Design for dreams not needs


Everybody has a dream. Everybody has the need to create a legacy. Once you help people move past the fears and anxieties that bury those dreams, their imagination is stirred. They begin to ask themselves, “What would I want for my children, for my society, for my country?” and that hidden seed of a dream is uncovered. ~Sonia Manchanda, Dream:In Design for dreams not needs.  Sonia Manchanda’s memorable phrase immediately captured my imagination when I […] Read more »

Better human understanding, not big data, is the future of business

performance improvements seeing what others dont

“The idea that business is strictly a numbers affair has always struck me as preposterous. For one thing, I’ve never been particularly good at numbers, but I think I’ve done a reasonable job with feelings. And I’m convinced that it is feelings – and feelings alone – that account for the success of the Virgin brand in all of its myriad forms.” Richard Branson Data driven marketing. That phrase is used as if it means […] Read more »

The future of business is beautiful


 “The human soul is hungry for beauty: we seek it everywhere – in landscape, music, art, clothes, furniture, gardening, companionship, love, religion and in ourselves. When we desire the Beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming. Some of our most wonderful memories are of beautiful places where we felt immediately at home. We feel most alive in the presence of the Beautiful for it meets the needs of our soul…  to awaken beauty is the […] Read more »

CIOs must become design thinkers

Image source: Restarting Britain 2, Design and Public Service. The Design Ladder is a registered trademark of the Danish Design Centre.

Social media’s rise has drastically altered industries from journalism to health care, altering virtually everything we do and how we do it… Corporations, schools, hospitals, and virtually all large organizations need to adapt to social technology – or be replaced… The US military’s term for [this] kind of environment is VUCA—“Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous.” The acronym came out of the US Army War College in the late nineties to describe the new operating conditions that […] Read more »

Running away versus running towards

You Can't Iterate on a Burning Platform, Scrivle

The best in art and life comes from a center –  something urgent and powerful, an idea or emotion that insists on its being. From that insistence, a shape emerges and creates its structure out of passion. If you begin with a structure, you have to make up the passion, and that’s very hard to do. Roger Rosenblatt Burning platforms are effective at getting people to act because they trigger strong emotions. And emotions get […] Read more »

Taking a people-centric approach to the design and deployment of enterprise software

There’s been a regrettable lack of discussion on the challenges of designing usable, engaging experiences for enterprise software. Often the business problems solved by B2B vendors were compelling enough that whether or not they were easy to use organizations were willing to put up with poor design. Companies purchasing the software have traditionally been more demanding of features rather than good GUI. The pace of change is also slower in organizations which means trends that […] Read more »

Designing for a holistic customer experience – thinking outside the product

Economies right now are fundamentally becoming less about physical objects and more about creating ideas and experiences… We now have a new challenge: we have to meet a new emphasis on improving experiences instead of objects, and we need to improve the flow of interactions between customers and service providers. – Daniel Pink, Business Thinking in the Knowledge Economy If economies are fundamentally changing to be about ideas and experiences, how do we prepare for […] Read more »

Build design thinking into organizational DNA to infuse delight into customer’s lives

3M Design Center

  In Designing in hostile territory I talked about injecting design thinking into your organization using a subversive, bottom-up approach. But to really benefit from design thinking, to create products and services that delight customers, an organization has to build design into their DNA, like many of the world’s most innovative companies have done. Some of these companies have a long history of design. Others have embraced it more recently as an underpinning for organizational transformation. For each, […] Read more »

Complexity as opportunity – designing in hostile territory

The tactics outlined in the fun little book Selling Usability: User Experience Infiltration Tactics provide you with a subversive's bottom up guide to sneaking user experience into an organization. Like Roger Martin in his article Designing in Hostile Territory, John Rhodes challenges us to apply our skills as designers to the challenge of integrating design into an organization. Replace user experience with design thinking in the tactics outlined below and you're good to go. Read more »

Use design thinking to extract the threads from the giant hairball

[Design thinking] is the ability to create new options and build new products, services and experiences that gives design so much power. It is the ability to understand deeply cultures from digital social media networks to small villages in southern India that gives design its power. – Bruce Nussbaum I first came across the term design thinking a several years ago, through the writing of Tim Brown and Bruce Nussbaum, two early champions of the […] Read more »