Silly Design

Clark Quinn

Time for a brief rant on interface designs. And, hopefully, we can extract some lessons, because these are just silly design decisions. But there’s one very very silly design decision here. It’s a principle called ‘mapping’ (see Don Norman’s essential reading for anyone who designs for people: The Design of Everyday Things ). Design, learning or product/service, works best when it aligns with how our brains work.

Design 133

UX Week 2014 Keynote Josh Clark on the Future of Digital Product Design

Adaptive Path

Josh is the author of the book Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps, and frequently gives workshops and talks at conferences around the world. In this interview, Josh and I talk about the current trends in digital product design, and where those trends might be heading. Then touch suddenly brought in the centuries-old influence of industrial design. JJG: Like you, I have always seen design through the lens of storytelling.


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Evil design?

Clark Quinn

And over the years, while they’ve made mistakes (canceling HyperCard ), I’ve enjoyed their focus on making me more productive. First, this is bad design. The post Evil design? design strategy technologyThis is a rant, but it’s coupled with lessons. . I’ve been away, and one side effect was a lack of internet bandwidth at the residence. In the first day I’d used up a fifth of the allocation for the whole time (> 5 days)!

Design 124

Serving Experience As The Product

Adaptive Path

The experience is the product. Whether we talk about greeting cards, mobile apps, or vacation get-aways, the experience is the product. Directly affecting the experience seems impossible because between you and it are IT systems, operations and processes, departments, and product architectures. Many of the products we spend the most on and spend the most time with are platforms for services.) And in a service-based economy, the experience is the product customers buy.

The New Era of Smart, Connected Products

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

An equally optimistic view was expressed in another excellent article, - How Smart Connected Products are Transforming Competition , - published in the November issue of the Harvard Business Review by Michael Porter and James Heppelmann. . We generally think of products as physical entities, - e.g., clothes, light bulbs, appliances, cars, - some quite simple and some much more complex, built using sophisticated mechanical and/or electrical components.

Cloud, Services and the Transformation of Production

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Cloud-based services require a much more standardized, mass customized , process oriented, industrialized approach to production , including the application of advanced technologies and rigorous science, engineering and management methodologies. . What do we mean by the production of services ? Production is defined as “a process of combining various material inputs and immaterial inputs (plans, know-how) in order to make something for consumption (the output).

Misadventures in Content Production: Why “Rapid” Tool Aren’t Really Rapid


What you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG,) or “rapid” tools, apply styles that are hard-coded into the content, which means that the writing and designing are coupled together. Let’s be honest — so-called “rapid” authoring tools aren’t really rapid at all.

8 Fantastic Facilitation Playbooks for Designing Productive Nonprofit Meetings

Beth Kanter

Many times our meetings are highly productive, but sometimes meetings can be boring, frustrating, and a complete waste of time. Whether our meeting is useless or valuable depends on how we design, facilitate, and follow up. Meeting design is more than just agenda planning or identifying topics. You also need to establish meeting norms or rules of engagement and then design and facilitate the process to get results. Facilitation Training Design

The Evolution of Design Thinking

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Design Thinking is the featured topic in the September issue of the Harvard Business Review with four articles on the subject. “It’s It’s no longer just for products. The application of design thinking beyond products, - in innovation, problem solving and business strategy, - isn’t new. IDEO , a firm best known for pioneering this expanded view of design, traces its roots back to 1978. How do you apply design thinking to business problems?

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Instructional Design Orthodoxy


I will be dating myself here, but so much of the orthodoxy in the instructional design process was forged back in the late 80’s and early 90’s when the only Computer-Based Training (CBT) tools were Toolbook for the PC, and Hypercard for the Mac. The idea that you might allow scrolling was to many an Instruction Designer taboo. In my blog posts, I’ve been challenging instructional designers to embrace cultural shifts, and evolving technologies rather than brace against them.

Design 208

Designing outside your comfort zone

Adaptive Path

That’s what we tell ourselves because as designers we often rely on tried and tested tools, methods and standards to help us arrive at a solution that should work. There is good reason why we learned these things in design school –they help us work efficiently, they minimize risk and they help us consider the world views of and design for people other than ourselves. They may sound like best practices for just being a good designer, and they are. “Trust the process!”.

Design 158

?Beyond “I hate green:” Managing Productive Visual Design Reviews

Adaptive Path

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been a part of a design review that included any of the following comments: [ ] I hate green. [ ] Can you make it “pop?&#. [ ] Just tweak it around a bit and we’ll have another review. [ ] Make the logo bigger. [ ] Can you just make it look like Apple? It’s a common challenge in visual design: creating a feedback structure that respects the subjective nature of visual design, yet also generates actionable items for moving forward.

Is Design Thinking the “New Liberal Arts”?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Design thinking has become an increasingly popular topic of discussion over the past decade. Design is no longer just for physical objects, e.g. cars, bridges, shoes, jewelry, smartphones. Design thinking is now being applied to abstract entities, - e.g. systems, services, information and organizations, - as well as to devise strategies, manage change and solve complex problems. The application of design thinking beyond products isn’t new.

Design 213

Grand Unified Theory of Service Design, Systems Design, and Organization Design

Adaptive Path

I sat down with Jeff to pick his brain on putting the ‘service design’ in software-as-a-service. One is that I specialize in helping IT organizations and digital businesses bring together agile, DevOps, and design thinking in order to adopt new methodologies and be able to deliver more continuous value, so I’m really interested in the relationship between design and engineering and design and IT in particular. Very often, DevOps and design never speak.

Design 149

Quip: design

Clark Quinn

If you get the design right, there are lots of ways to implement it; if you don’t get the design right, it doesn’t matter how you implement it. Too often, people under design and overproduce, resulting in great looking products that are worthless. Similarly, I’ve found that if you get the design right, you don’t need lots of production. And the tools will change, but the need for quality design won’t. design

Design 126

Services, Production and Clouds

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

So, like many others, I have discussed services and their attributes in contrast to what they are not - physical products that are generally manufactured in factories. The distinction between products and services blurs, as physical products are increasingly embedded into service-based solutions, where the clients pay for the services they receive, not the products embodied in the solutions. Apple‘s iPod is more than an attractively designed mp3 player.

Design Thinking and the Workplace Experience

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Design has long played a major role in product innovation. But in the last few years, a shift has been underway bringing design to the very core of the business. “ The Evolution of Design Thinking : It’s no longer just for products. Leading-edge companies are leveraging design thinking to translate technological advances into compelling customer experiences in order to seize market share from more traditional competitors.

Design 210

Transcending Experience Design

Clark Quinn

Last week’s #lrnchat touched on an important topic, experience design. The one I want to pursue here is the notion of transformative experience design. In it, they posited that we’d gone from the agricultural economy, through a product and service economy, to what they termed an ‘experience economy’: where people paid for quality experiences. You can see this in themed cruises & restaurants, Apple’s product strategy, Disney, etc.

Design 146

A Design Approach to Human Flourishing

Adaptive Path

Anna Pohlmeyer is assistant professor in the Department of Industrial Design at TU Delft where she also co-chairs the Delft Institute of Positive Design, a research institute devoted to the study of design for human flourishing. I talked with Anna and asked her to tell us about positive design and how designers might incorporate it into their work. Anna spoke about positive design at the Adaptive Path UX Week 2014 conference in San Francisco.

Design 216

Design thinking & complexity pt 1

Dave Snowden

I promised to address this yesterday following a presentation on Design Thinking at the conference here in Ohio. I started talking about the differences that complexity theory makes to design thinking some time ago - In Malmo at the XP conference as I remember it - and have now introduced that material in modified form onto day four of our accreditation programme. Designers going into the field to observe people in action.

Designing for Bright Spots

Adaptive Path

For this year’s BarnRaise , Sept 9-11, The Capital ONE Design team is partnering with Family House (FH), a local nonprofit that provides free, temporary housing for families with children undergoing cancer and other treatment at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. As designers, we seek to understand experiences holistically – including all the highs and lows – but at times we can become focused on problems and challenges rather than strengths. About Capital ONE Design.

Design 144

Birgit Mager and the Evolution of Service Design

Adaptive Path

Birgit Mager has watched service design evolve since the mid-nineties, and has been hugely influential in its development. She holds the first service design professorship at the University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, Germany, is the President and Co-Founder of the International Service Design Network , and Editor-in-Chief of Touchpoint , the International Journal of Service Design. Ayla Newhouse [AN]: How did you arrive at service design as your path?

Design 219

The Materials of Digital Products

Adaptive Path

I have the good fortune of having a number of industrial designers as friends. The first was a commitment to craft and an understanding of its importance to the final product's quality. The second was a sense of pragmatism and, for lack of a better word, accountability for how the design would impact the final product. What struck me the most during our conversations was the deep familiarity my industrial design colleagues had with the materials used in the design.

A product’s experience goes beyond User Experience

Adaptive Path

I believe that the user should always come first in any design discussion, even initially above business needs. The experience of a device reaches well beyond a person’s relationship with the product. Nearly every consumer product is designed to live within an ecosystem. When designing a product, it’s important to recognize (at least) three things. Second, the ecosystem that this product lives within.

A jot of design

Clark Quinn

Ordinarily, I don’t even look at vendor products when offered free trials. First, it was an iPad app supporting design. Given that I’m very much about improving design, *and* quite into mobile, this was of interest. Second, I mistakenly thought it came from Michael Allen’s company Allen Interactions, and he’s not only been an early advocate of engaging design, but also he’s a supremely nice guy to complement his smarts. design mobile

Design 148

Are Instructional Designers Making Themselves Irrelevant?


So what does that mean for the poor instructional designer when over 70% of the learning they create delivers poor customer experiences? The easy thing for an instructional designer to do is to rely on simple instinct and maintain the status quo. Staying with a certain concept or product because it has performed adequately or even well in the past makes sense, at least on the surface. This has really been impacting how we''re designing things.".

Design 211

Become a More Productive, Empathetic, Creative Person With the Help of AI-Based Tools

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Despite dramatic advances in technology, most of the world’s economies have been stuck in a long period of slow growth and slow productivity. In a recent article in the MIT Sloan Management Review , MIT Research Fellow Michael Schrage proposed a provocative and counterintuitive approach for enhancing innovation and productivity through man-machine collaborations. We’ve long been leveraging technology to help increase productivity.

Designing the killer experience

Clark Quinn

But I continue my decades long fascination with design, to the extent that it’s a whole category for my posts! An article on how Apple’s iPhone was designed caused me to reflect. Their model was having a large-scope goal, and then various product managers take pieces of that, and negotiated for budget, with vendors for resources, and with other team members for the capability to implement their features. design

Design 135

The Do’s and Don’ts of Managing Designers

Adaptive Path

Are there common personality traits among designers that should shape the way they’re managed? Design managers naturally think about what they need from their team, but Bob Baxley , a design executive in Silicon Valley, believes it’s more interesting to consider what designers need from their manager in order to thrive. How designers want to be managed is an incredibly important topic that’s not getting much attention.

Design 159

Designing the Olympics Participant Experience

Adaptive Path

Can you imagine the complexity and opportunity of designing the participant experience for the Olympics? At our Service Experience Conference, Alex Nisbett will share his story of the first Organizing Committees for the Olympic Games to explicitly design and deliver a spectator experience for the World’s greatest sporting event. We asked him for his thoughts on service experience, the conference, and what are the next big challenges he’d like to tackle with design.

Design 205

Collaborative co-design

Clark Quinn

In my previous post , I mentioned that we needed to start thinking about designing not just formal learning content, or formal learning experiences, but learning experiences in the context of the informal learning resources (job aids, social tools), and moreover, learning in the context of a workflow. I’d sold myself on this, when I realized just where my ITA colleagues would draw me up short: it’s still the thinking that we can design solutions a priori !

No Folk Science-Based Design!

Clark Quinn

Frankly, there are a lot of persistent myths that are used to justify design decisions that are just wrong. They are not sound bases for learning design! It goes on: much of what poses under ‘brain-based’ learning, that any interaction is good, that high production values equal deep design, that knowledge dump and test equals learning. It’s time for evidence-based design! design strategy

Design 123

The lowdown on Pastiche™ 1.2 from the product developer


We believe that it’s a revolutionary product that will change the way organizations define blended learning and we’re proud of our continued work on its development. This release also includes a few minor design improvements. You have probably heard the (rather exciting) news of Xyleme’s new “iPad app that creates apps” - Pastiche™.

Intervention Design: Overcoming Stiff Resistance to a New, Disruptive Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The September issue of the Harvard Business Review features a spotlight on The Evolution of Design Thinking. With four articles on the subject, HBR ’s overriding message is that design is no longer just for physical products, being increasingly applied to customer experiences, innovation, business strategy, and complex problem solving. . Last week I discussed this expanded view of design thinking based on one of the articles, - Design Thinking Comes of Age.

A Glimpse at the Emerging Trends of Service Design

Adaptive Path

What are the big trends in service management that service designers need to know? She’ll highlight how the world of service management is changing dramatically through a renewed focus on service innovation, customer experience and engagement strategies, service infusion in product-centric firms, customer participation in service co-creation, and the need to tie service investments to critical metrics and the bottom line.

Trends 213

Want to Design for Impact?

Adaptive Path

Whether you consider yourself a creative, a maker, an ideas person or are just plain curious, this is the opportunity work with a local San Francisco community organization, on a tangible opportunity, while being led by experts in the design process. BarnRaise is a maker conference that brings together design firms, community organizations and people interested in designing solutions for the communities in which they live. The best way to learn design thinking?

Design 141

Designing for an uncertain world

Clark Quinn

My problem with the formal models of instructional design (e.g. Note: I let my argument lead where it must, and find I go quite beyond my intended suggestion of a broader learning design. However, most of our design models are predicated on knowing what we need people to do, and developing learning to deliver that capability. Now think about learning design. Our products and services are more complex, and yet we need a more seamless execution.

Design 170

Six habits for visual designers new to UX design.

Adaptive Path

I haven’t noticed much basic guidance for visual designers new to the UX world. Often these are positions designing for singular needs. Move product. As your files grow, fast design iteration can spin them out of control, especially on large projects. Being that UX design is by definition user-centric, it’s critical for visual practitioners to empathize with users. Siloing yourself strictly to visual design is too isolating.

Design 176

Designing future organizations based on ethical foundations for AI

Trends in the Living Networks

We must start by thinking through the ethical issues and potential implications of AI, and from that designing the future organizations that will in turn shape all of society and the role of humans in creating value. That requires designing organizations very different than they are today.

Stop Days: The Secret To Nonprofit Productivity

Beth Kanter

The video chat provided a nice opportunity to have conversation in real-time about the relationship between self-care and workplace productivity. discussed the issue in relation to remote working staff and how to address some of the common issues that hinder group and individual staff productivity. Workplace Productivity and Well Being . The chart above comes from a recent study on the link between well being and workplace productivity and the impact of office design.

Jobs of the future: sports referees out, emotional designers in

Ross Dawson

DESIGN is in a way the defining domain of the future, in shaping technology, products, and indeed everything in our world so it best suits humans. Design requires creativity, and even more it requires a deep understanding of what it is to be human, and how we want to experience the world. In the segment I used the example of emotional robot designers, those who design machines to interact with us on an emotional level.

Design 186

Norman’s Design of Future Things

Clark Quinn

Donald Norman’s book, The Design of Everyday Things is a must-read for anyone who creates artifacts or interfaces for humans. At the end, he comes up with a set of design principles: Provide rich, complex, and natural signals. As an exercise, I looked at his design principles to see what might transfer over to the design of learning experiences. design strategy technology

Design 138

A Design Approach to Human Flourishing

Adaptive Path

Anna Pohlmeyer is assistant professor in the Department of Industrial Design at TU Delft where she also co-chairs the Delft Institute of Positive Design, a research institute devoted to the study of design for human flourishing. I talked with Anna and asked her to tell us about positive design and how designers might incorporate it into their work. Anna spoke about positive design at the Adaptive Path UX Week 2014 conference in San Francisco.

Design 144