The NYC local IxDG face-2-face had an event tonight at Parsons School of
Design (Thank you Parsons!).
The event centered on the presentation of "The Deep Dive", An ABC Nightline
episode that looks at IDEO's design process. IDEO is a very well respected
product design firm based out of Palo Alto, CA.
Summarize the Video:
1. For innovative ideas to occur, requires a culture that supports creative
a. during the design process a sense of a lack of heirarchy (no CEO's)
b. let people build their environment. Beg foregiveness instead of
asking for permission
c. create spaces for creativity, where judgement is suspended
2. Observe users, interview users
3. Research to get domain knowledge
4. Ideate without judgement or evaluation
5. Evaluate toward goals
6. Visualize & Prototype to communicate ideas
For the details you'll have to try and see the video yourself ... available
from abcnews.com for about $50.
The discussion that followed was great. Greg Petroff did a wonderful job of
having directed questions and the audience was quite responsive. One thing
that Greg constantly tried to do was bring the discussion towards IxD, since
the video was about the creation of a shopping cart by an industrial design
Some points that caught my attention:
1. This was an idealized representation, and an edited one at that.
2. The process represented is great when you are in control of the entire
team and everyone on the team has a sense of self-confidence so as to be
equals with the boss.
3. It is rare that you can get everyone in the room for such sustained
periods in many companies (again cultural problems abound; too many to list
4. What is important from the video is that it demonstrates and thus
illustrates what it means to cycle through a process of taking a focused
concept, expanding out from that point through structured ideation without
judgement, racheting it back through applied evaluation (rinse and repeat),
but at each step you move from concept, to framework, to structure, to
behavior, to presentation (so to speak).E.g.
I need a pointing-device: mouse, pen/tablet, trackball, other
let's make it a mouse: optical, ball, gyroscoptic, other
Ok, an optical mouse:left/right handed, ergonomic, multi-media functions,
5-button, wireless (blue-tooth, IR, Radio)
Now lets talk about color, precise form, button placement
Then market positioning, packaging
Many of us still experience a world where we go off by ourselves after doing
the research and coming back with "finished" designs to be critiqued by
people who have not been a part of the thinking process.
5. There ARE other processes out there (too many to mention) and to select a
process means to analyze your own environemnt (i.e. design it to fit YOUR
6. David Kelly - is quite religious about his process; believes that you
need more than one brain working on a problem.
7. Prototyping is key, but there was discussion as to when to bring
"users"/"customers" in for validation process.
Ok, I'm very focused on my own thinking right now and there were a lot of
critiques and good suggestions.
I'll let people pepper the discussion with their own points of view. There
were some 25+ people there.
Thank you IntraLinks for loaning us your copy of the video.
Thank you 36 Partners for supplying the drinks and food.
Thank you again, Parsons, for the wonderful space.
And! thank you to the attendees who came and participated in a fun lively
For people in the NYC area, please send idea for future meetings to nyc (at)
ixdg (dot) org