Design Thinking


When most people think about design they think in terms of styling (i.e. Shape, Colour, Form, Size, Pattern…). For them design thinking is more make over than game changer.

When I think about design I think about how people choose to interact with the world around them.

” All men [and women] are designers. All that we do, almost all of the time, is design, for design is basic to human activity… To put it simply design is the conscious and intuitive effort to impose meaningful order. It is central to man’s existence and his increasing domestication of this planet.” Victor Papanek, Design for the real world.

In the past we have had leading thinkers like Edward de Bono and Walter Gropius to reframe the Design Zeitgeist. Today we have the likes of Malcolm Gladwell (Think: Tipping Point and Outliers) and now Luke Williams.

Luke is a Creative Director at Frog Design and h has written a book on Disruptive Thinking. In this video presentation he explains the fundamental ideas he explores in his book.

After watching the video I was inspired to curate some of my old ideas on design thinking into a single pst.

Here then are my basic rules of design thinking. As you can see I make no mention of thinking outside the box! and yes you can apply the same set of rules to being an entrepreneur.

1. Design is conflict.

This of course is a bastardisation of Sergei Eisenstein’s “Art is Conflict” but it best encapsulates the idea that good design happens when you experiment by bringing together 2 or more things or ideas together to create a new design. This simple philosophy delivers the design equation, the simple idea that design is all about asking the right questions and most importantly the idea that creating great design requires a high degree of risk taking. It also implies their will be pain, frustration, confusion, conflict, sweat and exhaustion… and if you are going to be a great designer let me assure you there will be… but there will also be delight, celebration, rejoicing  and great satisfaction when you get it right.

2. Design is a very simple equation

1+1 =3

If it doesn’t add up you’ve got it wrong. Try again…

3. Design is about solving problems

Great designers are not only very good at creating the right solutions they are also very good at discovering the right problems.
The Ying Yang of Innovation

4. The design is about logic + emotion

Design is about Logic + Emotion

5. Design = Great Creative + Brilliant Execution

6. Design is about creating value

Good design is not only about discovering problems and thinking up great solutions it is also about having the experience and the expertise to deliver the solution.

The Design Value Equation

7. Design is about asking the right questions

The Solution Squares

The Solution Squares (Click to enlarge)

8. Design is an iterative (some would say Agile) process

It’s all about failing fast and failing often. Preferrably in private rather than in the public gaze.

SDLC - Managing your ideas into reality

9. Design is about intelligent risk taking

Impact vs Difficulty

10. Great design reframes the market zeitgeist

You can try to be the best or you can try to be  different but as I have said before Design is about being in the business of allowing your customers to walk into a room and say “if you think that’s cool then take a look at this!”

You know you have succeeded when the rest of the industry follows up your initial success with Me2 copies.

How to be Different

About these ads

One thought on “Design Thinking

Comments are closed.