what is "design thinking" (was What sets the 'best' interaction designers apart?)

4 Feb 2007 - 11:32am
7 years ago
10 replies
1080 reads
Dave Malouf
2005

Brett used the term "design thinking" as somethin his current program is
lacking. I use the term, or actually stop myself from using the term, all
the time.

I stop myself b/c I feel it lacks meaning. I want to use the term b/c I
"know" what it means to mean when I hear it and say it.

I find this lack of ability to articulate this term troubling. Any takers
on trying to do so?

Nice segway from the original thread I think.

Dave

Comments

4 Feb 2007 - 12:28pm
.pauric
2006

If I understand what you are describing correctly, to me Design Thinking is
the state of mind you reach when you can no longer go through a push door
with a pull handle on it and not get pissed.

If you're at the automated grocery checkout and you start visualising the
steps and systems, and then work on streamlining the experience, then you're
Design Thinking.

Interaction problem solving and the analytical processes involved become
part of the way you look on the world.

Design flow, maybe?

On 2/4/07, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
>
> Brett used the term "design thinking" as somethin his current program is
> lacking. I use the term, or actually stop myself from using the term, all
> the time.
>
> I stop myself b/c I feel it lacks meaning. I want to use the term b/c I
> "know" what it means to mean when I hear it and say it.
>
> I find this lack of ability to articulate this term troubling. Any takers
> on trying to do so?
>
> Nice segway from the original thread I think.
>
> Dave
> ________________________________________________________________
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--
Job type: In house
Field: Embedded & physical interfaces. Web/cli

4 Feb 2007 - 2:08pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Feb 4, 2007, at 9:32 AM, David Malouf wrote:

> I find this lack of ability to articulate this term troubling. Any
> takers
> on trying to do so?
>

One of my colleagues calls design thinking simply "snake oil." (For
those who don't know this American idiom, it means a substance with
no real medicinal value that is sold as a remedy for all diseases.)

I'm going to give a slightly more nuanced view. :)

Design thinking is the use of design methodologies to solve what have
traditionally not been design problems, such as purely business or
social issues.

In other words, design removed from form-making. Which to some people
like myself, is an attempt to remove oxygen from air.

Dan

5 Feb 2007 - 7:38am
Todd Warfel
2003

Or another way to think of it is using design principles to solve
business problems.

On Feb 4, 2007, at 3:08 PM, Dan Saffer wrote:

> Design thinking is the use of design methodologies to solve what have
> traditionally not been design problems, such as purely business or
> social issues.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
Partner, Design & Usability Specialist
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

5 Feb 2007 - 7:49am
Dave Malouf
2005

Hiya, I'm looking for a definition that doesn't use the word "design".

Also, does "design thinking need only be applies to "business problems"?

Dave

...... Original Message .......
On Mon, 5 Feb 2007 08:38:54 -0500 Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com>
wrote:
>Or another way to think of it is using design principles to solve
>business problems.
>
>On Feb 4, 2007, at 3:08 PM, Dan Saffer wrote:
>
>> Design thinking is the use of design methodologies to solve what have
>> traditionally not been design problems, such as purely business or
>> social issues.
>
>
>Cheers!
>
>Todd Zaki Warfel
>Partner, Design & Usability Specialist
>Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
>----------------------------------
>Contact Info
>Voice: (215) 825-7423
>Email: todd at messagefirst.com
>AIM: twarfel at mac.com
>Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
>----------------------------------
>In theory, theory and practice are the same.
>In practice, they are not.
>
>
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
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___
David Malouf
dave (at) ixda.org
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/

5 Feb 2007 - 8:23am
.pauric
2006

Dan Said: "Design thinking is the use of design methodologies to solve what
have
traditionally not been design problems, such as purely business or
social issues. In other words, design removed from form-making. Which to
some people
like myself, is an attempt to remove oxygen from air."

But conversely...

"But it is useful to explore the unknown, to take giant leaps of
imagination. To do that requires changing perspective, or how you think
about something. For example don't think of a computer as a machine...
imagine the computer as a thought itself. Is it a jolt? A vision? A
nightmare? Changing perspective allows us to toss out convention and gain a
fresh look at the project in hand"
Designing for Interaction, Design Research & Brainstorming: pg 88

Sounds like snake oil to me, or a good stab at describing Design Thinking
without using the word design

regards - pauric (Tongue firmly planted in cheek)

5 Feb 2007 - 8:52am
Mark Schraad
2006

Design thinking is a general term that seeks to identify those unique attributes and capabilities that help us to handle wicked and undefined problems. For me, those would include:

Not working in a strickty deductive or inductive framework.

Considering validity where reliability may not be helpful.

Working with data or categories that are not aligned.

Thinking visually.

Mixing abstract with literal stimuli.

Iterative processes.

Risk taking.

Considering context.

I wish there were a better, more descriptive term. But I think we (and certainly traditional business people) are just starting to define these as beneficial - and not just the idiosycracies of "creative" people.

>Brett used the term "design thinking" as somethin his current program is
>lacking. I use the term, or actually stop myself from using the term, all
>the time.
>
>I stop myself b/c I feel it lacks meaning. I want to use the term b/c I
>"know" what it means to mean when I hear it and say it.
>
>I find this lack of ability to articulate this term troubling. Any takers
>on trying to do so?
>
>Nice segway from the original thread I think.
>
>Dave

5 Feb 2007 - 11:30am
Tanya Rabourn
2004

Mark Schraad's definition is the one I'm familiar with -- abductive
reasoning. See this article in Business Week "Creativity That Goes
Deep"
<http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/aug2005/di20050803_823317.htm>
in particular the paragraphs under "Mode of Thinking" and "Rewarding
with Wickedness."

-Tanya

5 Feb 2007 - 12:17pm
Thomas Vander Wal
2004

This "design thinking" is problem solving or finding a solution to a
problem that does not use the scientific method. But every discipline
I have run across in the last 20 years (business, marketing, design,
architecture, landscaping, etc.) claims it as their own process of
finding results.

There is little germane to design about the process, other than it is
more creative than a deductive approach. Creativity is not germane to
design either.

It is not too bothersome, except with the same approach is applied to
a small discipline's land grab and calling it something like "IA
thinking".

All the best,
Thomas

On 2/5/07, Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com> wrote:
> Or another way to think of it is using design principles to solve
> business problems.
>
> On Feb 4, 2007, at 3:08 PM, Dan Saffer wrote:
>
> > Design thinking is the use of design methodologies to solve what have
> > traditionally not been design problems, such as purely business or
> > social issues.
>
>
> Cheers!
>
> Todd Zaki Warfel

5 Feb 2007 - 8:35pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Feb 5, 2007, at 6:23 AM, pauric wrote:

> Dan Said: "Design thinking is the use of design methodologies to
> solve what
> have
> traditionally not been design problems, such as purely business or
> social issues. In other words, design removed from form-making.
> Which to
> some people
> like myself, is an attempt to remove oxygen from air."
>
> But conversely...
>
> "But it is useful to explore the unknown, to take giant leaps of
> imagination. To do that requires changing perspective, or how you
> think
> about something. For example don't think of a computer as a
> machine...
> imagine the computer as a thought itself. Is it a jolt? A vision? A
> nightmare? Changing perspective allows us to toss out convention
> and gain a
> fresh look at the project in hand"
> Designing for Interaction, Design Research & Brainstorming: pg 88
>

You are taking my words out of context. I was writing in the second
instance about a particular brainstorming technique--switching
metaphors. Brainstorming is not, as I understand it to be, "design
thinking."

6 Feb 2007 - 5:36am
.pauric
2006

"You are taking my words out of context"

Of course! but there does seems to be some overlap between the designing
without making forms part of Brainstorming and the Taking leaps of the
imagination & changing perspective of Design Thinking. Or is is the other
way around? I'm confused now.

Tongue still firmly planted in cheek (o;

take care - pauric

On 2/5/07, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:
>
>
> On Feb 5, 2007, at 6:23 AM, pauric wrote:
>
> > Dan Said: "Design thinking is the use of design methodologies to
> > solve what
> > have
> > traditionally not been design problems, such as purely business or
> > social issues. In other words, design removed from form-making.
> > Which to
> > some people
> > like myself, is an attempt to remove oxygen from air."
> >
> > But conversely...
> >
> > "But it is useful to explore the unknown, to take giant leaps of
> > imagination. To do that requires changing perspective, or how you
> > think
> > about something. For example don't think of a computer as a
> > machine...
> > imagine the computer as a thought itself. Is it a jolt? A vision? A
> > nightmare? Changing perspective allows us to toss out convention
> > and gain a
> > fresh look at the project in hand"
> > Designing for Interaction, Design Research & Brainstorming: pg 88
> >
>
> You are taking my words out of context. I was writing in the second
> instance about a particular brainstorming technique--switching
> metaphors. Brainstorming is not, as I understand it to be, "design
> thinking."
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
Job type: In house
Field: Embedded & physical interfaces. Web/cli

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