I wasn’t able to attend tonight’s Sydney UX Book Club where the topic for discussion was “Change by Design” by Tim Brown, however I read the book and wanted to share some of my thoughts and out-takes.
As the book-jacket states, “this is not a book by designers for designers”, instead it presents the concept of design thinking and provides a contextual look at how it can change business, services, and products.
As a brief overview, some of the suggestions from “Change by Design” are that:
- briefs should evolve by defining initial constraints and goals that are revised as the understanding grows.
- observing people on the margins or extremes of your audience can provide valuable insights.
- inspiration, ideation and implementation are overlapping stages during a project.
- divergent and convergent thinking are required for creating and making choices.
- evaluating innovation with a “Ways to Grow” matrix demonstrates how a business can grow through incremental, evolutionary and revolutionary innovation.
- a good place to begin design challenges is by asking “How might we..?”
Here are some of the quotes I found particularly interesting:
Today, rather than enlist designers to make an already developed idea more attractive, the most progressive companies are challenging them to create ideas at the outset of the development process. The former role is tactical; it builds on what exists and usually moves it one step further. The latter is strategic; it pulls “design” out of the studio and unleashes its disruptive, game-changing potential.
The natural evolution from design doing to design thinking reflects the growing recognition on the part of today’s business leaders that design has become too important to be left to designers.
The willing and even enthusiastic acceptance of competing constraints is the foundation of design thinking.
A culture that believes that it is better to ask forgiveness afterward rather than permission before, that rewards people for success but gives them permission to fail, has removed one of the main obstacles to the formation of new ideas.
The tools of conventional market research can be useful in pointing toward incremental improvements, but they will never lead to those rule-breaking, game-changing, paradigm-shifting breakthroughs that leave us scratching our heads and wondering why nobody ever thought of them before.
Our real goal … is helping people to articulate the latent needs they may not even know they have …
… observing “analogous” situations … will often jolt us out of the frame of reference that makes it so difficult to see the larger picture.
… a successful prototype is not one that works flawlessly; it is one that teaches us something …
Design is about delivering a satisfying experience. Design thinking is about creating a multipolar experience in which everyone has the opportunity to participate in the conversation.
Instead of accepting a given constraint, ask whether this is even the right problem to be solving. … A willingness to ask “Why?” … will improve the chances of spending energy on the right problems.
Curse deadlines all you want, but remember that time can be our most creative constraint.