Last night Danish interaction designer Mikkel Michelsen gave a very interesting talk on the UX-iest of all UX – when design is a matter of life and death (or carries otherwise heavy consequences). His slides list some of his major points on designing UI for things like cockpits, medical equipment and finance terminals. Interestingly, his research, processes and documentation seem similar to that of us garden variety designers on more mundane tasks.
It did me proud to think of the care that those in our field put into their work and the potential to aid people in extreme circumstances. In light of so many recent man-made disasters, perhaps the future will hold a larger role for people with a knack for broad systems, crucial details, user psychology, contextual understanding and risk minimization.