All posts tagged
design thinking

Design thinking: Snake oil of today?

A mindset is just a start, first step. The journey is more important.

“The word that is repeated most often when describing Design Thinking is process. Design Thinking is not a job task you can start in the morning and be done with by lunch-time. Instead, Design Thinking requires much more planning, preparation and normal work than most people that participate in just the workshops realize. But the work that you put into the process will pay itself off in the end.”

(Jukka Kaartinen ~ Service Innovation and Design programme Laurea Finland)

Relating Systems Thinking and Design 2013 Symposium Proceedings

Some deep thinking regarding design and systems thinking by academia.

“The second Oslo symposium engaged over 120 participants in the emerging renaissance of systems thinking in design. The emerging context is being revealed in transdisciplinary responses to increasing complexity in all challenges faced by designers, innovators, and decision makers everywhere. Our worlds have become too complex for linear and goal-driven management, as the modern world is experiencing in hopelessly complicated social, economic, and political institutions. The global demand for sustainability, democratic economies, and better education, employment, and development has resulted in new movements, but perhaps insufficient redesign. The emerging social arrangements have become too complex for conventional thinking.”

(Systemic Design: Emerging contexts for systems perspectives in design)

From features-first to user-first: An evolution in process at IBM Design

Big Blue gets the design virus for real.

“(…) in a world of software-driven user experiences, starting with good design and empathy for users can make a product connect to peoples’ lives in a way we’ve never been able to do before.”

(IBM Smarter Planet)

Systems & design thinking: A conceptual framework for their integration (.pdf)

Two mindsets integrated, one from the 20th century, the other from the 21st century.

“This paper explores the relationship between Systems and Design Thinking. It specifically looks into the role of Design in Systems Thinking and how looking at the world through a systems lens influences Design. Our intention is to show the critical concepts developed in the Systems and Design Thinking fields, their underlying assumptions, and the ways in which they can be integrated as a cohesive conceptual framework. While there are many important distinctions that must be considered to understand the similarities and differences of these concepts, gaining a complete understanding of these factors is more than can be covered in this paper. Nevertheless, the most critical classifying variable used to distinguish these concepts will be discussed in order to make their integration possible. This variable, the recognition of purposeful behavior, will be used to develop a conceptual vision for how a combined approach can be used to research, plan, design and manage social systems. Systems in which people play the principle role.”

(Authors: John Pourdehnad, Erica R. Wexler, and Dennis V. Wilson)

Nine ways to get the most out of Design Thinking

DT is a mindset, not a silver bullet.

“Design thinking is a slightly murky concept that means different things to different people. At heart, though, it is about fusing the creative and open-ended with the analytical and operational, combining very different ways of thinking and acting. This is, of course, easier in theory than in practice. How do you get children’s book authors and chemical engineers to click into something greater than the sum of the parts — rather than devolve into warring camps? Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way as CEO and rules we all try to adhere to at Lippincott.”

(Rick Wise ~ Fast.CoDesign) ~ courtesy of riander

Design thinking is killing creativity

Is business killing creativity by nature?

“A fellow designer and I were discussing this in detail and jointly came to this disappointing conclusion. It was quite a significant conclusion and likely to be correct, as both of us were in positions to manage design processes and teams, and also shape and influence design centric business strategies. I do not think that this epiphany happened as a result of this discussion. This was something that has been cooking at the back of my mind since design thinking started gaining traction in the competitive corporate environment. My thoughts include design thinking’s impact, its fallout, and its side effects. This was really not an easy post to write, there were lots of information for me to manage and reorganize. As with any story, lets start from the beginning by looking at why design thinking was even needed in the first place?”

(Avi Bisram a.k.a. @avi_bisram)

Generating new business by design thinking

Business thinking going downhill; design thinking going uphill. An uphill battle that is.

“(…) several conclusions can be drawn. First of all, the typical iterative and holistic way of working of design thinking is also a viable option for generating business. Possibly many of you design thinkers will say: we knew that. Point is: our stakeholders needed to learn that! Second, we were amazed by the results of the ‘business prototype’. Many new insights arose, and admittingly some of our assumptions turned out wrong. A next step will look different already. For a relatively small amount of money and resources this was learned, instead of the hard way in actual business. Third, and possibly most important: it created a platform all stakeholders could look at, reflect and decide. They could invite others, including even their friends. They could discuss with us. Suddenly it was not a ‘good idea’, but a viable option.”

(Guido Stompff ~ Design in Teams)

Rethinking design thinking

Design thinking says what it is, thinking.

“So three cheers for design thinking, for those practitioners and schools that are using these techniques, that encourage breakthrough thinking, and that encourage asking the stupid question. Not all schools teach design thinking in this way. Not all students learn it. Not all designers practice it. But for those who do teach, learn and practice all of the techniques of design thinking, it can be transformative.”

(Donald A. Norman ~ Core77)

What is the emerging role of design in the public sector?

Design is now so ubiquitous, it’s exploding into all kinds of industries: health, education, business, tourism, and now even government as well.

“And so we find ourselves seeking a deeper transformation in the way we organise and build our society. We face a choice about the future we want to create and live within and who should be entrusted with envisioning, contributing and ultimately delivering that future. From the invention of the modern concept of the designer as an agent for change in the industrial era, to the demands of an ever-changing, interconnected global community, our needs for design and creativity have evolved. Designers are increasingly directing their talents to new problems, bringing professional creativity to the biggest and most important challenges of our times. As we acknowledge that the unprecedented demands facing public services cannot be met by increased funding alone, it seems right to look to those dissatisfied optimists for new approaches that will help deliver the innovative solutions we need.”

(Andrea Siodmok a.k.a. @designcomedy ~ Design Council)

Breaking Design Principles on Purpose

Rules and exceptions.

“Rules. They keep our designs clean, consistent, aligned, and focused. The core principles upon which good design is built are absolutely essential to the education of any designer. The great thing about design rules though is that they can and should be broken, granted that you know what you’re doing. Read on to see some examples of effectively breaking design principles in order to improve a project.”

(Jason Gross a.k.a. @JasonAGross ~ Design Shack)

The Catch Behind Design Thinking

Has Design Thinking lost its glory?

“Connecting design thinking with the broader context of problem solving has lead to the growth of two equally harmful myths: the guru designer and practice as a process, emphasizing on subjectivity or linearity where empathy, empowerment and divergent thinking are needed. Design thinking isn’t saving the world or revolutionizing business, for sure, mostly because of these two illusory paths.”

(Thierry de Baillon a.k.a. @tdebaillon ~ DeBaillon)

Design thinking isn’t about thinking. It is about doing.

Multi-disciplinary teams rulez.

“Products are developed by large multi-disciplinary teams. The teams deal with many topics requiring the expertise of several specialists simultaneously. They have to decide together if something is a problem; propose multi-disciplinary solutions; and align their activities into a seamless whole. Stated differently: team members have to think collectively, which is named team cognition. In September 2012, Guido Stompff received his PhD at Technical University of Delft, faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. The topic was team cognition in high tech development teams, and how designers contribute to it. This website are bits and pieces of his observations and findings, combined with reflections on trending topics.”

(Guido Stompff a.k.a. @guidostompff ~ Team Cognition)

How The Left/ Right Brain Theory Improves The User Experience

Integrative thinking leads to better designs for user experiences.

“Let’s take a quick look at the left brain-right brain theory to recap which part of our brain is responsible for what. Then, we’ll shed some light on how you can consider different ways of thinking in your design in order to optimize the experience for your visitors.”

(Sabine Idler a.k.a. @SabinaIdler ~ Usabilia)

Introduction to Design Thinking

First, design thinking. Next, design thinking doing (by SAP).

“Design Thinking is one of the more recent buzz words in the design community. In this introductory article, I will investigate what Design Thinking is, what its main characteristics are, and take a look at the process and the methods associated with it. I will also take a brief look at the history of Design Thinking. (…) I have accumulated my knowledge of Design Thinking from presentations at SAP and conferences, and by reading of books and articles. I wrote this article to help readers gain a general understanding of the concepts of Design Thinking across different proponents of the approach. Since I do not have any practical experiences with this approach, I will refrain from evaluating it, which was not the purpose of my article.”

(Gerd Waloszek ~ SAP Design Guild) ~ courtesy of @sly

Innovating User Value: The Interrelations of Business Model Innovation, (Service) Design Thinking and the Production of Meaning

Always great to have academic research on meaning and services.

“(…) the discussion on strategic innovation in the business sphere is cluttered into a variety of discourses in which the latter seldomly plays a major role. Therefore service designers are all too often confronted with a very narrow understanding of designs value contributions to high-level strategy making, neither are they able to explain and relate their own work to the parallel developing discourses in the business realm. The attached thesis tries to bring together some seemingly isolated research streams and provides an overview of their topical similarities and overlaps. It connects the dots by putting its focus on “value creation” (a term that most discourses culminate in) and “design’s” value contributions to strategic innovation.”

(Jan Schmiedgen a.k.a. @brandsystemUXD ~ Service Design Network)

Design Thinking Won’t Save You

“Ladies and gentlemen, let me break this to you gently. Design Thinking, the topic we’re here to analyze and discuss and get to grips with so you can go back to Mars and instantly transform your businesses, is not the answer.” (Helen Walters)