September 11, 2008
Design Thinkers apply to all fields
This is a completely random entry but interesting none the less...at least I think so. ;)
I was just reading an article for my Community Informatics Seminar (SI575) titled "Design Thinking" by Tim Brown (CEO & President of the design firm IDEO). Basically it talks about how companies are beginning to ask designers to participate upfront in idea creation such that the target audience's needs and desires are met in an innovative way. The result could be an increased competitive advantage, a more efficient business process or better service. The designers bring in what Brown calls "design thinking" which is a human-centered approach to problem solving.
Essentially, design thinking is an interative process key stages (Brown calls them "spaces" that help create an innovative, often outside the box end result informed by user input. Brown give the process the following "spaces":
Inspiration (brought on by the circumstance)
Ideation (generate, develop and test ideas)
Implementation (outlining a path to market)
Its interesting to note that the fundamental principles of design thinking spoke of in this article are essentially those principles taught in many SI courses (SI501, 622, 682 and others). What is interesting still is that this way of thinking not only provides you with skills that directly apply to HCI and more technical fields, but to many others. The limited examples Brown brought up ranged from health care to bike sales.
In fact, I am taking a course in the business school called (BIT646) Solving Societies Problems. We are doing lots of readings on "social entrepreneur" type organizations that partner with communities to devise creative solutions to meet some crucial need while making a profit (if modest) for the company. The specifics of the class I won't get into here but its interesting to see that the successful ventures use "design thinking" to find a viable and sustainable undertaking that meets the community and the business needs.
I guess my epiphany today is that I feel more confident that I can take these principles and seriously provide value to any number of organizations...in a wide range of fields...particularly community development (my interest although not my official SI specialization). This gives greater flexibility in how I choose to market myself to an employer and helps broadens my career choices. That, in the eloquent words of the beloved Paris Hilton, is hot.
Posted by krosalia at September 11, 2008 10:51 PM