The Ergonomics material provided for schools is almost entirely anthropometry used in teaching of Design and Technology [DT]. There is a lack of broader usercentred design [UCD], both in school teaching and in the examination syllabus for DT. DT is the most popular optional GCSE subject taken in the UK [29,000 candidates took it in 2010], but the approach it takes to design is currently mostly technical. The teaching of DT presents an opportunity to instill a better understanding of UCD principles in young people. This could raise the profile and quality of user-centred design in future generations [and maybe increase recruitment to ergonomics courses!]
The Campaign for Real Design has been set up by the University College London Interaction Centre, in collaboration with the IEHF, with Coventry and Brunel University Design Schools and with Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith. It aims to engage school students with UCD activities; engage DT teachers with the development of UCD teaching schemes and supportive resources; and bring influence on the DT GCSE syllabus to include UCD. The Campaign projects fall into three main groups: the development of teaching resources, including demonstrator and interactive material for students; the expansion and extension of the online interactive resource Ergonomics4Schools; and the creation and set up of a peripatetic “UCD Day” package for schools to buy into.