All posts about
Design thinking

Ten questions to designer Kees Dorst

Design thinker provides a context of (digital) design.

“It’s no news that the world is changing and it is changing fast. And change demands what designer Kees Dorst says to be a need to step back from old values so that we can create a new order. And it’s in this process that designers have a key role to play. At our Master’s programme’s headquarters, Dorst explained his theory in design framing and new thinking to an audience of students, professionals, and lecturers. After the event, Ben Schouten, scientific director of the Master’s programme in Digital Design, sat down with Kees Dorst to hear more about his thoughts on the designer of the future.”

Master Digital Design (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences)

The divisiveness of Design Thinking

When places and spaces become too popular, the professionals redraw the map.

“In this article, I want to explore the split between the value of design thinking and the backlash, and see if there’s room to reclaim the value of this powerful way of working. Bear with the history lesson – it’s useful in seeing how design thinking has warped into something superficial.”

Jon Kolko a.k.a. @jkolko ~ ACM Interactions Magazine XXV.3

Connecting things: Broadening design to include systems, platforms, and product-service ecologies

Broadening the design scope leads to increase of complexity.

“Traditionally, design practice and design education have focused on giving form to physical things—apparel, buildings, messages, tools, and vehicles—the artifacts that constitute material culture. These artifacts are also the material of the traditional design disciplines—apparel design, architecture, graphic design, product design, and transportation design.”

Hugh Dubberly a.k.a. /hughdubberly ~ Dubberly Design Office courtesy of @freegorifero

Then and Now: The Bauhaus and 21st century design

The historical perspective on the Design dimension. The manifesto for a digital Bauhaus (Ehn, 1998) included?

“Design can address the critical problems of our age. The Bauhaus movement was of great historical importance. Today, we need more. Aristotle is considered of as one of the forerunners of the scientific movement, even as his actual words and writings of science and technology are completely ignored by today’s working scientists. That is how I feel about the Bauhaus movement: I am grateful for what it accomplished, but I do not find it relevant to the complex issues we face today.”

Donald A. Norman a.k.a. /donnorman | @jnd1er

Design Thinking is kind of like syphilis: It’s contagious and rots your brains

Always appreciate a good metaphore or analogy.

“Have you ever heard of Design Thinking? Your answer to that question will depend largely on where you sit in the world. The phrase Design Thinking is known almost universally in design circles. It’s made its way around networks of business hype more than once. Hell, the folks at Singularity University — a cult of technological utopians who hoover handfuls of vitamins and believe we’ll all upload our minds to servers in a few decades — think Design Thinking may be your ‘Secret Weapon for Building a Greater Good.’ No doubt, many others have also heard from people excited about Design Thinking — a state of being known as having a bad case of the DTs.”

Lee Vinsel a.k.a. @STS_News

Capturing the value of design thinking in different innovation practices

Happy twins? Design thinking and innovation.

“Design thinking has become a popular notion in the field of innovation. What is design thinking really and—even more important—what could be its value in applying it in innovation practices? This paper presents four studies that together capture the value of design thinking in different early-stage innovation practices. Study 1 comprised a literature review on design thinking to form the basis of an agreed domain of discourse for design thinking in innovation. In Study 2, this shared domain of discourse was validated. This shared domain of discourse provided the input for Study 3, which investigated how innovators apply design thinking in early-stage innovation practices. It shows that the application of design thinking is dependent on the innovator’s aim for the project, his or her vision on innovation, and the main challenge s/he is facing. This combination of characteristics is termed an image of design thinking. The images frame the application design activities in the context of the specific innovation project. Study 4 successfully validated the four images and shows that the combination of the images and the agreed domain of discourse can serve as a common language and a tool that allow capturing the value of design thinking in early-stage innovation.”

M. Kleinsmann, R. Valkenburg, and J. Sluijs ~ International Journal of Design (11.2)

To be a design-led company

Design as the primary organizational competence. I see John Maeda’s hand in this.

What got us here won’t get us there. I want to have design leading the way. A lot more user research. A lot more mockups.(…) Design as tactical driver: where design alters a discrete product, service, or communication effort. Design for system innovation: where design alters an existing system or creates a new one to deliver a better solution. Design as a catalyst for transformation: where design changes attitudes and behaviors of a community or organization.”

Ashleigh Axios a.k.a. /ashleighaxios | @AshleighAxios ~ A8C DESIGN

Design in the era of the algorithm

Perfect text for those involved in circle three of Maeda: Computational Design.

“The design and presentation of data is just as important as the underlying algorithm. Algorithmic interfaces are a huge part of our future, and getting their design right is critical—and very, very hard to do. My work has begun to turn to the responsible and humane presentation of data-driven interfaces. And I suspect that yours will, too, in very short order. While constructing these machine learning models is indeed heavy-duty data science, using them is not. Tons of these machine learning models are available to all of us here to build upon right now.”

Josh Clark a.k.a. /joshclark | @bigmediumjosh ~ big medium courtesy of @gnat

How using Design Thinking will fix Design Thinking

Nested concept, design thinking.

“Design Thinking continues to be a hot topic (this article is one of many talking about it). Design Thinking has been hyped and even fetishized but there are also voices questioning its value, impact, and relevance. Design Thinking faces criticism for its lacking integration with business and compatibility with market reality. There are organizations that see Design Thinking as unnecessary rather than essential to driving organizational change and innovation. Does Design Thinking have to be reinvented or even replaced?”

Bert Bräutigam a.k.a. /bertbraeutigam | @bertbrautigam ~ The Next Web

Want to scale design thinking? Eight tips for embracing digital design collaboration

Scalability of design thoughts.

“Design is a top priority for companies that want to innovate and continue to improve the customer experiences. While many are investing in design thinking education, the distributed nature of teams makes it difficult for teams to practice, especially together. Ultimately, big initiatives to roll out design thinking as a core competence for all ‘knowledge and imagination workers’ have seen friction for both newly minted design thinkers and experts.”

Mariano Suarez-Battan a.k.a. /batmelon | @batmelon ~ O’Reilly Radar #Design

Design thinking origin story plus some of the people who made it all happen

Allways know where you’re coming from.

“Design thinking has an amalgamation of approaches, this is still quite unique — which is why sometimes — design thinking is applied as more of an umbrella term that catches multi-disciplinary, human-centered projects that involve research and rapid ideation. Most recently it has begun to monitor and measure itself in a quantified way, a trick its leant from the business and economics sectors.”

Jo Szczepanska a.k.a. /joszczepanska | @szczpanks

What is design thinking? Human-centered design and the challenges of complex problem-solving

Design thinking, the scientific method of the 21st century.

“What is it that we’re talking about, when we’re talking about design? We may first encounter design as aesthetic treatment and styling – certainly important, but not, of course, the entire story. Stylistic design is often seen in contrast with design as a process for tackling tough problems. Design thinking is an abductive approach to complex problem solving that leverages the designer’s empathetic mindset in order to understand people’s unarticulated needs and identify opportunities for solutions. This is a human-centered innovation process that can be applied to a wide range of challenges: design thinking can be used to create everything from products and services to business models and processes.”

Jonathan Follett a.k.a. /jonfollett | @jonfollett ~ O’Reilly Radar

It’s not just decoration: Design is a competitive advantage

All the rational arguments to convince C-level. Still no gut feeling.

“This is one reason why many in the field now downplay the D-word in favour of “User Experience,” or UX. Born out of software design, UX has become a useful lens for understanding everything from watches to wheelbarrows. The total experience of the customer is what counts. That includes the product’s fit and finish, its ergonomics and safety features, and how intuitive it is to use.”

Graham F. Scott ~ Canadian Business

Thinking about Design Thinking: Is it important?

All thinking is important.

“Design thinking is just another way to talk about problem-solving. Every design project you take on aims to solve some sort of problem for the client, whether it is helping more people learn about their company through a website, getting people into a store with a coupon or enticing people to buy something with an amazing package design. But design thinking is more than just problem solving. It is a hands-on approach to developing solutions.”

Carrie Cousins a.k.a. @carriecousins ~ Design Shack