Design and Innovation Daily

More from Interaction10

Posted in culture, interaction design, philosophy, product design, theory, user experience by Dan on February 26, 2010

Picking up on yesterday’s topic, here are a few more highlights from Interaction10, the recent conference on interaction design. Talks at the conference presented an interesting mix of theoretical and practical insights into design (and not just interaction design).

Yesterday, I pointed to summaries of the talks from the first day of the conference. Johnny Holland Magazine also published summaries from the second and third days (their server was down last time I checked, so here are Google’s cached versions of the articles from day 2 and day 3).

On day 2, Ezio Manzini discussed the role of digital platforms in the economies and communities of the future. Christropher Fahey gave an even more fascinating (and perhaps bold) presentation about the humanization of technology, which implies that technology will become more human-like without replacing or replicating humans; in addition to the overview in the above article, take a look at his slides. From day 3, Dan Hill’s talk is interesting because he brings the subject of urban design into the context of interaction design—similar concepts applied to very different time frames.

Since I wrote yesterday’s post, I also found the slides from Nathan Shedroff’s talk about the forms and roles of meaning in experiences and designed experiences. The slides can be downloaded from Shedroff’s website.

I highly recommend Nicolas Nova’s reflections on the conference. He pieced together many of the theoretical elements of the talks and made an interesting comparison of the design models that appeared throughout the conference.

Sarah Mitchell traced a few of the core themes from the talks and posted photos of her notes.

Finally, Dave Malouf, interaction design professor at SCAD, wrote a compelling (if cryptic) piece about the importance of social responsibility and even activism in interaction design.


Lessons from the Interaction10 conference

Posted in interaction design, philosophy, product design, theory, user experience, web design by Dan on February 25, 2010

Around three weeks ago, the Interaction Design Association held its annual conference, Interaction10. I finally got around to reading some of the attendees’ recaps and notes from the conference. I’ll post a couple highlights today, and more tomorrow.

Johnny Holland Magazine published daily synopses of the conference sessions. Two notable talks were those given by Nicolas Nova and Jon Kolko, both towards the end of the article: “Live at Interaction’10: day 1.”

To go along with that, Nova’s slides can be viewed here; I think the compelling title speaks for itself: “Design and Designed Failures: From Observing Failures to Provoking Them.”

Jon Kolko followed up on the conference in Design Mind: “An Emerging Divide: Some Thoughts from the IxDA 2010 Conference.”

TED talks for the weekend

Posted in creativity, methodology, product design, theory, user experience by Dan on January 15, 2010

The future of industrial design; Decisions by Design

Posted in philosophy, product design, theory by Dan on January 12, 2010

Brian Ling posted a cool presentation about the future of industrial design. He outlines the 11 design strategies which he believes will become the most prominent and important over the next decade. Also see a comment from yours truly on the same page. (And, you could actually win an HP laptop by posting a comment, so join the discussion!) I think this is a fascinating topic; the trends he discusses are not just about products themselves, but about the way social, cultural, technological, economic, and environmental forces change over time and influence design. “11 Design Strategies of the Next Decade.”

In another video from The 99 Percent, Ji Lee talks about a personal experiment from 2002 in which he printed stickers of speech bubbles and placed them onto public advertisements in New York. “The masses responded and the project went viral;” people wrote all kinds of jokes and satirical comments onto the speech bubbles, and others eventually imitated the project by creating their own speech bubbles. “Ji Lee: The Transformative Power of Personal Projects.”

Continuing on yesterday’s theme of design thinking, Colin Raney and Ryan Jacoby, business designers at IDEO, recently published an article in Rotman Magazine about using design thinking in the process of decision-making in business. As I see it, the concept of design thinking doesn’t involve anything new with regard to the design process itself, but it’s new in that it’s an abstraction of the problem-solving processed used by designers. Along the same lines of what Roger Martin, Tim Brown, and others have been writing recently, this article provides a good overview of design thinking and how it can be applied in new contexts. “Decisions by Design: Stop Deciding, Start Designing.”

Business strategy, design strategy, and competition robots

Posted in philosophy, product design by Dan on January 11, 2010

A couple cool products were posted on Core77 this week:

Roger Martin, the Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and one of the popular advocates of the “design thinking” movement, wrote a short piece at the Harvard Business Review explaining that, in a good business strategy, “where-to-play and how-to-win choices fit together and reinforce one another.” This is a basic but often-missed principle of business strategy, but its relevance is not limited to business. A solution that is both innovative and effective must implement a carefully chosen method (how to win), while the method must be developed in concert with equally careful choices in users, culture, and physical environment, as well as the problem itself (where to play). “Why Most CEOs Are Bad at Strategy.”

The where-to-play and how-to-play questions are especially important in the design of competition robots—and speaking of which, this year’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) season began on Saturday with the release of the rules for the game “Breakaway.” High school teams participating in the program each have six and a half intense weeks to analyze the game and then design, build, program, and test a 120-pound robot that will play this game. Among FRC’s many challenges in engineering, problem-solving, and teamwork, the robot design process is interesting because teams must develop the same two elements of their game strategy. At first glance, the game rules seem to tell you “where to play,” leaving teams to decide “how to win.” The best teams, however, will design a strategy that aims for mutual reinforcement between their robot’s functions and operation (how) and considerations of which field structures to interact with, which area of the field to play on, and how to interact with other robots (where).

Watch the three-minute animation describing the game itself and check out the FRC home page for more information.

Barcodes redesigned; wristwatches reinvented

Posted in product design, theory by Dan on November 11, 2009

The company D-Barcode takes a creative approach to barcodes:
In Japan, Even the Barcodes Are Well Designed

Michael Surtees (whose blog, Design Notes, I recommend in general), reviews a watch made by Nooka, who has continually reinvented the way time can be displayed:
Looking at the Nooka Zem Zenv Mr S and some of the other Nooka brand shapes
See also his Flickr gallery of Nooka products.

Third, a thoughtful article by Don Norman: “A product is actually a service.”
Systems Thinking: A Product Is More Than the Product

“Thirty Conversations on Design” and a few cool products

Posted in designers, interviews, product design by Dan on November 6, 2009

Good morning. This is the first of many daily emails (or posts) to come, each with a delicious serving of content on design and innovation, prepared just for you. Does that sound corny? Or does it sound like breakfast?

“Thirty Conversations on Design” is a collection of bite-size videos from famous designers and creative professionals. Ten of them have been posted so far, and the remaining twenty will be delivered later this month.

We asked them two questions: “What single example of design inspires you most?” and “What problem should design solve next?” Their answers might surprise you. But hopefully, they’ll all inspire you.

My favorites are those by Ric Grefe from AIGA, Jason Severs from frog design, Erik Spiekermann, and Linda Tischler from Fast Company. One reason I think these are interesting is that many of the designers, regardless of their profession, describe design challenges and solutions that span multiple discliplines and fields. And they’re all truly serious about their missions as designers, even if their job is only to design sports equipment.

Now, for the products:

A reusable water bottle that folds up:

Sketchbooks made with 5.25″ floppy disks:

An infographic-turned-bracelet:

Sled Coffee Table and Rug: