To summarize this weeks reading I’ll begin with the first article I read which was Three Product Design Trends Driving Innovation and Business Operations. This discussed how designers mean more to a company than just creating visuals for the brand. Designers are being let out of the art room and being welcomed into different departments of a business, in hopes of taking their forward-thinking outlook and solving problems within the company’s different sectors. The article also discussed how when we mix conventional and futuristic technology, we can create new ideas and innovations. I also read the article Making Human-centered Design a Daily Routine, which brings up the point that companies that enable human-centered design preformed projects 75% faster, reduced testing time, and overall saves companies around $3 million when completing a project. From that article I pulled the main factor in human-centered design, which is understanding who your user is. A way to do this is use customer journey maps, which allows to designer to identify different touch-points and how they can improve them.
In this week’s reading we read Design Bootleg and read through the steps of how to test your idea. These steps included getting to know your user, revising your initial idea, and reframing your point of view. The book also brought up the feedback tool referred to as the “I like, I wish, and what if…” method. We also read Design Is Storytelling and went into depth about how adding multi-sensory factors can bring a situation life and make an experience memorable. The chapter also gave tips on tailoring your writing skills, one of the tips was to get to the point and avoid “fluff” in your writing. We also read about the company SmartLife, and how they tested their idea in the real world, rather than a simulation. The team found a problem and brainstormed for solutions. They came up with providing water and hygiene products for people in Nairobi. They brought it there, tested it on real people, and it turned into a success. They opened the first SmartLife store soon after. I then chose to read The Five Lenses Of Design which focused on approaching design with an adventurous outlook.
In this week’s reading we read chapter nine of The Shape Of Design which focused on delightful design. The author described delightful design adding clarity and finding a perfect balance between details and simplicity. The chapter also discussed how a product or service should not only work well and look good, it should produce a memorable expereince. We then read the case study Adding Value to Service Expansion: Vlisco’s Innovation Journey which focused on the company Vlisco, a company that creates fabrics, often of the African wax print style, to be distributed internationally to be customized by consumers. The article went over the steps that brought this company to successful innovation, such as being consumer-centric, utilizing prototyping, and experimenting on possible users. We also read Design Thinking: Getting Started with Prototyping that pointed out that prototyping and experimentation can prove or disprove assumption/biases about a design.
For this week’s blog card readings we read The Shape of Design where we learned that waiting, listening and observing a challenge can help you react to it with instinct, which will often offer more natural solutions. The chapter also talked about how “…products of design are just negotiations of issues and responses to fixed solutions.”, meaning that a design problem can have multiple products that offer the same solution. I also watched Fashion is fuel for Innovation. In that short video, it emphasized that fashion often represents current society, and that fashion can push movements like environmental conservation, gender equality, and technological advancements. Another video I watched was Four Superpowers of Design. In that video the speaker focused on approaching problems and finding solutions. He pointed out that a good idea sometimes is staring you in the face and all it takes sometimes is reframing and looking at it with a different point of view. In the video Weird or Just Different the speaker talked about how there can be many different ways to approach a single problem, and that the opposite of what you had assumed can also be true. I then learned how most creativity is a remix from Embrace the mix. In that video the speaker went over how most creatives have built on other people’s work to create something new. Lastly, I read the article Can 10 minutes of Meditation Make you more Creative?. In this article the author discussed the benefits of meditation such as, opening your mind to new ideas, improving attention span, and nurturing resilience, which are all things that can improve your creativity.
In this week’s blog card required reading we read about personas in Design Is Storytelling. Building personas while designing a product or service can help you see how different people will experience your product. The author recommended building personas and then developing scenarios in which your person interacts with the thing you’re designing. In The Shape of Design the author made a point that designers are responsible for moving things forward, as well as being stuck between a client and consumer. We also watched a short documentary called Briefly which covered the design brief. It described what a good design brief does, such as give a reason for the project, inspire others, and offer an invitation. I then read an article on Levis’ new digital software to test jeans and the article about Airbnb’s mobile mission. These two articles tied in the fact that technology and digital media can bridge the gap from company to customer.
In this week’s reading material and video we covered some pretty big themes. In The Shape of Design the author discussed how as designers we must remember to create with love, and to believe in the product you’re creating. The chapter also posed the idea that good design will not only serve the heart through aesthetics but also the mind through functionality. In Tim Brown’s TED talk, Designers – Think Big!, he reminded us that at the core of design are humans, and to design well we need to bring in culture and context. In Design Is Storytelling the author talks about how action can and should drive design. Along with that, asking what action a product will create, will result in a proper user and product interACTION.
In this week’s required reading and watching we read pages from Design is Storytelling where the author discussed how emotion plays into design. Creating something that provokes emotion will give the user a connection to the product and hopefully a memory. A good design is not flat. A helpful way to create an emotional response with a product is practicing empathy for your user. Ask about your user’s experiences, about who they are, and what makes them that way. We also read chapter four of The Shape of Design where the author discussed how our bodies are connected to our minds, and therefore if our minds need to wander then we should physically wander as well. From Design Thinking Bootleg there was emphasis on prototyping and how to do it correctly. It advised to create a prototype quickly, at a low quality and to test it on many people. Throughout the readings and video there were many similarities wrapping around the steps of design thinking: finding a problem, empathizing, ideate, prototype, and implement for sustainability.
This week’s material that we covered focused heavily on the design thinking process, as well as asking “why?” when tackling a problem, and how design done right could be seen as storytelling. With one of my cards I drew a picture representing the traits a good designer has. These traits were collaboration, optimism, empathy, integrative thinking, and experimentalism. I liked this insight from Design Thinking by Tim Brown because he went into detail about what a designer needs to be. I really enjoyed the Design and Thinking documentary. From that I took the idea that design is not design thinking. Design thinking is more of the creative process it takes to solve a problem, while design is focused more on the aesthetics of a product.