Design Thinking

21 Apr 2008 - 10:08am
6 years ago
33 replies
883 reads
SemanticWill
2007

Has anyone else read this month's ID magazine article on Design Thinking?
Peter M @ Adaptive is quoted...

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel +1.617.281.1281 || wkevans4 at gmail.com
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments

23 Apr 2008 - 1:24pm
Christopher Fahey
2005

Will Evans asked:
> Has anyone else read this month's ID magazine article on Design
> Thinking?
> Peter M @ Adaptive is quoted...

I read it and wholly agree with Rick Poyner's sentiments -- that
"design thinking" is being used (a) to permit designers to willingly
degrade and devalue themselves, their skills, and their processes and
(b) to permit "business people" to re-assert their traditional
authority over emerging design-driven businesses by coating their
rhetoric with the language and ideas of design.

It also seems, however, that Poyner is unfairly using both Adam
Greenfield and Peter Merholz as punching bags to prove his point.
While both of them advocate more conscientious design less beholden,
or at least not exclusively beholden, to stylization, and both of them
differ significantly on many other design issues, neither of them
would (I think) want to be thrown into the cynical and ironically
designer-hostile Nussbaum/d.School camp in which "design is too
important to be left to designers".

-Cf

Christopher Fahey
____________________________
Behavior
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com
me: http://www.graphpaper.com

On Apr 21, 2008, at 11:08 AM, Will Evans wrote:

> Has anyone else read this month's ID magazine article on Design
> Thinking?
> Peter M @ Adaptive is quoted...
>
>
> --
> ~ will
>
> "Where you innovate, how you innovate,
> and what you innovate are design problems"
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Will Evans | User Experience Architect
> tel +1.617.281.1281 || wkevans4 at gmail.com
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

23 Apr 2008 - 1:49pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Where does that come from? I have never heard Nussbaum or any one else of
credible substance state this. This sounds like a large heaping of angst
talking to me.

Mark

> ...the cynical and ironically
> designer-hostile Nussbaum/d.School camp in which "design is too
> important to be left to designers".
>
> -Cf
>
> Christopher Fahey
> ____________________________
> Behavior
> biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com
> me: http://www.graphpaper.com
>
>
>
>
> On Apr 21, 2008, at 11:08 AM, Will Evans wrote:
>
> > Has anyone else read this month's ID magazine article on Design
> > Thinking?
> > Peter M @ Adaptive is quoted...
> >
> >
> > --
> > ~ will
> >
> > "Where you innovate, how you innovate,
> > and what you innovate are design problems"
> >
> >
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Will Evans | User Experience Architect
> > tel +1.617.281.1281 || wkevans4 at gmail.com
> >
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>

23 Apr 2008 - 6:48pm
Daniel
2004

Personally I think it's important for designers to own and evolve the
discussion around design thinking.

On the topic of (generic) innovation - well, that's a wider arena
that is not necessarily owned by designers. Generic innovation, (if
you define it as the staging of value-gain and value-loss
prevention), may be attained through various methods that are not
necessarily limited to design.

I think talking about innovation as if it were one thing is not very
helpful . There are different methods for innovating and as a result
there are different innovation types. An innovator matches each to the
specific type of problem/goal.

Where, how and what you innovate can be innovation challenges solved
through the framework of design.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=28293

23 Apr 2008 - 2:02pm
joe bling
2007

right on...

"The business use—the specific goal that motivated the client or sponsor to
> initially fund the work—often fades away, sometimes quickly," he says. "In
> some ways, you might argue that aesthetic value—for an enduring design, at
> least—is the only lasting value, since over time functional needs can change
> and business moves on to the next goal." Approaching heresy at a time when
> aesthetic quality is the last thing we are supposed to consider, Bierut goes
> so far as to modestly propose that "just making something look nicer" or
> "replacing something ugly with something not so ugly" is an admirable goal
> for designers.

As Dori Tunstall, design teacher and anthropologist, says: "There is an
> inherent intelligence to beauty, which is about the depth and passion we
> feel for the world." Design thinkers like to wax lyrical about the elegance
> of their strategic thinking as a form of design in its own right, as though
> this could ever be a substitute. They can keep it— in 2108, if there are
> museums then, no one will queue to see a strategy. Give me something
> tangible, something brilliant and extraordinary that illuminates our
> perception of what human life can be. For that, we still need designers.

25 Apr 2008 - 3:43pm
Christopher Fahey
2005

I wrote:
>> ...the cynical and ironically
>> designer-hostile Nussbaum/d.School camp in which "design is too
>> important to be left to designers".

mark schraad wrote:
> Where does that come from? I have never heard Nussbaum or any one
> else of credible substance state this. This sounds like a large
> heaping of angst talking to me.

I don't want to be too angsty about it, since I think the design vs.
business thing is already breaking apart... But to me it's hard to
miss the hosstility towards design, albeit couched in backhanded
praise, in most of the canonical design thinking texts. It's a
pervasive attitude that designers are interesting but intellectually
incomplete people, whose skills may be useful to a business but who
are also an obstacle to business success if allowed to run wild. We
have great ideas, but we are too focused on our egos and our stylistic
predilections. We are unable to see or understand big picture business
strategies.

Business strategists, on the other hand, can *use* our abductive
thinking, our trial and error process, etc, but only so far. They can
learn to manage us, and they can learn to think like us for difficult
innovation and management problems, but I don't actually see (in the
d.school milieu) any call for companies to draw their strategic
leadership talent from the world of practicing designers. This
omission is an insult.

There is basically little to no invitation for actual designers to
become business players. Designers -- we, the people who practice
design and actually design things -- are simply not an integral part
of the design thinking school of thought.

Sometimes it's more than omission. Sometimes they are even actively
hostile, painting us as obstacles. Nussbaum even says so, directly (if
a little facetiously). And the designers who read it lap it up:
"Are Designers the Enemy of Design?"
http://tinyurl.com/29q667

-Cf

Christopher Fahey
____________________________
Behavior
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com
me: http://www.graphpaper.com

25 Apr 2008 - 4:00pm
Kontra
2007

Christopher Fahey:

> Sometimes they are even actively hostile, painting us as obstacles. Nussbaum
> even says so, directly (if a little facetiously).

Agreed.

When that unfortunate article first came out I had written a series of articles:

Managing design vs. managing designers vs. managing business
http://counternotions.com/2007/10/10/managing-design/

The new managerial class: cure for design?
http://counternotions.com/2007/10/13/cure-for-design/

Compartmentalized design: Designers emasculated
http://counternotions.com/2007/10/15/designers-emasculated/

--
Kontra
http://counternotions.com

25 Apr 2008 - 9:50pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

On Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 2:43 PM, Christopher Fahey <
chris.fahey at behaviordesign.com> wrote:

> There is basically little to no invitation for actual designers to
> become business players. Designers -- we, the people who practice
> design and actually design things -- are simply not an integral part
> of the design thinking school of thought.
>
> Sometimes it's more than omission. Sometimes they are even actively
> hostile, painting us as obstacles. Nussbaum even says so, directly (if
> a little facetiously). And the designers who read it lap it up:
> "Are Designers the Enemy of Design?"
> http://tinyurl.com/29q667
>

A quote from the article:

"Back to the backlash against design. Designers suck because they are also
IGNORANT, especially about sustainability. The rap against designers is that
they design CRAP that hurts the planet. That's the argument."

Designers might be ignorant about many things, just like business people
are. However that's one mindbogglingly juvenile (ignorant?) argument.
Designers *are paid* to drive the consumption, just like salesmen are paid
for sales -- should we blame sales clerks at Target for luck of sustainable
consumption?

Here is cute, yet surprisingly insightful explanation of current state of
affairs with sustainability: http://www.storyofstuff.com/.

The gist is articulated at 12 min: "The ultimate purpose of American economy
is to produce more consumer goods" -- the economic advisor to president
Eisenhower. "People should not be afraid to shop" -- president Bush.
Designers have not invented that little golden consumption arrow in the
clip.

--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is design of time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

25 Apr 2008 - 10:12pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

Of course designers can be directed to produce sustainable solutions.
Here are a few highly effective examples from The Onion:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvz_xzaMvCQ

On Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 8:50 PM, Oleh Kovalchuke <tangospring at gmail.com>
wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 2:43 PM, Christopher Fahey <
> chris.fahey at behaviordesign.com> wrote:
>
> > There is basically little to no invitation for actual designers to
> > become business players. Designers -- we, the people who practice
> > design and actually design things -- are simply not an integral part
> > of the design thinking school of thought.
> >
> > Sometimes it's more than omission. Sometimes they are even actively
> > hostile, painting us as obstacles. Nussbaum even says so, directly (if
> > a little facetiously). And the designers who read it lap it up:
> > "Are Designers the Enemy of Design?"
> > http://tinyurl.com/29q667
> >
>
>
> A quote from the article:
>
> "Back to the backlash against design. Designers suck because they are also
> IGNORANT, especially about sustainability. The rap against designers is that
> they design CRAP that hurts the planet. That's the argument."
>
> Designers might be ignorant about many things, just like business people
> are. However that's one mindbogglingly juvenile (ignorant?) argument.
> Designers *are paid* to drive the consumption, just like salesmen are paid
> for sales -- should we blame sales clerks at Target for luck of sustainable
> consumption?
>
> Here is cute, yet surprisingly insightful explanation of current state of
> affairs with sustainability: http://www.storyofstuff.com/.
>
> The gist is articulated at 12 min: "The ultimate purpose of American
> economy is to produce more consumer goods" -- the economic advisor to
> president Eisenhower. "People should not be afraid to shop" -- president
> Bush. Designers have not invented that little golden consumption arrow in
> the clip.
>
> --
> Oleh Kovalchuke
> Interaction Design is design of time
> http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm
>

25 Apr 2008 - 10:37pm
Uday Gajendar
2007

> business thing is already breaking apart... But to me it's hard to
> miss the hosstility towards design, albeit couched in backhanded
> praise, in most of the canonical design thinking texts.

Can you cite some specific authors, titles, and passages please? It's
a pretty broad statement begging misinterpretation.

(for me, "canonical design thinking texts" means Alexander's Pattern
Language, Simon's Sciences of the Artificial, Margolin/Buchanan's
Discovering Design, etc...and they're not "hostile" to design!)

Uday Gajendar
Sr. Interaction Designer
Voice Technology Group
Cisco | San Jose
------------------------------
ugajenda at cisco.com
+1 408 902 2137

25 Apr 2008 - 7:42pm
Scott Berkun
2008

> "Christopher Fahey" wrote:
>
> There is basically little to no invitation for actual designers to
> become business players. Designers -- we, the people who practice
> design and actually design things -- are simply not an integral part
> of the design thinking school of thought.

I followed much of your argument until the mention of invitation, which gave
me pause. A much better question is why most designers (completely
unsupported claim based on my anecdotal observations) who start companies
start design consultancies rather than complete entrepreneurial concerns
(e.g. a software or web-service company). There is no need for invitation or
permission from anyone, business pundit or design-hating CEO, if a person
starts a new company themselves. Programmers figured this out in the 1980s
and the birth of many high profile companies of the last two decades was
seeded by talented individuals fleeing companies that ignored their talents.

Would you make the same observation? Namely that few designers even attempt
to create their own companies in the industries that frustrate them? If so,
why do you think this is? And if not, can you offer some examples for
reference? Those examples would be an awesome place to start if the goal is
to teach future designers how to make design a more powerful part of the
business world.

Cheers,

-Scott

Scott Berkun
www.scottberkun.com

26 Apr 2008 - 5:26pm
Victor Lombardi
2003

> > "Christopher Fahey" wrote:
> >
> > There is basically little to no invitation for actual designers to
> > become business players. Designers -- we, the people who practice
> > design and actually design things -- are simply not an integral part
> > of the design thinking school of thought.

Design thinking as described by design theorists over the past few
decades has the property of being highly integrative. If it comes to
fruition we'll not think of participants in a binary way as "business
people" and "designers", we'll just be creators. And to get there we
might find a lot of freedom in abandoning these categories and in
practice just start doing both, because we can.

Victor

26 Apr 2008 - 6:13pm
Kontra
2007

Scott Berkun:
> I followed much of your argument until the mention of invitation, which gave
> me pause. A much better question is why most designers (completely
> unsupported claim based on my anecdotal observations) who start companies
> start design consultancies rather than complete entrepreneurial concerns
> (e.g. a software or web-service company).

This is a bit of a tangential discussion: you can also ask why CEOs do
not quit their day jobs and start their own design companies. It puts
the onus on designers to somehow 'prove' their managerial/financial
chops to be invited to the proverbial table. What's wrong then with
asking the same of the CEOs and the managerial staff to prove their
design chops? As long as the strategic landscape is so
territorialized, there will be tension.

"Design thinking" applies by definition to non-designers, otherwise it
would imply that designers aren't in the habit of (or capable of)
thinking. The sad truth is that the majority of designers don't have
much managerial or financial experience and those (non-designers) who
do have them are oblivious to design sense and sensibilities.

--
Kontra
http://counternotions.com

26 Apr 2008 - 9:06pm
Scott Berkun
2008

> From: "Kontra" <counternotions at gmail.com>
>
> This is a bit of a tangential discussion: you can also ask why CEOs do
> not quit their day jobs and start their own design companies. It puts
> the onus on designers to somehow 'prove' their managerial/financial
> chops to be invited to the proverbial table. What's wrong then with
> asking the same of the CEOs and the managerial staff to prove their
> design chops? As long as the strategic landscape is so
> territorialized, there will be tension.

A CEO does not have to prove his or her design chops, or marketing chops, or
engineering chops, since they are the one in charge and they are free to do
all kinds of smart and stupid things. The wise admit their ignorances, but
the wise are rare.

My point is that instead of waiting for anyone's invitation, or killing
yourself trying to convince a CEO or VP of anything, any person can choose
to prove they know a better way to do it and go set out on their own. My
observation, which you're free to disprove since i have just that, an
observation, is that few designers choose to do this: I've worked in
interaction design for 14 years and can think of only a handful, and most of
those would likely describe themselves as engineers first. Yes, it's a
tangent but I suspect any theory for why few designers start
non-consultancies is useful to the questions raised on the thread so far (As
would be examples contrary to my observations).

I just don't see the point in complaining about not being invited - invite
yourself. If you start your own thing you can make yourself the person who
does the inviting, instead of the other way around, and if a
non-territorializied strategic landscape is what you desire, it will likely
only come by your own hand.

-Scott

Scott Berkun
www.scottberkun.com

26 Apr 2008 - 10:24pm
Kontra
2007

Scott Berkun:
> A CEO does not have to prove his or her design chops, or marketing chops, or
> engineering chops...

Those days are (gradually) coming to a close.

Palm CEO Ed Colligan on iPhone: "We've learned and struggled for a few
years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,'' he said. "PC
guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just
walk in."

The then Motorola CEO Ed Zander on iPhone: "How do you deal with
that?" Zander was asked at the Software 2007 conference Wednesday in
Santa Clara, Calif. Zander quickly retorted, "How do they deal with
us?"

Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo on iPod shuffle: We're expecting a good
fight but they're coming out with something that's five generations
older. It's our first generation MuVo One product feature, without
display, just have a (shuffle feature). We had that — that's a
four-year-old product. So I think the whole industry will just laugh
at it, because the flash people — it's worse than the cheapest Chinese
player. Even the cheap, cheap Chinese brand today has display and has
FM. They don't have this kind of thing, and they expect to come out
with a fight; I think it's a non-starter to begin with.

Just three examples of your classic CEOs tone deaf wrt design.
Destroyed in the marketplace.

> I just don't see the point in complaining about not being invited - invite
> yourself.

I'm not complaining. I've also run a company. The point is that
quitting a corporate organization run by design-averse people to
establish their own firms cannot possibly be a viable solution for all
dissatisfied designers. Again, not all lawyers/accountants/etc quit to
set up their companies. I'm all for restructuring corporate America,
too, but sometimes/most of the time one has to work in it.

The reaction is to the obvious double standard whereby designers are
called to justify their existence where as
CEOs/accountants/lawyers/etc are not. This is aggravated by the notion
that a few courses on 'design thinking' can be grafted onto an MBA to
obviate designers/design.

--
Kontra
http://counternotions.com

27 Apr 2008 - 11:02am
SemanticWill
2007

This issue is interesting given the recent news that Adaptive Path is
looking for a CEO. An interesting note is that they don't explicitly say
they are looking for someone with "Design Thinking/Strategic Design" skills.
In fact - nowhere in the posting on AP's blog to the current leadership team
mention design.

"We want someone with a unique mix of business experience, operational
savvy, and leadership qualities. We'd like someone to help us build on our
successes, and make the most of our exceptional opportunities, without
sacrificing the culture and values that have made our success possible.

We figured there's a good chance that Adaptive Path's ideal CEO either
already reads this blog, or knows someone who does. So if you think you know
the right person for this job (even if that's you), send an email to bryan
dot mason at adaptivepath dot com. We'd love to hear from you!"
Business, Operations, Leadership. That's what they are looking for. Wouldn't
it be interesting if they could find a person with those qualities who comes
from a design background?

On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 11:24 PM, Kontra <counternotions at gmail.com> wrote:

> Scott Berkun:
> > A CEO does not have to prove his or her design chops, or marketing
> chops, or
> > engineering chops...
>
> --

27 Apr 2008 - 5:47pm
Peter Merholz
2004

Well, now I definitely must join the thread.

A few comments throughtout:

I think Rick's original article was pretty much full of it, and little
more than an expression of small-minded designer thinking. The thing
that most amused me is that after he quotes me (out of context, and
with no link to my original words), he then writes, "Enough of those
pesky design stars with an overinflated belief in their own creative
vision!"

And he says it as if he's in favor of design stars with overinflated
beliefs. Which is, of course, my problem with folks like him.

I think Scott had it exactly right when he called out that designers
are rarely, if ever, the heads of companies other than consultancies.
And that we don't take the risks to start capital-intensive businesses
that require significant upfront investment. Consultancies are much
safer businesses to start, because you can start small, they make
money immediately, and there is little risk if they fail.

And to Will's statement:
> This issue is interesting given the recent news that Adaptive Path is
> looking for a CEO. An interesting note is that they don't explicitly
> say
> they are looking for someone with "Design Thinking/Strategic Design"
> skills.
> In fact - nowhere in the posting on AP's blog to the current
> leadership team
> mention design.
...
> Business, Operations, Leadership. That's what they are looking for.
> Wouldn't
> it be interesting if they could find a person with those qualities
> who comes
> from a design background?

We explicit do NOT want someone from a design background. If Adaptive
Path has a gap, it's in our business background. We have plenty of
designers/creatives/practitioners who appreciate business. What we
don't have, and what we want, is the business person who appreciates
the impact that design can have on the world. We're looking to
diversify the minds that power the business -- why simply hire another
person who thinks like us?

--peter

27 Apr 2008 - 7:02pm
Christopher Fahey
2005

On Apr 25, 2008, at 11:37 PM, Uday Gajendar wrote:
>> business thing is already breaking apart... But to me it's hard to
>> miss the hosstility towards design, albeit couched in backhanded
>> praise, in most of the canonical design thinking texts.
>
> Can you cite some specific authors, titles, and passages please?
> It's a pretty broad statement begging misinterpretation.
> (for me, "canonical design thinking texts" means Alexander's Pattern
> Language, Simon's Sciences of the Artificial, Margolin/Buchanan's
> Discovering Design, etc...and they're not "hostile" to design!)

You may think of those as "design thinking" in a general sense, but
AFAIK they are not part of the "Design Thinking" canon. Design
Thinking is a school of thought originated and championed in business
schools and among management thinkers. It is explicitly not a design
discipline, and design skills are not part of the body of knowledge.
The word "design" is used as an analogy between the way designers
(supposedly) think and how business managers should think in order to
best cultivate a culture of innovation.

As for citations, Google "Design Thinking" and start reading. You'll
see praise for the way designers think, but little to no mention of
the value of design itself, much less the value of designers. In
omission alone, this is an insult.

-Cf

Christopher Fahey
____________________________
Behavior
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com
me: http://www.graphpaper.com

27 Apr 2008 - 7:41pm
Jeff Howard
2004

For people who aren't reflexively hostile toward this sort of thing,
Richard Boland's "Managing as Designing" is a great place to
start. It represents a variety of disciplines and includes essays by
Frank Gehry, Richard Buchanan from the CMU School of Design and Peter
Coughlan from IDEO. I wasn't insulted by it in the least.

http://www.amazon.com/Managing-as-Designing-Richard-Boland/dp/0804746745

// jeff

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=28293

27 Apr 2008 - 7:55pm
Christopher Fahey
2005

On Apr 25, 2008, at 8:42 PM, Scott Berkun wrote:
>> "Christopher Fahey" wrote:
>> There is basically little to no invitation for actual designers to
>> become business players. Designers -- we, the people who practice
>> design and actually design things -- are simply not an integral part
>> of the design thinking school of thought.
>
> I followed much of your argument until the mention of invitation,
> which gave
> me pause. A much better question is why most designers (completely
> unsupported claim based on my anecdotal observations) who start
> companies
> start design consultancies rather than complete entrepreneurial
> concerns
> (e.g. a software or web-service company). There is no need for
> invitation or
> permission from anyone, business pundit or design-hating CEO, if a
> person
> starts a new company themselves.
> ...
> Would you make the same observation? Namely that few designers even
> attempt
> to create their own companies in the industries that frustrate them?

This is an *excellent* question. At first blush, I thought you had me
there. It seems evident that few accomplished designers seem to make
the transition into corporate leadership -- and instead, as you say,
they simply start design-focused service companies.

But, if you'll indulge me a little, let's broaden the category of
"design" to mean all of those people who are directly responsible for
the user or customer experience of a product or service. The people
who dream up and decide what the touchpoints will look and feel like.
These people are distinct from those people who are responsible for
the management of a business, the business's finances, the marketing
and sales of the product or services, legal, infrastructure, and other
critical business functions that don't immediately touch the user
experience.

I would go so far as to include many types of engineers in this
category, especially if you consider the fact that, until recently,
for many products there has been little or no distinction between
design and engineering.

If you broaden the definition of design in this way, then it's clear
that countless companies were founded by and/or eventually helmed by
designers.

George Eastman (Peter Merholz's hero!) was a consummate user
experience designer -- he was an engineer who in his youth merely
sought to build products for people to use, as were many other
corporate titans of the last century. Many of the heads of the biggest
entertainment companies are people who rose up through production,
making experiences for audiences. The fashion industry is filled with
corporate leaders who are literally designers who built global empires
from their sketchbooks.

On the other hand, let's ask another question: How many Fortune 500
CEOs are card-carrying MBAs? According to BusinessWeek, less than a
third. It seems that what it takes to run a corporation is explicitly
not something you have to learn in business school. Maybe
understanding the widgets themselves, and how customers use them, is
(and always has been) a valuable skill in the CEO. How well have CEOs
performed who know a lot about mergers and acquisitions but nothing
about the widgets the company actually makes?

One of the issues here is simply the human lifespan and the paths we
take as professionals. To build a business often takes years, and
several failures and false starts. For someone deeply interested in
making great design happen and building great user experiences,
sometimes the most reliable path to success is through increasing
their worth and skills as a designer, moving from design position to
design position, starting a design consultancy. Those who do make the
transition into business leadership may usually do so early in their
careers, before establishing themselves as a professional designer, so
we don't actually notice it when a real designer starts or assumes
control of a business.

Finally, to get back to the Design Thinking "invitation" issue: I
don't mean to sound like a poor hapless designer who is stewing in
resentment over not being invited to the grownup business table (in
fact, I am invited fairly often). I was merely objecting at a gut,
emotional level to the seeming *arrogance* of the Design Thinking
school of thought in their appropriation of the *style of design* but
not the *substance*.

My point is that Design Thinking may not ultimately be relevant to
designers at all -- for any decent professional designer to, say, take
a course in Design Thinking would be like giving training wheels to
Lance Armstrong. What designers need is business experience, and as
you say we need to reach out and grab it more often instead of waiting
for it to be given to us. Whether Design Thinking is helpful for a CEO
without design experience is another matter, one on which I have no
opinion.

Cheers,
-Cf

Christopher Fahey
____________________________
Behavior
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com
me: http://www.graphpaper.com

27 Apr 2008 - 8:24pm
Mark Schraad
2006

I would second Jeff's recommendation. This is an excellent book.

Mark

On Apr 27, 2008, at 5:41 PM, Jeff Howard wrote:

> For people who aren't reflexively hostile toward this sort of thing,
> Richard Boland's "Managing as Designing" is a great place to
> start. It represents a variety of disciplines and includes essays by
> Frank Gehry, Richard Buchanan from the CMU School of Design and Peter
> Coughlan from IDEO. I wasn't insulted by it in the least.
>
> http://www.amazon.com/Managing-as-Designing-Richard-Boland/dp/
> 0804746745
>
> // jeff
>
>

27 Apr 2008 - 11:02pm
Uday Gajendar
2007

On Apr 27, 2008, at 5:41 PM, Jeff Howard wrote:
> For people who aren't reflexively hostile toward this sort of thing,
> Richard Boland's "Managing as Designing" is a great place to

Thanks Jeff, I'd forgotten this title when replying earlier...I read
it while back, and wasn't insulted at all either. Nor by Jeanne
Liedtke's articles or Roger Martin's talks. Nor by Tony Golsby-Smith's
practice in sydney. Nor by Pat Whitney's annual strategy con at ID, etc.

I guess I'm just not as touchy about it :-)

-uday

28 Apr 2008 - 8:11am
Jared M. Spool
2003

Here in New England, we have a saying:

If the glass is half full, you must be an optimist.
If the glass is half empty, well, you're probably a Kennedy.

This feels like a half-full/half-empty kinda thing.

On the one hand, I see where CF is coming from: The move in business
is to acknowledge there is something special about design and that it
needs to be part of business planning and strategy. Yet, there is very
little (if any) discussion about the strategic and business talents
that lay dormant amongst many designers. For those with those talents,
that's got to be very frustrating.

On the other hand, I see a huge change in business: Design and (in
particular) experience design are now regular conversations in the
boardroom. They are definitely incomplete and flawed conversations.
But the conversations are there. And this is new -- it wasn't
happening 15, 10, or even really 5 years ago. This is good.

Modern business has been running the way they've been running for more
than 150 years. Their structure hasn't really changed in that time.

Over history of business, you can see periods where the corporation
awoke to new perspectives. The mass-production movement of the 40s and
50s. The quality movement of the 70s and 80s. These are just two
examples.

In each case, it took close to two decades for the bulk of
organizations to realize this was the only real way to remain
competitive. We're just at the start of this period for a design
movement. I expect it won't be common thinking for at least another 10
years.

This is good news for those folks who do understand business strategy
and design. The demand for talent at senior levels is only going to
grow. And now is the time to really get a handle on how to make the
two parts fit together.

That's my $0.02 on the "design thinking" thingy.

Jared

Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks

28 Apr 2008 - 8:19am
SemanticWill
2007

"The thing that most amused me is that after he quotes me (out of context,
and
with no link to my original words), he then writes, "Enough of those
pesky design stars with an overinflated belief in their own creative
vision!"

Peter - when I read the article - and saw your quote - I was so flummoxed,
that I was sure that he took you out of context or misquoted you. I have yet
to meet, in 14 years doing this - a designer who is only concerned with
making things pretty. Elegant, simple, clean, maybe - but every one, myself
included, wants to be involved right up front, before business requirements,
during competitive analysis. The boggest complain is that their involvement
comes at the end, not at the beginning.

On Sun, Apr 27, 2008 at 6:47 PM, Peter Merholz <peterme at peterme.com> wrote:

>
>
> We explicit do NOT want someone from a design background. If Adaptive
> Path has a gap, it's in our business background. We have plenty of
> designers/creatives/practitioners who appreciate business. What we
> don't have, and what we want, is the business person who appreciates
> the impact that design can have on the world. We're looking to
> diversify the minds that power the business -- why simply hire another
> person who thinks like us?
>
> --peter

The more I thought about this last night, the more I thought about AP's
unique situation - filled with designers. Perhaps to move to the next level
- what you decided you all needed was someone completely different. Someone
that comes from a very different industry.

And to Scott:
" I just don't see the point in complaining about not being invited - invite
yourself. If you start your own thing you can make yourself the person who
does the inviting, instead of the other way around, and if a
non-territorializied strategic landscape is what you desire, it will likely
only come by your own hand."

This is actually something we, as designers, can do to fix. Again, thinking
last night about this subject more - and thinking about deliverables in a
typical ucd process that involves business requirements, comp analysis,
stakeholder interviews - isn't the onous on us as designers to learn
business. Not just a primer in the lingo - but to sit down and take some
courses. How can we gather business requirements, if we have no idea
what/how/why a business exists within it's ecosystem? How can we do
completive analysis (which is more than just looking at a competitor's
website), if we haven't read Porter's "Competitive Advantage."? Most, if not
all companies have a marketing department, but not a UX department. How can
we effectively steer the debate/discussion away from
demographic/psychographic research using things like Claritas and focus
groups - if we haven't studied marketing to any great extent?

I am not saying that we all need to get out there and get MBAs (it took me
almost 4 years of night school to get mine - worth it - but I thought about
quitting just about once a month) -- but we need to bust our butts to prove
that we understand what the business folks are talking about - instead of
complaining that we aren't at the table. If not - we surrender to the
managers that think they can wrap a process and methodology and moniker
around design - and think they can manage it with Design Thinking. As if
that's possible. Design Thinking without designers is a boatload of
HorsePucky (to quote Colonel Potter).

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

28 Apr 2008 - 8:52am
Mark Schraad
2006

The new book out by A.G. Lafley and Ram Charan, "The Game-Changer: How You
Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth with Innovation" is telling in itself.
While I have not yet cracked it, Langley has a design background and
internally at P&G he promotes design as a key strategy and points to it as
an important ingredient in the company's recent success. The book company
must have felt that using the work 'innovation' would trigger many more
sales than the word design.
Running around a old school hierarchal corporation talking about the virtues
of design might work for the CEO, but for the rest of us we just have to be
much smarter than this. Roger Martin speak of this often... learn to talk
business. Understand what maters to business people... and translate. Most
designers are pretty good at translating and story telling, but for some
reason we bristle when it comes to doing the same for our story. Certainly
there is much business can gain and learn from design. But frankly, we need
them to recognize us more than they need us.

If designers aren't motivated or able to capitalize on the sweets spots of
process and strategy... you can not blame those from business for
recognizing those same traits and putting them to use. We have no one to
blame but ourselves when our thunder is stolen.

Mark

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 9:11 AM, Jared M. Spool <jspool at uie.com> wrote:

> Here in New England, we have a saying:
>
> If the glass is half full, you must be an optimist.
> If the glass is half empty, well, you're probably a Kennedy.
>
> This feels like a half-full/half-empty kinda thing.
>
> On the one hand, I see where CF is coming from: The move in business
> is to acknowledge there is something special about design and that it
> needs to be part of business planning and strategy. Yet, there is very
> little (if any) discussion about the strategic and business talents
> that lay dormant amongst many designers. For those with those talents,
> that's got to be very frustrating.
>
> On the other hand, I see a huge change in business: Design and (in
> particular) experience design are now regular conversations in the
> boardroom. They are definitely incomplete and flawed conversations.
> But the conversations are there. And this is new -- it wasn't
> happening 15, 10, or even really 5 years ago. This is good.
>
> Modern business has been running the way they've been running for more
> than 150 years. Their structure hasn't really changed in that time.
>
> Over history of business, you can see periods where the corporation
> awoke to new perspectives. The mass-production movement of the 40s and
> 50s. The quality movement of the 70s and 80s. These are just two
> examples.
>
> In each case, it took close to two decades for the bulk of
> organizations to realize this was the only real way to remain
> competitive. We're just at the start of this period for a design
> movement. I expect it won't be common thinking for at least another 10
> years.
>
> This is good news for those folks who do understand business strategy
> and design. The demand for talent at senior levels is only going to
> grow. And now is the time to really get a handle on how to make the
> two parts fit together.
>
> That's my $0.02 on the "design thinking" thingy.
>
> Jared
>
> Jared M. Spool
> User Interface Engineering
> 510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
> e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
> http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

28 Apr 2008 - 9:05am
Mark Schraad
2006

Hey, I totally get the hostility vibe from business while at work. What I
was missing from the conversation was the hostility towards design from
design thinkers and writers.
Our team demands to be at the table early and when decisions are being made.
We do not ask to come... we have even invited ourselves when we think we can
help. We are very proactive (some might even say aggressive). And frankly,
we have made some enemies in the product and business areas doing so. They
absolutely do not expect us to come at this with any real ownership or
insight. They don't get it when we are upset about being left and they don't
recognize opportunities to solve problems with design. They often see us as
the design (tactical) order desk. A lot of this is years of low
expectations. It is a huge shift for them.
That said, we also have a lot of fans who are not quite sure how to help.
It's not their mission... and they put themselves at some risk by aligning
with design.

We have to be very careful and mindful. It is so easy for us to have the
attitude of, 'of course design can help... where have you been?" Nobody like
to be told they don't understand. Nobody like to feel stupid. We have taken
on the approach Bill Buxton speaks to in Sketching... I now spend more time
crafting presentation and marketing design than I actually do designing. Its
just part of the package in a company with lots of 'opportunity' for
designers.

Mark

On Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 4:43 PM, Christopher Fahey <
chris.fahey at behaviordesign.com> wrote:

> I wrote:
>
> > ...the cynical and ironically
> > > designer-hostile Nussbaum/d.School camp in which "design is too
> > > important to be left to designers".
> > >
> >
> mark schraad wrote:
>
> > Where does that come from? I have never heard Nussbaum or any one else
> > of credible substance state this. This sounds like a large heaping of angst
> > talking to me.
> >
>
>
> I don't want to be too angsty about it, since I think the design vs.
> business thing is already breaking apart... But to me it's hard to miss the
> hosstility towards design, albeit couched in backhanded praise, in most of
> the canonical design thinking texts. It's a pervasive attitude that
> designers are interesting but intellectually incomplete people, whose skills
> may be useful to a business but who are also an obstacle to business success
> if allowed to run wild. We have great ideas, but we are too focused on our
> egos and our stylistic predilections. We are unable to see or understand big
> picture business strategies.
>
> Business strategists, on the other hand, can *use* our abductive thinking,
> our trial and error process, etc, but only so far. They can learn to manage
> us, and they can learn to think like us for difficult innovation and
> management problems, but I don't actually see (in the d.school milieu) any
> call for companies to draw their strategic leadership talent from the world
> of practicing designers. This omission is an insult.
>
> There is basically little to no invitation for actual designers to become
> business players. Designers -- we, the people who practice design and
> actually design things -- are simply not an integral part of the design
> thinking school of thought.
>
> Sometimes it's more than omission. Sometimes they are even actively
> hostile, painting us as obstacles. Nussbaum even says so, directly (if a
> little facetiously). And the designers who read it lap it up:
> "Are Designers the Enemy of Design?"
> http://tinyurl.com/29q667
>
>
> -Cf
>
> Christopher Fahey
> ____________________________
> Behavior
> biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com
> me: http://www.graphpaper.com
>
>
>

28 Apr 2008 - 9:10am
SemanticWill
2007

"Langley has a design background and internally at P&G"

Wasn't Langley the one that brought IDEO into P&G, and turned the entire
culture into a design culture?

>From the Newsweek article about P&G:

"None of these and a thousand other changes at Procter & Gamble, the
nation's No. 1 consumer-products powerhouse, has happened by accident. Until
A. G. Lafley was made CEO in 2000, P&G was in a downward spiral—a classic
case of an aging company with mature, gold-standard brands (think Pampers,
Tide, Crest) suffocating from lack of innovation. One of Lafley's first acts
was to appoint Claudia Kotchka, a 27-year P&G veteran, as the company's
first vice president for design innovation and strategy. And one of
Kotchka's first acts was to embed top designers in brand teams to help
rethink not just the superficials—graphics, packaging, product design—but,
more importantly, how consumers experience products."

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 9:52 AM, mark schraad <mschraad at gmail.com> wrote:

> The new book out by A.G. Lafley and Ram Charan, "The Game-Changer: How You
> Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth with Innovation" is telling in itself.
> While I have not yet cracked it, Langley has a design background and
> internally at P&G he promotes design as a key strategy and points to it as
> an important ingredient in the company's recent success. The book company
> must have felt that using the work 'innovation' would trigger many more
> sales than the word design.
> Running around a old school hierarchal corporation talking about the
> virtues
> of design might work for the CEO, but for the rest of us we just have to
> be
> much smarter than this. Roger Martin speak of this often... learn to talk
> business. Understand what maters to business people... and translate. Most
> designers are pretty good at translating and story telling, but for some
> reason we bristle when it comes to doing the same for our story. Certainly
> there is much business can gain and learn from design. But frankly, we
> need
> them to recognize us more than they need us.
>
> If designers aren't motivated or able to capitalize on the sweets spots of
> process and strategy... you can not blame those from business for
> recognizing those same traits and putting them to use. We have no one to
> blame but ourselves when our thunder is stolen.
>
> Mark
>
>
>

28 Apr 2008 - 10:08am
SemanticWill
2007

O yeah - and
"Some corporations send their top people to IDEO just to open their minds.
P&G CEO Lafley took all the people who report directly to him -- his entire
Global Leadership Council of 40 business-unit heads -- to San Francisco for
a one-day immersion. IDEO promptly sent them all out shopping. The goal was
to have the execs understand consumer experiences so they could come up with
innovations. Lafley's own team went to buy music, first at a small, funky
music store, then at a large retail music store, and finally online. IDEO
team members shopped alongside them to analyze each experience as it
unfolded. Other P&G executives went shopping with poor people so they might
better understand what it means for Third World consumers to buy the
company's products."

>From the BW article:
The Power Of Design
*http://tinyurl.com/ypzf2*

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 10:10 AM, Will Evans <will at semanticfoundry.com>
wrote:

> "Langley has a design background and internally at P&G"
>
> Wasn't Langley the one that brought IDEO into P&G, and turned the entire
> culture into a design culture?
>
> From the Newsweek article about P&G:
>
> "None of these and a thousand other changes at Procter & Gamble, the
> nation's No. 1 consumer-products powerhouse, has happened by accident. Until
> A. G. Lafley was made CEO in 2000, P&G was in a downward spiral—a classic
> case of an aging company with mature, gold-standard brands (think Pampers,
> Tide, Crest) suffocating from lack of innovation. One of Lafley's first acts
> was to appoint Claudia Kotchka, a 27-year P&G veteran, as the company's
> first vice president for design innovation and strategy. And one of
> Kotchka's first acts was to embed top designers in brand teams to help
> rethink not just the superficials—graphics, packaging, product design—but,
> more importantly, how consumers experience products."
>
> On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 9:52 AM, mark schraad <mschraad at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > The new book out by A.G. Lafley and Ram Charan, "The Game-Changer: How
> > You
> > Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth with Innovation" is telling in
> > itself.
> > While I have not yet cracked it, Langley has a design background and
> > internally at P&G he promotes design as a key strategy and points to it
> > as
> > an important ingredient in the company's recent success. The book
> > company
> > must have felt that using the work 'innovation' would trigger many more
> > sales than the word design.
> > Running around a old school hierarchal corporation talking about the
> > virtues
> > of design might work for the CEO, but for the rest of us we just have to
> > be
> > much smarter than this. Roger Martin speak of this often... learn to
> > talk
> > business. Understand what maters to business people... and translate.
> > Most
> > designers are pretty good at translating and story telling, but for some
> > reason we bristle when it comes to doing the same for our story.
> > Certainly
> > there is much business can gain and learn from design. But frankly, we
> > need
> > them to recognize us more than they need us.
> >
> > If designers aren't motivated or able to capitalize on the sweets spots
> > of
> > process and strategy... you can not blame those from business for
> > recognizing those same traits and putting them to use. We have no one to
> > blame but ourselves when our thunder is stolen.
> >
> > Mark
> >
> >
> >
>

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

28 Apr 2008 - 1:21pm
Scott Berkun
2008

>
> "Kontra" wrote: >
> Just three examples of your classic CEOs tone deaf wrt design.
> Destroyed in the marketplace.

All three examples Palm, Motorola and Creative, are competing against Apple,
a company started by two men who quit their jobs at big companies (Steve
Jobs quit Atari and Steve Wozniak quit HP) because they thought they could
make something better on their own, and they were right. They fit the
question I asked before: why do so few designers start their own companies?
Apple is a great example of what can happen when they do (although to be
fair, I doubt Jobs or Wozniak would call themselves designers. Certainly not
when they started).

Palm et. al. are not losing because they are tone deaf to design - they are
losing because someone is making a superior product. All three companies,
in the grand scheme, have been quite succesful.

> I'm not complaining. I've also run a company. The point is that
> quitting a corporate organization run by design-averse people to
> establish their own firms cannot possibly be a viable solution for all
> dissatisfied designers. Again, not all lawyers/accountants/etc quit to
> set up their companies. I'm all for restructuring corporate America,
> too, but sometimes/most of the time one has to work in it.

I agree quiting a job is extreme, but the attitude is not. If the person in
power over your project doesn't grant much power to design, and refuses your
advances for influence, then make it your goal to replace the person in
power - become the general manager for the project, instead of the
specialized manager of designers. It's in general management that strategy
is defined and if more designers would become general managers that's how
change will happen. Even to discuss this as a goal with your general
management boss ("What skills do I need to develop to have a job like
yours?") will reveal tons about their perception of you and assumptions both
sides are making that you can take action on, even if you stay in your
current role.

> The reaction is to the obvious double standard whereby designers are
> called to justify their existence where as CEOs/accountants/lawyers/etc
> are not. This is aggravated by the notion that a few courses on 'design
thinking'
> can be grafted onto an MBA to obviate designers/design.

I don't think it's a double standard. It might be stupid, but it's not a
double standard. Anyone who comes to an established, succesful table and
asks for an equal voice will always be questioned and challenged to prove
their value - this is human nature, and has almost nothing to do with design
or designers. The first marketer, the first tester, the first usability
engineer, the first whatever in any organization will describe the same
tensions. And the sooner designers realize it has less to do with design and
more to do with group dynamics, power and politics the more successful
they'll be in overcoming these challenges.

-Scott

Scott Berkun
www.scottberkun.com

28 Apr 2008 - 12:43pm
Damon Dimmick
2008

Hi Scott,

I agree with a lot of what you are saying, so I won't add much. As far a
Jobs and Wosniak go though, I don't think either is particularly in the
designer category. I think Jobs's particular genius lies in recognizing
good design and scoping out a vision for good design. It also is
-immensely- useful sometimes to have someone who can cut through the
marketing-meetings and endless stakeholder gripe fests to say "This is
how it is going to be, because this is how it works best."

In my company we talk about the idea of "Design as Management" in
projects. I think that's sort of what you are getting at: Design should
helm or at least have serious veto authority when the projects go into
development, ultimately as the advocate of the end user.

Is that sort of touching on your point?
> All three examples Palm, Motorola and Creative, are competing against Apple,
> a company started by two men who quit their jobs at big companies (Steve
> Jobs quit Atari and Steve Wozniak quit HP) because they thought they could
> make something better on their own, and they were right. They fit the
> question I asked before: why do so few designers start their own companies?
> Apple is a great example of what can happen when they do (although to be
> fair, I doubt Jobs or Wozniak would call themselves designers. Certainly not
> when they started).
>
> Palm et. al. are not losing because they are tone deaf to design - they are
> losing because someone is making a superior product. All three companies,
> in the grand scheme, have been quite succesful.
>

28 Apr 2008 - 2:49pm
Kontra
2007

Scott Berkun:
> Apple is a great example of what can happen when they do (although to be
> fair, I doubt Jobs or Wozniak would call themselves designers. Certainly not
> when they started).

I'm baffled by this example. Neither Steve would have called himself a
designer at the time.

> Palm et. al. are not losing because they are tone deaf to design - they are
> losing because someone is making a superior product.

Or put another way, Palm et. al. are losing because they have been
unable to design products superior to their competition!

> All three companies,
> in the grand scheme, have been quite succesful.

After its initial surge, Palm has been a textbook case of
dysfunctional, rudderless tech company, unable even to decide on an
OS. Moto's division that competes directly against Apple is about to
sold, with no buyer in sight. Creative, the company that claimed to
have popularized media players and declared 'war' on Apple, was
reduced to a peripheral maker for iPods. Their stock prices also
reflect their utter failure, in the grand scheme of things.

> I agree quiting a job is extreme, but the attitude is not.

Well, that's a huge difference. I wouldn't want someone to counsel my
kids as a matter of immediate strategy to quit their jobs and start a
company. Most people aren't unfortunately cut out to become instant
entrepreneurs. It'd be irresponsible to encourage them to do so, like
countless infomercials on TV.

> Anyone who comes to an established, succesful table and
> asks for an equal voice will always be questioned and challenged to prove
> their value

If a bank management (of MBAs, brokers and lawyers) has just lost $20
billion in the credit market debacle, that's not because their website
or call center or risk management software wasn't properly designed.
It's because the management decided, on purpose, to ignore or shift
attendant risks. If you close your eyes to malfeasance, then we can
categorize it perhaps as sheer incompetence. If Steve Jobs (certainly
the most prominent 'designer/CEO' ever) has taught us anything, you
don't play by your opponent's rules. So unless and until the
CEO/management is questioned and challenged on strategy, nothing is
going to change. Any other discussion would at best be at the margins.

--
Kontra
http://counternotions.com

29 Apr 2008 - 4:05am
Scott Berkun
2008

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Christopher Fahey" <chris.fahey at behaviordesign.com>

> If you broaden the definition of design in this way, then it's clear
> that countless companies were founded by and/or eventually helmed by
> designers.
>
> (long stretch of excellent stuff trimmed out)

I agree. I'm not much for discipline boundries anyway. Anyone who is
inventing something or trying to solve a problem in the real world is doing
some kind of design work in there somewhere no matter what their job title
says.

> One of the issues here is simply the human lifespan and the paths we
> take as professionals. To build a business often takes years, and
> several failures and false starts. For someone deeply interested in
> making great design happen and building great user experiences,
> sometimes the most reliable path to success is through increasing
> their worth and skills as a designer, moving from design position to
> design position, starting a design consultancy.

Totally get what you're saying. My point, which is totally a matter of
opinion, is that there are tons of excellent professional designers in the
world's corporations, but most of them see only about 20% of their potential
value realized. The solution to this problem is not more designers. It's
puting people into general management roles who can empower the designers
that work for them to get that number up to 50% or more. As much as I'm a
believer in advocacy and grass-roots persuasion, big change only happens
from above. I seriously believe the best thing an individual designer, one
who has the potential for broader leadership, can do to make great design
happen is to stop designing. Focus instead on being promoted into general
management where *they* are in control, or closer to it, over the
distribution of power between designers, engineers and marketers. Because
honestly it's at that level that the decisions are made that make great
design possible or impossible.

-Scott

Scott Berkun
www.scottberkun.com

29 Apr 2008 - 4:49am
Scott Berkun
2008

----- Original Message -----
> From: "Kontra" <counternotions at gmail.com>
>
> Scott Berkun:
> > Apple is a great example of what can happen when they do (although to
be
> > fair, I doubt Jobs or Wozniak would call themselves designers.Certainly
not
> > when they started).
>
> I'm baffled by this example. Neither Steve would have called himself a
> designer at the time.

I've re-read this thread twice and I can't sort this out: either Jobs is a
good example to you or he's not.

If he is a good example, then I'm assuming you'd agree with my suggestion
that it'd be good for more "entrepreneurial capable" designers, or design
minded engineers (as Jobs was), to start companies. We can argue the
definition of a computer designer in 1976 but it seems a technicality to me.

If Jobs is a bad example, then I don't understand why you'd choose only his
competitors to make points about the failings of modern CEOs.

Frankly I'm not even arguing your right to play both angles, I'm just trying
to make sense of why you're so resistent to what I'm suggesting.

-Scott

Scott Berkun
www.scottberkun.com

29 Apr 2008 - 4:21am
dszuc
2005

Suggest there is a nice opportunity (sweet spot) for designers to help
the business translate strategy into design - so design not as it
relates to screens, products or services but as it relates to the
business communicating a vision, business plan or road map.

If you can help management do that - then you will get that seat
automatically.

This is where business is hurting and needs a lot of help from the
design community.

Liya Zheng spoke about this here:
http://www.upachina.org/userfriendly2007/pwcontent/w_liya_en.html

rgds,
Dan

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=28293

Syndicate content Get the feed