Over the last several years, design thinking has gained its fair share of attention as an applied professional practice. In fact, it has gained so much currency in corporate activities that design thinking already heavily influences and is the driving methodology of the team with which I recently began a UX engagement. They even refer to their methodology as a design-thinking framework. However, I frequently see and hear about confusion about design thinking—sometimes even antipathy toward it—among UX professionals who don’t quite get what design thinking is and why it matters, and are concerned that it somehow dilutes the value of User Experience.
In my speaking and teaching, I frequently use the terms design and User Experience interchangeably, explaining that User Experience is an applied, research-oriented approach to design. This calls to mind some of my earlier writings, in which I discussed the nature of design and how we frequently use the term design to describe the characteristics of an object rather than looking at design as a process. However, much of the work of the Design Management Institute focuses on process and value—rather than simply craft. Read More
These days, it seems that everyone is all about design thinking—scrambling to jump on this runaway train and ride it for what it’s worth before the next big thing hits. There are design-thinking classes and certifications from premier management and technology consulting firms. However, UX professionals who focus on delivering amazing user experiences to people have always been design thinkers—for very good reason. After all, everything we do and experience in life is designed. From the applications we use, to the way we purchase a cup of coffee, design is everywhere. These things don’t just happen. Product teams don’t just write and execute requirements. Business analysts don’t just dream up these experiences. We design them by following design principles and business strategies. So, by employing the same design strategies to real business problems, we are bound to be able to come up with better solutions.
Digital transformation is another popular term that describes the journey companies are undertaking today as they look to integrate digital technologies into every aspect of their business. These transformations consider people, process, organizational culture, the how, what, and why around the ways customers engage with their business. While every major company is engaging in digital transformation, their progress and maturity in this endeavor varies greatly. Throughout what are often multiyear transformation programs, they’re grappling with legacy processes, technology, and culture. As a result, many are still struggling to deliver tangible business outcomes. In fact, it is hard to find any company that will stand up and say, “Yes! We have reached the end of our digital-transformation journey, and we succeeded!” Why is that? Read More
Design thinking. It’s probably something you use in your job every day to tackle thorny design problems. But have you ever thought about using it to design your life?
In their book, Designing Your Life, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans outline a step-by-step process, using design thinking, to help people build lives in which they can find fulfillment and joy. This review highlights some techniques from the book that people have used successfully in achieving their professional and career objectives. To get a complete understanding of the Life Design process, though, you need to read the book. Read More