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#7 The Networked Designer

Matt Cooper-Wright is an interaction designer at IDEO in London. He has been part of creating the course structure for Digital Experience Design. I'm really looking forward to meeting him in London in a couple of weeks time to explore how and when he will be involved in working with our students.

Here's what he has to say...
1. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over the last year?
You are only as good as your network, build connections to interesting people and procure a circle of talented people. The company I work for (IDEO) is a network of amazingly talented people, each of whom procure a network of the their own, the network effects that come from this kind of organisation unlocks all kinds of opportunities.
Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 17.46.46
The traditional image of networking is slightly disingenuous face-to-face conversations in the hope that you might benefit from someone else in the future. The network effect I'm most interested in is founded in the realities of a networked society and economy. Many small interactions with generous exchanges.
 
2. What’s your burning question of the moment?
How designers and design thinkers build data into their work. Data is (at least) two things for designers: firstly a new resource for inspiring design and identifying challenges; secondly it's the outcome we're now designing. People everywhere are trying to figure out what to do with data, anyone who has an answer right now is probably bluffing, designers need to figure out how we're going to work with data both for our own purposes, but more importantly on behalf of the people we design for.
 
3. What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen/ heard/ read in the last year?
I'm inspired by new things everyday. When you tune into a subject you care about, being inspired becomes easy, suddenly you see connections between all kinds of stuff. But that's not answering the question.
Practically, Ed Catmull's book on running Pixar (Creativity Inc.) is a great lesson for anyone working in creative teams. The Startup podcast is an amazing tale told by great storytellers, if you have aspirations to start you own company you should listen to it. Finally, IDEO Labs is a constant source of inspiration from within the IDEO network, the technical stories behind great projects happening around the world – also a great example of staying connected to interesting people.

4. What would be your one piece of advice to students on Hyper Island’s new MA in Digital Experience Design?

Being a designer today isn't the same as it was 10 years ago. The complexity of the systems we design within mean that there aren't any fixed points anymore. As designers we are well placed to move with change, to seek out new problems and new solutions. It's never been harder to be a designer, and never more rewarding.

You can hear our other industry connections answer the same questions over here:#6 The Speculative Designer#5 The Digital Maker#4 The Craftsman#3 The Storyteller#2 The Dreaming Maker  and #1 The Go-Getter.

#7 The Networked Designer

Matt Cooper-Wright is an interaction designer at IDEO in London. He has been part of creating the course structure for Digital Experience Design. I'm really looking forward to meeting him in London in a couple of weeks time to explore how and when he will be involved in working with our students.

Here's what he has to say...
1. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over the last year?
You are only as good as your network, build connections to interesting people and procure a circle of talented people. The company I work for (IDEO) is a network of amazingly talented people, each of whom procure a network of the their own, the network effects that come from this kind of organisation unlocks all kinds of opportunities.
Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 17.46.46
The traditional image of networking is slightly disingenuous face-to-face conversations in the hope that you might benefit from someone else in the future. The network effect I'm most interested in is founded in the realities of a networked society and economy. Many small interactions with generous exchanges.
 
2. What’s your burning question of the moment?
How designers and design thinkers build data into their work. Data is (at least) two things for designers: firstly a new resource for inspiring design and identifying challenges; secondly it's the outcome we're now designing. People everywhere are trying to figure out what to do with data, anyone who has an answer right now is probably bluffing, designers need to figure out how we're going to work with data both for our own purposes, but more importantly on behalf of the people we design for.
 
3. What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen/ heard/ read in the last year?
I'm inspired by new things everyday. When you tune into a subject you care about, being inspired becomes easy, suddenly you see connections between all kinds of stuff. But that's not answering the question.
Practically, Ed Catmull's book on running Pixar (Creativity Inc.) is a great lesson for anyone working in creative teams. The Startup podcast is an amazing tale told by great storytellers, if you have aspirations to start you own company you should listen to it. Finally, IDEO Labs is a constant source of inspiration from within the IDEO network, the technical stories behind great projects happening around the world – also a great example of staying connected to interesting people.

4. What would be your one piece of advice to students on Hyper Island’s new MA in Digital Experience Design?

Being a designer today isn't the same as it was 10 years ago. The complexity of the systems we design within mean that there aren't any fixed points anymore. As designers we are well placed to move with change, to seek out new problems and new solutions. It's never been harder to be a designer, and never more rewarding.

You can hear our other industry connections answer the same questions over here:#6 The Speculative Designer#5 The Digital Maker#4 The Craftsman#3 The Storyteller#2 The Dreaming Maker  and #1 The Go-Getter.

5 New Design Careers and Top 10 Skills

Tim Brown is the CEO and president of IDEO. He has written a post that seems like the perfect follow up from my previous post on how to get a job as a service designer. Tim has shared five new design careers for the 21st century and he encourages us to ask ourselves How might I apply my unique talents to design challenges? and what other unlikely skill sets do you think could advance design innovation?  

"Fancy a career in design? When I made that choice 30 years ago, the options were limited. You either got an engineering degree and then went to design school, or you went to art school and studied graphic design, architecture, or industrial design, like I did.

Today, things are very different. Thanks to the still-booming Silicon Valley, interaction and user-experience designers have been added to the mix, but those aren’t the only opportunities for design thinkers. Even graduates of non-traditional programs can embark on exciting design careers. To wit, here are five disciplines that didn’t even exist at IDEO a few years ago.

The Designer Coder

Prototyping has always been a critical part of design, but in today’s online, app-based economy, the preferred prototyping medium is increasingly code. Designers who can also code possess a powerful set of tools. There are thousands of positions open to those who have the skills to conceive new ideas and the ability to launch them quickly into market.

The Design Entrepreneur

Combining entrepreneurialism and design is the hot thing in Silicon Valley these days. Every start-up worth its salt has a designer on its founding team. Venture capital firms are including designers in their inner circles, too. More importantly, many of the fastest-growing companies are succeeding because they’ve designed a highly appealing product or service. Just look at Uber or Airbnb. If you have the design skills to craft the right product—and the entrepreneurial grit to see things through—there’s never been a better time to be a design entrepreneur.

The Hybrid Design Researcher

Once upon a time, design researchers came from backgrounds in anthropology, ethnography, or psychology. Deep qualitative research was the secret to discovering unmet needs. While it’s still a successful design-research strategy, these more traditional methods are now being combined with real-time data to reveal user behavior. Knowing how to tap into technology to uncover how individuals and groups really think and act is an essential part of innovation. If you love people and love crunching data, this might be the design career for you.

The Business Designer

Business design may seem like a contradiction if you think about business purely from an operational lens. If you’re a business designer, however, you’re not just looking for innovation from an end product or service. You’re looking at the business model, channel strategy, marketing, supply chain, and a million other things. In truly disruptive innovations, all aspects of the business are up for grabs. Think about the early days of Google. Search innovation was what we experienced as users, but it was by attaching search results to advertising—a business model innovation—that made the company billions. If you have a passion for operations and a desire to flex your creative muscles to create new business systems, then becoming a business designer is the way to go.

The Social Innovator

Creating maximum positive impact on the planet has been my main motivation as a designer. Today, many of those problems—poverty alleviation, access to clean water, financial inclusion, health services for the poor, livable cities, and many more—are in the social sector. Until recently, the only way designers could contribute to these issues was to do small, pro-bono projects or to do research stints within academia. But now, large organization such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, and others, have enthusiastically embraced design thinking. At the same time, non-profit design companies like D-Rev, Design that Matters, our own IDEO.org, and others are collaborating with social entrepreneurs and NGOs to bring exciting new innovations to those most in need. For perhaps the first time in the history of design, it’s possible to make a career designing for the social sector.

These are just a handful of exciting new design careers I’ve witnessed as of late. Given the urgent, complex challenges our world faces, expect more. Better yet, if you’re a young graduate or looking to change careers, ask yourself:

How might I apply my unique talents to design challenges?

Who knows, maybe next year, I might be writing about you.

What other unlikely skill sets do you think could advance design innovation?

 

And how do these connect to the 10 most important work skills in 2020 ... ( via Indy Johar )

Important Work Skills for 2020 Source: Top10OnlineColleges.org

5 New Design Careers and Top 10 Skills

Tim Brown is the CEO and president of IDEO. He has written a post that seems like the perfect follow up from my previous post on how to get a job as a service designer. Tim has shared five new design careers for the 21st century and he encourages us to ask ourselves How might I apply my unique talents to design challenges? and what other unlikely skill sets do you think could advance design innovation?  

"Fancy a career in design? When I made that choice 30 years ago, the options were limited. You either got an engineering degree and then went to design school, or you went to art school and studied graphic design, architecture, or industrial design, like I did.

Today, things are very different. Thanks to the still-booming Silicon Valley, interaction and user-experience designers have been added to the mix, but those aren’t the only opportunities for design thinkers. Even graduates of non-traditional programs can embark on exciting design careers. To wit, here are five disciplines that didn’t even exist at IDEO a few years ago.

The Designer Coder

Prototyping has always been a critical part of design, but in today’s online, app-based economy, the preferred prototyping medium is increasingly code. Designers who can also code possess a powerful set of tools. There are thousands of positions open to those who have the skills to conceive new ideas and the ability to launch them quickly into market.

The Design Entrepreneur

Combining entrepreneurialism and design is the hot thing in Silicon Valley these days. Every start-up worth its salt has a designer on its founding team. Venture capital firms are including designers in their inner circles, too. More importantly, many of the fastest-growing companies are succeeding because they’ve designed a highly appealing product or service. Just look at Uber or Airbnb. If you have the design skills to craft the right product—and the entrepreneurial grit to see things through—there’s never been a better time to be a design entrepreneur.

The Hybrid Design Researcher

Once upon a time, design researchers came from backgrounds in anthropology, ethnography, or psychology. Deep qualitative research was the secret to discovering unmet needs. While it’s still a successful design-research strategy, these more traditional methods are now being combined with real-time data to reveal user behavior. Knowing how to tap into technology to uncover how individuals and groups really think and act is an essential part of innovation. If you love people and love crunching data, this might be the design career for you.

The Business Designer

Business design may seem like a contradiction if you think about business purely from an operational lens. If you’re a business designer, however, you’re not just looking for innovation from an end product or service. You’re looking at the business model, channel strategy, marketing, supply chain, and a million other things. In truly disruptive innovations, all aspects of the business are up for grabs. Think about the early days of Google. Search innovation was what we experienced as users, but it was by attaching search results to advertising—a business model innovation—that made the company billions. If you have a passion for operations and a desire to flex your creative muscles to create new business systems, then becoming a business designer is the way to go.

The Social Innovator

Creating maximum positive impact on the planet has been my main motivation as a designer. Today, many of those problems—poverty alleviation, access to clean water, financial inclusion, health services for the poor, livable cities, and many more—are in the social sector. Until recently, the only way designers could contribute to these issues was to do small, pro-bono projects or to do research stints within academia. But now, large organization such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, and others, have enthusiastically embraced design thinking. At the same time, non-profit design companies like D-Rev, Design that Matters, our own IDEO.org, and others are collaborating with social entrepreneurs and NGOs to bring exciting new innovations to those most in need. For perhaps the first time in the history of design, it’s possible to make a career designing for the social sector.

These are just a handful of exciting new design careers I’ve witnessed as of late. Given the urgent, complex challenges our world faces, expect more. Better yet, if you’re a young graduate or looking to change careers, ask yourself:

How might I apply my unique talents to design challenges?

Who knows, maybe next year, I might be writing about you.

What other unlikely skill sets do you think could advance design innovation?

 

And how do these connect to the 10 most important work skills in 2020 ... ( via Indy Johar )

Important Work Skills for 2020 Source: Top10OnlineColleges.org

Change by design

The title and publication date has been released for Tim Brown's book on design thinking. It will be published by Harper Collins under their Harper Business impression and is due for release late September 2009. "This book introduces design thinking, the collaborative process by which the designer’s sensibilities and methods are employed to match people’s needs with what is technically feasible and a viable business strategy. In short, design thinking converts need into demand. It’s a human-centered approach to problem solving that helps people and organizations become more innovative and creative."

"Design thinking is not just applicable to so-called creative industries or people who work in the design field. It’s an approach that has been used by organizations such as Kaiser Permanente to increase the quality of patient care by re-examining the ways that their nurses manage shift change or Kraft to rethink supply chain management. This book is for creative business leaders who seek to infuse design thinking into every level of an organization, product, or service to drive new alternatives for business and society."

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I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! It is the notion of design thinking being applicable to those outside the creative industries and the design world that interests me the most. I wonder how IDEO intend to promote this book to these people?

Discovered at Tim's blog.