Exposing the Magic of Design

Exposing the Magic of Design : A Practitioner's Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis

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As the world deals with increasing complexity - in issues of sustainability, finance, culture and technology - business and governments are searching for a form of problem solving that can deal with the unprecedented levels of ambiguity and chaos. Traditional "linear thinking" has been disparaged by the popular media as being inadequate for dealing with the global economic crisis. Standard forms of marketing and product development have been rejected by businesses who need to find a way to stay competitive in a global economy. Yet little has been offered as an alternative. It is not enough to demand that someone "be more innovative" without giving him the tools to succeed. Design synthesis is a way of thinking about complicated, multifaceted problems of this scale with a repeatable degree of success. Design synthesis methods can be applied in business, with the goal of producing new and compelling products and services, and they can be applied in government, with the goal of changing culture and bettering society. In both contexts, however, there is a need for speed and for aggressive action.This text is immediately relevant, and is more relevant than ever, as we acknowledge and continually reference a feeling of an impending and massive change. Simply, this text is intended to act as a practitioner's guide to exposing the magic of design. There are three simple goals for this text. The first goal is to present a theory of design synthesis in a simple and concise manner. This theory is based on academic research and discourse, but presented in a way that is clear and valuable to a practicing design manager, designer or design researcher. This theory of design synthesis can then be used to substantiate single methods of synthesis. The second goal is to offer a rationalization of why design synthesis is important, both in a general sense ("why should I care about this at all?") as well as in a more immediate sense ("why should I care about this right now?"). The final goal is to present a set of actionable, learnable methods for design synthesis that can be applied to any design problem.Practicing industrial designers, interaction designers, interface designers, and designers of other disciplines can use these methods to make sense of complicated design problems and to move seamlessly from various forms of research to design. The methods can add a systematic sense of rigor to an otherwise subjective, often introspective process.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 154.94 x 236.22 x 25.4mm | 430.91g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0199744335
  • 9780199744336
  • 288,478

About Jon Kolko

Jon Kolko is an Associate Creative Director at frog design (http://www.frogdesign.com/) and the Founder and Director of Austin Center for Design (http://www.austincenterfordesign.com/), an educational institution in Texas. He has worked extensively in the professional world of interaction design, solving the problems of Fortune 500 clients. Prior to working at frog, Kolko was a Professor of Interaction and Industrial Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he was instrumental in shaping the Interaction and Industrial Design undergraduate and graduate programs. Kolko sits on the Board of Directors for the Interaction Design Association (IxDA (http://www.ixda.org/)), and is the Editor-in-Chief of interactions magazine (http://interactions.acm.org/), published by the ACM.show more

Review quote

Exposing the Magic of Design fits perfectly into a long-empty slot on the bookshelves of practitioners and students. His theory of synthesis will engage your brain six ways from Sunday, while the practical, actionable methods will change your process immediately. We have needed this book! Steve Portigal Principal, Portigal Consulting Structured in three logical parts - theory, business value, and practical guidelines - Kolko's book is a must-read for those looking for a clear explanation of how to move from design research to design solutions. Mark Vanderbeeken Senior Partner, Experientia ..".design students, practitioners of design in all disciplines dealing with product development, and business owners have much to gain from reading this volume." -- PsycCRITIQUESshow more

Table of contents

Introduction ; How to make sense of chaos ; A lack of method in practice leads to problems ; The goals of this text ; The immediacy of this text ; Section One: What is synthesis? ; Chapter 1: A Theory of Synthesis ; Understanding how people solve problems ; Acting on an informed hunch ; Making a judgment ; Using partial or incomplete information ; Understanding, and breaking, constraints ; Chapter 2: Sensemaking, Frames, Models and Patterns ; The nature of sensemaking in understanding ; The role of perspective in framing situations ; The importance of models in sensemaking ; Mental models as a specific type of cognitive representation ; The nature of patterns on our experiences ; Chapter 3: Abductive Reasoning ; Section Two: Design synthesis in a business context ; Chapter 4: The value of synthesis in driving innovation ; What is innovation? ; Design synthesis links innovation research and design ; Chapter 5: The culture of synthesis ; Challenging constraints and questioning purpose ; Being playful ; Experiencing flow ; Using visualization as a primary mechanism of thought ; Changing a prohibitive culture ; Section Three: Methods and applicability ; A framework for organizing synthesis methods ; A method selection guide ; Chapter 6: Methods for making meaning out of data ; Externalizing the process (get out of your laptop!) ; Using visual design to clean up the mess ; Organizing, to produce semantic relationships ; Prioritizing the data to emphasize what's important ; Judging the data, to reduce the quantity ; Enhancing the data through "best guess" intuitive leaps ; For Example: Getting to Meaning through Story ; Method: Affinity Diagramming ; How to apply this method ; For Example: Parallel Clustering ; Method: Flow Diagramming ; How to Apply this Method ; For Example: The Flow Through a Hunter Fan Thermostat ; A Case Study ; Chapter 7: Methods for building an experience framework ; Telling a Story. ; Changing the Scale. ; Shifting the Placements. ; Method: Concept Mapping ; How to Apply this Method ; For Example - Using Concept Maps in Product Development ; Method: Forced Semantic Zoom ("Ecosystem Mapping") ; How to Apply this Method ; For Example: Breakpoint Diagrams and Other Tools for Transitions ; Method: Forced Temporal Zoom ("Customer Journey Mapping") ; How to Apply this Method ; For Example -The Emotional Touch Points of Shopping ; Chapter 8: Methods for Creating Empathy and Insight ; Understanding Chasm 3: Empathy and Insight ; Method: Reframing ; How to Apply this Method ; Method: Insight Combination ; How to Apply this Method ; Conclusion ; Glossary ; Works Citedshow more

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99 ratings
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