Fisher-Price Wins 2011 User-Centered Product Design Award

The company’s iXL Learning System™ won the 10th award given by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society's Product Design Technical Group, HFES announced Oct. 3.

The iXL Learning System™ from Fisher-Price won the 10th User-Centered Product Design Award given by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society's Product Design Technical Group, HFES announced Oct. 3. The product is a 6-in-1 hand-held learning tool for children ages 3 to 7, priced at $80 on Fisher-Price's website.

"The iXL Learning System was highly rated by all judges on the panel," said Dianne McMullin, co-chair of the award. "They felt that the Fisher-Price researchers had done an outstanding job of meeting the challenges of understanding children's behaviors, conducting user testing with children, and designing a user interface to accommodate them. In addition, Fisher-Price was praised for the thoughtfulness of why they did what they did and how they were working in the market."

The award was announced Sept. 20 during the HFES 55th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas and presented to User-Experience Researcher and Senior Manager of Child Research Kathleen Kremer, Industrial Designer Donald Stucke, Jr., and Lead Producer Brian Mysliwy. Kremer accepted a $1,000 honorarium and a plaque, then gave a presentation about the product. It includes a digital book reader, a game player, a digital art studio, an MP3 music player, a notepad, and a photo viewer. The system was a finalist for the Toy Industry Association’s Preschool Toy of the Year, Educational Toy of the Year, and Most Innovative Toy of the Year.

"We are excited and honored to be the recipient of the 10th Annual PDTG User-Centered Design Award for the iXL Learning System," Kremer said. "We share with HFES the belief in the importance of working with consumers throughout the entire design and development process to ensure that our products enrich the lives of young children and their families."

Frank A. Drews and Jonathan Bakdash received an honorary mention for MEDClick—Medical Central Line Catheter Care Kit, a medical kit for performing a weekly procedure on a central line.

The Call for Nominations for the 2012 award, which has been renamed the Stanley Caplan User-Centered Product Design Award, will be announced early next year.

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