strategies for Improving Big Data Quality available for download. Take a look!

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