where do design ideas come from? Andrew J. Ko

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1 where do design ideas come from? Andrew J. Ko

2 why am I talking about this? at the end of this week, homework 2 will ask you to think of 40 design ideas that address your design problem it s harder than you think... 2

3 If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse. Henry Ford, Ford Motors 3

4 ideas don t come from users users are not designers they won t imagine entirely new possibilities they can t always clearly articulate their goals and needs (and when they do, they may not articulate the root causes of a problem) 4

5 it s your job to discover the needs you shouldn t ask users what they want you should learn about users problems in deep and meaningful ways only then can you arrive at meaningful design ideas let s test this hypothesis... 5

6 here s a design question how can Seattleites minimize how much they spend on gas for their car? 6

7 here s a design question how can Seattleites minimize how much they spend on gas for their car? assume they live 30 miles from where they work 7

8 here s a design question how can Seattleites minimize how much they spend on gas for their car? assume they live 30 miles from where they work assume they drop off 2 children at school on the way to work 8

9 here s a design question how can Seattleites minimize how much they spend on gas for their car? assume they live 30 miles from where they work assume they drop off 2 children at school on the way to work assume the children go to different schools 9

10 here s a design question how can Seattleites minimize how much they spend on gas for their car? assume they live 30 miles from where they work assume they drop off 2 children at school on the way to work assume the children go to different schools assume most of them are graphic designers whose clients are largely in Russia, but they have an average of 2 face to face meetings with local clients per week 10

11 today s thesis the ideas you think of depend on the context you see 11

12 how can Seattleites save gas? TheDamnМushroom, Flikr,

13 how can Seattleites save gas? Seattle Daily Photo, Flikr,

14 how can Seattleites save gas? Nevermind Photos, Flikr,

15 how can you use context strategically to envision new ideas? 15

16 steal "Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don't bother concealing your thievery celebrate it if you feel like it." Jim Jarmusch filmaker 16

17 know your history 17

18 ideate in context Godden, D, & Baddeley, A. (1975). Context dependent memory in two natural environments. British Journal of Psychology, 66(3),

19 quality through quantity The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas. Linus Pauling Nobel Prize winning chemist 19

20 capture constantly Di Vinci wrote every thought down, allowing him to return to ideas long after he had them 20

21 prototype in parallel reveal the relative merits ideas Parallel Prototyping Leads to Better Design Results, More Divergence, and Increased Self- Efficacy, Steven P Dow, Alana Glassco, Jonathan Kass, Melissa Schwarz, Daniel L Schwartz, Scott R Klemmer, TOCHI, 11(4), 2010 Gabriele Oropallo, Flikr,

22 reframe and reformulate view the problem differently to see different solutions (is time really uniform and absolute?) 22

23 know your mind when are you good at converging and diverging? when are you most alert? 23

24 reason analogically abstract the structure and properties of a known thing and instantiate it into a new thing Plato and Aristotle called it shared abstraction horse grass-powered human vessel gaspowered human-vessel car Analogy seems to have a share in all discoveries, but in some it has the lion s share. George Polya How to Solve it,

25 what underlies these strategies? steal good ideas know your history work in context quality through quantity capture constantly prototype in parallel reframe and reformulate know your mind reason analogically 25

26 three forms of reasoning deductive reasoning conclusions from propositions laziness makes people late, bus drivers are people laziness makes bus drivers late inductive reasoning abstractions from propositions all buses are slow all transit is slow abductive reasoning propositions from conclusions buses are slow bus drivers don t have visible clocks all of these are necessary for creativity, but abductive reasoning is the only one that requires one to guess possible causes and explanations 26

27 (deductive/inductive) convergent thinking refining ideas critiquing assessing evaluating iterating quality (abductive) divergent thinking finding ideas imagining exploring ideating creating quantity Cropley, Arthur. In Praise of Convergent Thinking. Creativity Research Journal, Vol 18(3), 2006,

28 ideation is abduction, abduction is observation steal good ideas know your history work in context quality through quantity capture constantly prototype in parallel reframe and reformulate know your mind reason analogically in abductive terms, each of these help you to identify propositions (ideas) that might explain or influence a problem all possible explanations come from reasoning about observations of the world 28

29 sometimes ideation requires data imagine you were trying to improve fast food menu readability how closely would you watch people order? Halverson Group, Flikr,

30 ways of observing we talked about interviews and contextual inquiries, but there are many other ways to observe rigorously formalizing mental models (Payne 2003) cognitive work analysis (Monk 2003) activity theory (Bertelsen & Bødker 2003) all in Carroll (2003) HCI Models, Theories and Frameworks: Toward a Multidisciplinary Science. Morgan Kaufmann. design ethnography (Button 2003) distributed cognition (Perry 2003) problem and solution spaces Goel & Pirolli (1992). The Structure of Design Problems and Spaces. Cognitive Science, 16(3),

31 observational research methods for design grounded theory questionnaires affinity diagrams interviews user tests ethnography cognitive work analysis observing focus groups experiments subjective objective participatory design action research interventionist 31

32 Central on using design ethnography a design firm in CA 32

33 the gist ideas don t come from users ideas come from reflecting on design contexts by stealing good ideas, knowing your history, working in context, generating and capturing a lot of ideas, prototyping ideas in parallel rather than sequence, reframing problems, and reasoning analogically comments or questions? 33

34 activity 2 remembering vs. observing How can the Information School advertise its presence in MGH so that significantly more students, faculty, and staff are aware of the school s existence? those with even birth dates will stay in the classroom and generate as many ideas as possible those with odd birth dates will venture outside to generate as many ideas as possible return in 15 minutes and we ll compare ideas 34

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