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

ISBN-10: 0199744335
ISBN-13: 9780199744336
Edition: 2011
Authors: Jon Kolko
List price: $58.00
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Description: 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.  More...

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Book details

List price: $58.00
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 1/28/2011
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 208
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.210
Language: English

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.

Introduction
A Lack of Method in Practice Leads to Problems
The Goals of This Text
The Immediacy of This Text
What Is Synthesis?
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
Sensemaking, Frames, Models, and Patterns
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
Abductive Reasoning
Design Synthesis in a Business Context
The Value of Synthesis in Driving Innovation
What Is Innovation?
Design Synthesis Links Innovation Research and Design
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
Methods and Applicability
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 Is 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
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
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 Cited
Index

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