Nerenburg argues that design is much more than graphic or industrial design. Certainly, the rest of the world is discovering the value of thinking like a designer. Arnold Wasserman said at his lecture a couple of weeks ago at Carnegie Mellon that ‘design is too important to be left to the designers.’
Sami breaks design into dimensions:
2D: lives in the x-y axis including graphic design and images
3D: lives in the x-y-z axis with products
4D: when you add the human element you get systems, services, and experiences
5D: and when you apply this over time, you get the 5th dimension of strategy
I like this way of thinking about it. It’s really about applying creativity to all of these activities.
In a conversation with a potential client today, we talked about some of the ways we find customers to study for product development projects.
There really isn’t a set way, but we’ve adapted a bunch of methods for getting into user’s environments and encouraging people let us observe them. Sometimes we pay people. Sometimes we share data about what we’ve learned. Sometimes we appeal to them by mail to keep a photo diary for us. It really depends on the people we’re studying and what we thing we want to learn about them.
The person I was talking to said, ‘So essentially, you’re applying the same creativity to finding research participants that you do to design.’
What a great observation on his part! That’s exactly what it is. A willingness to experiment–not just on designs, but on every kind of problem. We’ve build a culture that allows for trying new things and adapting to what we learn. That is design, and design thinking, in action.