This week, I read an interesting article about the criticisms of the design thinking method. The article titled “In Defense of Design Thinking, Which is Terrible” wasn’t written to bash on design thinking, but rather to help designers realize the importance of interacting outside their bubble. We can do this by being open to people in other disciplines and creating a welcoming community that is eager to share and collaborate. If we would like design to have a greater impact on the world, one of the first steps to take is to help others understand our ideas and thought processes so that they can grasp what exactly we do and see the value we bring to a team.
This week I learned a lot about the consequences of design, whether expected or unexpected. In some cases, the unintended consequences can be great! But in other cases, they might be detrimental to other areas that you might not have foreseen. In order to curb potential negative consequences of design, it’s good to ask questions during the design process like “At what cost…?” or use prompts to make sure you are staying true to your design’s original intent. In addition to these, it’s also important to be aware of the values that design is moving towards. These may involve inclusive design, circular design, or others.
This week I enjoyed reading from the book “Design is Storytelling” by Ellen Lupton. It uses pictures, text, and examples to show how design can lead your users to think, feel, or respond in different ways to your product. This week I read about the use of color and how subtle changes in a color palette, or even the words you use to describe it, can have a big impact on how someone might perceive your design! This is part of multisensory design, where inputs from different senses are taken into consideration in order to design something for a target audience.
This week, I learned a lot about prototypes and their benefits. Depending on your product, the prototype you use can come in many different formats, but any prototype you make will be able to give you a lot of insight into your design. They can be used to see how users might interact with or interpret your designs, and then they can give you feedback about aspects they like or questions, ideas, or suggestions that they might have. One quote from IDEO that stood out to me was, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a prototype is worth a thousand meetings.” This really shows that prototypes can give you unique insights – and lots of them!
Something that stood out to me this week was that design is always changing and evolving. Just like art is more meaningful when you understand the context it was created in, design is influenced by the culture and context it is created in as well.
This week, what stood out to me was realizing how important the relationship between the designer and the user really is. Designers ultimately have so much control over how their product is received. In order to deliver the best product for their consumer, designers can use personas, prototypes, storyboards, and a myriad of other approaches to get to know what the user really wants. Another great way to do this is to partner with the users themselves and involve them in the design process, as seen in some of our resources this week like the Umpqua Bank case study and the Mobius Motors vehicle designed by Joel Jackson.
A big takeaway I got from the readings this week was the idea that designers need to be able to think outside the box and try new things without fear of judgement – either judgement from others or even from themselves! There are strategies that can help you to think creatively, like changing the frame of view, brainstorming many ideas, and trying out crazy ideas even if you’re not sure they will succeed…!
A theme that stood out to me this week was that designers have the ability to reflect their values, passions, and ideas into their work. Since design is not limited to a certain field, there is so much room for designers to think outside the box and showcase what they want the rest of the world to understand about the way they think. In addition to this, it is important to keep an open mind and be willing to learn and work with others so that your knowledge can grow across multiple cultures, worldviews, and disciplines. These, along with other ideas, are illustrated in my notecards this week. Note: I forgot to print out one of my images…!! I am sad…
Before this week, I had never considered the phrase “design thinking”, but as I’m learning more and more about it, I’m finding out just how useful it is. Design thinking isn’t just something that can be applied to product design – you can use its principles while you’re managing a business, solving a problem, learning a new skill, or simply trying to figure out what you want to do with your life…! A big part of design thinking relies on bouncing between steps and being able to go back, revise, improve, and come up with totally new or inventive ideas. I’ve illustrated this thought, along with seven others that struck me, on the note cards shown below.