Understanding Design & Designers

Understanding Design & Designers
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17/8/2014

What If I Say Hi To My Network?




"It's so funny why we don't talk anymore" -- Cliff Richard, We Don't Talk Anymore


Our social networks are full of "conversations". Plenty of people out there (like me) are interacting with others and committing time and resources to engaging with people for multiple reasons I'm not going to get into now. Meanwhile we keep on sending texts and photos, writing blogs, emails, tweets and sharing part of our lives and knowledge with and average of 1000 people around the world everyday day. 



We “follow” each other according to mutual and personal interests and, in doing so, we become witnesses of the evolution of the ideas, professional life, new projects, family events… of someone we barely know nothing about, but finally end up caring about in some virtual way that I’m not able to define yet.

The funny part is that we never literally talk and never will in most of the cases: We are engage in brain-to-brain relations that don't really feel like person to person?¿?. Aren’t we missing the human-to-human communication H2H? There is a lack of humanity in social media conversations, don’t you think?



What if a human touch in our conversations once in a while? 

What if I say Hi to my network? Literally.


Saying Hi might be one of the simpler expression of a goodwill thought, but it's also a great excuse for simply say, "hey, there is a person behind my profile photo.. and so is behind yours".


What if everybody would say HI once in a while to their networks? Wouldn't it be our "conversations" a little more human, a little more fun? I'm going to give it a try and I'm going to say Hi, and see what happens.




Join my "Say Hi To My Network" project to humanize our networks and say (literally) HI! to yours.








9/8/2014

What If Design Thinking Marketing


The end of marketing as we know it officially came  as of July 1 of 2014 at Procter & Gamble Co. 



What if marketing would apply a human-centered methodology to business and ignites the kind of transformational opportunities we need most right now?.

What if marketing would play different roles to create a new future for business (therefore, for people) and make society better?

What if marketers would have a set of skills such as mapping, storytelling, ethnographic research, analysis, facilitation, collaboration, and persuasion?: 

Business Tools for Innovation by Cheryl Heller:


  • Research as listening and conversation. Ethnographic research is not new - but the integration of listening, watching and dialog is.
  • Seeing/mapping. Making invisible systems visible, illustrating dynamics and relationships that facilitate or restrict forward momentum. Creating strategies for the future founded on current conditions.
  • Cross disciplinary problem solving. A method for recognizing patterns, seeing across boundaries to make connections that people inside silos cannot see. When this ability to see emerging patterns is facilitated, new learning occurs and potential expands exponentially.
  • Co-creation, collaboration. Creating with a community (also customers) rather than for, and teaching the habits of creativity so it can be carried on and built on by all.  
  • Education, knowledge sharing, storytelling. Capturing the heart of issues, simplifying complexity, communicating through visual language that presents information in the way that people learn, using storytelling to engage and shift thinking are key benefits of the new design, and ways in which learning is shared. Science continues to confirm that facts do not change people, that intellect alone is not enough to incite a culture to greatness.  
  • Persuasion. Regardless of context or scale, beauty and elegance continue to make ideas and choices compelling. 

What if Design Thinking Marketing?



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If you want to know more about the new design: Business Tools for Innovation by Cheryl Heller (my inspiration to write this article)

If you what to know more about how design thinking is been applied already in different areas and industries, here are some examples:


-> Transform organizations: 
"Thinking like a designer can transform the way in which organizations develop their products, services, processes and strategy. This brings together what is desirable from the human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable". Tim Brown, president of IDEO 

-> Design of Business (Applied to Education): 
Why Design Thinking is the next competitive edge? by Roger Martin, dean of the University of Rotman School of Management 

-> Entrepreneurship: 
Why social innovators need Design Thinking (McKinsey & Company) 

-> Social Innovation: 
Wired magazine asked Melinda Gates innovation that is changing the most lives in the developing world, and his answer was simple: "the human-centered design" 





1/7/2014

Design Thinking Discovers Customers

by Nordstrom Innovation Lab
 combo of principles of Design Thinking, Lean Startup and Agile


"Our Process Told as our Team's Timeline"

Agile Discovers a Solution
Lean Startup Discovers a Problem
Design Thinking Discovers Customers
Lean Discovers Efficiency
by Nordstrom Innovation Lab



    29/6/2014

    How To Design A (Brand) Soul

    "Character is our way of feeling. Personality our way of acting." 
    Jose Antonio Marina. Spanish philosopher



    How does a soul brand come to life?

    "The soul is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing" 

    How does a human, philosophical and existencialist issue relates to a…brand?. I can be as philosophical and romantic regarding the beauty of the essence we all treasured and nurtured inside of us, but, when it comes to mixing romanticism and business I'm as pragmatic and concrete as this:

    Pragmatic soul-of-your-brand inventory:

    1. A brand soul is the purpose and vision of a brand. In what way can your brand be truly relevant to people? (To know this answer, a brand needs to understand people and their needs in the first place…seems obvious, but it's not I'm afraid). The purpose and vision of a brand should be a shared mantra within the organization. 
    2. A brand soul is also the heart of the organization. The purpose and vision of a brand comes to life by its actions, not by a notorious commercial  that represents the intellectualization of a tactical strategy. How does your brand behaves in all touch points? Everybody is a stakeholder.
    3. Are you delivering soul-products? Are you products a mirror of your brand's soul? 
    4. Do you actually know all channels and touch points in which your brand operates? Do you have a protocol for each one of them? No matter how insignificant you might think it is, all details are extremely important. 
    5. A soul brand communication must be value oriented. In what way does your brand help people? 

    Great words versus reality: Getting tangible…getting real

    My first step when it comes to designing a brand soul is analyzing how it really operates 360º (not how they say it does): 
    A BRAND SOUL IS WHAT ITS DOES AND HOW IT DOES IT. 

    …While understanding "how it works", it's when you really get to frame the right issues and opportunities…and you are able to unveiled hidden value and  real problems...
    A BRAND SOUL CREATES VALUE FOR PEOPLE: Who is in charge of unveiling value in your company?

    The human factor 

    Once the process is been initiated within an organization, there is no turning back: We all need a noble, coherent purpose in our everyday work. Then it's when magic happens.

    ...And then, everything else follows: All the pieces of the puzzle come together.

    Designing a brand soul is a resilient, long-run, co-created inside job with the purpose of understanding in order to redesign and build up the organization from the bottom up. You can call it innovation make over; human-centered mindset; value oriented transformation; sense making for change making…as you please…



    Good luck and get ready as for a challenging long-distance run.







    31/5/2014

    My Design-Thinking-In-Action-Book




    As I advanced you in my previous blog post, I "took on the challenge": I was in love with the idea of writing a book about my own process of thinking and I did it. Here is the result.

    It's written in Spanish because, as I also advanced you in a blog post titled "RFV & My Portfolio Of Insights For 2014", it was a personal challenge for me finding the best way to share knowledge about the design discipline and design thinking, and I finally decided the best way to accomplish my goal was to write a book about it in Spanish…And it turned out that I'm the first Spanish author and designer to write a book about Design Thinking: Therefore my book it's the first Design-Thinking-Book in Spanish! Shocking!

    A brief description of my book:


    "How to Think like a Designer (call it Design Thinking)" is the first  Design Thinking book written by a Spanish author. Pilar Saura recounts his thought process as a designer, showing in practice the result of the Design Thinking methodology applied to the challenge of explaining " what Design Thinking is" to designers, businesses and anyone who is interested the dicipline of design.
    This book is a storytelling of Design Thinking: Instead of defining the Design Thinking processes, the author shares the competencies, skills and values by creating a story of her ​​own process.The book is divided into two parts: the first or "Framework" shows a broad overview of the framework of thought of a designer, so that everyone can "connect their own dots" and a second part or "Roadmap", reveals the core of a designer's itinaration."
    Hope you enjoy it! 


    My book on:

    Amazon.es
    Amazon.com

    For now, my book is available in Amazon in Kindle version and in Spanish: Soon will be at disposal English version also.


    (Amazon has free Kindle apps available on almost any device: Mobile Phone, Tablet, PC, Windows, or even in a web browser at read.amazon.com)


    "You have to feed forward if you want feedback“. Matt Kahn. Stanford design professor 





    6/4/2014

    You Know What? I'm Taking On This Challenge


    Would you like to practice Design Thinking?

    Red Bull Stratos spacedive by Felix Baumgartner

    Then you should fall in love with an idea, make of it a personal challenge and design your way though barriers to achieve it. 


    Initiate a construction-driven process of thinking focused on achieving your challenge: Recall insights of previous experiences and failures; Observe and analyze contexts and facts; Keep on the move by making micro-decisions to forward your idea in the right direction; Consider others in your decisions and try to create value for people and for you. Do it! 

    Pursuit passion: Fall in love with YOUR challenge. 

    Passion will compel you to act. People with a passion are driven to pursue and create and feel an overwhelming urge to engage, to experience for themselves and to test their own capabilities and thrownness abilities. 

    Considerations.

    This is a passion-driven pursuit of a personal challenge so set your mind for magical: Pick a bold challenge that gets to you personally but don't know yet why or it lights up your heart or you may feel it relates to you emotionally. You really want to bring your idea to reality. Make it happen. 

    Your daily mantra: This is my challenge

    It is YOUR challenge. You don't know how to do it, but you are going to do it anyway. How?. You don't know yet, but for now on, it's going to be you and your challenge, together, living your everyday life. 


    Let's take Felix Baumgartner's spacediving as example: Felix buying groceries while thinking to himself…I'm going to make a stratospheric jump…don't know how but I will…Uh-oh 

    The beauty of performance.

    Be creative!. Design a beautiful and innovative self-performance to accomplish you challenge and enjoy the process of it all: Be self-conscious of what you are doing and make decisions according to your values and believes. 
    Take into consideration that when achieving you challenge you are going to share your accomplishment. Make it beautiful! 

    Failing. 

    What, who, when? It is part of the process. Get over it fast but learn from it.

    Choose to go to the moon.  

    Courage is needed to choose an unknown path and to overcome uncertainty.
    How might you think different to approach this problem? Try to amazing yourself. Do it for you. 

    Inner dialogue. Control question.

    Ask yourself regularly: Why am I doing all of these? Your vision is like an oasis at Gobi desert: Think about it regularly for nurturing your dream. Keep in mind the big picture.

    Resilience is your new skill.   

    FInd out how persistent and disciplined you can be when need it. Could you ever imagine that you were so patient? You would be by necessity.


    Felix and the entire crew were great to see. Real success doesn't come by demanding things go your way... The lesson?: Do things right, but don't ever stop! 
    And dream... 

    What if you accomplish it?. Can you imagine? Think big and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Hustle. 


    Felix Baumgartner just before stepping off his 24-mile-high:
    "I'm coming home" 

    Design-think your own map back home or out of it…design it!



     I recommend to you this video: Moonshot Thinking.
    Moonshot thinking is about thinking creatively and radically about solving important problems.

    +Solve for X event gathered 50 experienced entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists from around the world, who are taking on moonshots—proposals that address a huge problem, suggest a radical solution that could work, and use some form of breakthrough technology to make it happen.




    23/3/2014

    A Process For Random Thinking

    Getting to the mindset to thrive your idea: Rational thinking and random thinking

    by 
    I enjoy the challenge that implies my professional role as a bridge between business and creativity in behalf of customers/persona, but sometimes while itinerating, it is critical that I push the pause button to step out from extreme realism, rational objectivity and data: I need a reality break… I need a less pragmatic kind of comprehension. Enough of rational thinking.

    Creative confidence

    I rely on my creativity and imagination skills. After years observing and analyzing my own thinking process from a Design Thinking mindset, I know that I need random thinking to advance ideas and as a breakthrough of understanding complexity.
    The following is a pattern that works for me. Then again, it is not a system that I have created conveniently: It was already there, therefore I've just detected it and defined it. 

    A sparkle of knowledge

    After an intense period of analytical concentration I need nothingness in my mind: My rational thinking had its answers now I have to validate with my other self.
    When having come to a conclusion after days (or years!) of analysis, or having reached an inner sense of "I see it", "I'm finally getting there" or I've made a connection that lights up my search , what I do is walk away from it. Leave my idea or finding "alone".
    I know that intuition is part of DT process and I always consider it in my set of tools, but I don't get carried away by an insight and I try hard not to run into conclusions right away.

    Getting in the mood for randomness


    I "leave the idea there" and I make the effort to not think about it. 
    I give it a rest and....talk to people or do something else...partially true, because what I'm actually doing is confront the world with my new knowledge: Besides talking to people, or engage in small talk, have fun...I also get into a itinerate mindset that implies randomness, wondering, nothingness and image-thinking and go with the flow: I recall any image that has impacted me lately, or it's kept my interest for "no reason",  and I allow me to not to analyze nor rush into conclusions. Instead, I engage in with the world with optimism, knowing by previous experience that I'm heading to the next level of understanding.

    Metaphorically speaking, this is a process of building bridges of understanding within yourself.

    Is this pattern of thinking universal or not? I don't have the facts, but I do know by experience that this process is a pattern, and going with the flow is part of the Thrownness concept of Heidegger that I relate (in me) to thinking in terms of experience.

    I Keep on investigating Design Thinking processes involved in communicating ideas:
    More to come.





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