"IDEO Method Cards is a collection of 51 cards representing diverse ways that design teams can understand the people they are designing for. They are used to make a number of different methods accessible to all members of a design team, to explain how and when the methods are best used, and to demonstrate how they have been applied to real design projects.
IDEO's human factors specialists conceived the deck as a design research tool for its staff and clients, to be used by researchers, designers, and engineers to evaluate and select the empathic research methods that best inform specific design initiatives. The tool can be used in various ways - sorted, browsed, searched, spread out, pinned up - as both information and inspiration to human-centered design teams and individuals at various stages to support planning and execution of design programs.
Inspired by playing cards, the cards are classified as four suits - Ask, Watch, Learn, Try - that define the types of activities involved in using each method. Each approach is illustrated by a real-life example of how the method was applied to a specific project. As new methods are developed all the time, the deck will grow and evolve over time.
In its first year, the Method Cards appeared to have unexpected relevance to groups that are not necessarily engaged in design initiatives. Clients report using the tool to explore new approaches to problem-solving, gain perspective, inspire a team, turn a corner, try new approaches, and to adapt and develop their own methods."
"There is a growing interest in the role that design can play in catalysing, harnessing, spreading and scaling social innovation around the world. This is expressed in two key ways:
> by a growing number of professional designers and design disciplines applying their skills to addressing social issues; and
> by the adoption of design tools, techniques and methods by a growing number of other disciplines focused on developing social innovation.
Perhaps the most recognisable facet of this interest has been the rise of 'design thinking' not only in business, but increasingly in public service and policy fields. Fuelled by design agencies such as IDEO in the US, non-profit bodies such as the Design Council in the UK, and education institutions such as Stanford's 'd.school', design thinking has begun to be recognised as a key ingredient underpinning innovation (whether that be social innovation or not). Indeed, according to Sir George Cox, past chairman of the Design Council, design is what bridges creativity (the generation of new ideas) and innovation (the successful implementation of new ideas). In other words, design could be described as:
'the human power to conceive, plan, and realize products that serve human beings in the accomplishment of any individual or collective purpose' (Richard Buchanan, 2001)."
(Ingrid Burkett, Knowledge Connect)
Fig.1 AT.AW [http://www.at-aw.com]
"The Future of the Book is a design exploration of digital reading that seeks to identify new opportunities for readers, publishers, and authors to discover, consume, and connect in different formats.
As more people consume pages in pixels, IDEO designers wondered why we continue to discover and consume the written word through the old analog, page-turning model. We asked: what happens when the reading experience catches up with new technologies?
The team looked at how digital and analog books currently are being read, shared and collected, as well as at trends, business models and consumer behavior within related fields. We identified three distinct opportunities - new narratives, social reading with richer context, and providing tools for critical thinking - and developed a design concept around each one.
The first concept, 'Alice,' turns storytelling on its head by making narratives non-linear and participatory. With Alice, the story world starts bleeding into the everyday life of the reader. Real-world challenges, like acting on a phone call from the lead character, or participating in photo based scavenger hunts, unlock new aspects of the story, and turn other readers into collaborators or competitors. Alice is a platform for authors to experiment with narratives, to allow their stories to transcend media, and to engage fans in the storytelling process.
The second concept, 'Coupland,' makes book discovery a social activity by allowing readers to build shared libraries and hear about additional texts through existing networks. Coupland makes it easy for busy professionals to stay on top of industry must-reads. Businesses can assign book budgets to their employees and build collective libraries through a group-licensing model. Personal recommendations, aggregation of reading patterns, and the ability to follow inspiring individuals and groups help ensure that Coupland users always are tapped into the latest essential content within and outside of the organization.
The third concept, 'Nelson,' connects books to commentary, critique, and contextual information, letting readers explore a topic from multiple perspectives. Nelson reinforces the role of books as carriers of knowledge and insight. Readers can explore polarizing material and see whose word currently has the greatest impact on popular opinion and debate. Layers of connected commentary, news, and fact-checking augment the core book content - providing greater context and encouraging debate and scrutiny.
Each concept features a simple, accessible storytelling format and a particular look and feel. We believe that digital technology creates possibilities, so our solutions truly adapt to the new environment, rather than emulate analog qualities onscreen. For example, we resisted any temptation to move books closer to the bite-sized character of other digital media, because longhand writing encourages immersion (deep reading) and reflection."
"To prepare for the launch of its new Boeing 777-300 aircraft in November 2010, Air New Zealand scrutinized its current long-haul offering. The company asked IDEO to rethink the entire experience - from the cabin's layout and equipment, such as the seating in economy and business class, to the in-flight service and entertainment and even their customers' experience inside and beyond the terminal. ...
Together, Air New Zealand and IDEO revamped the airline's equipment, service, and technology strategy. Innovative seats will allow travelers one of two desired experiences: connection and socialization or solitude and retreat. Their reconfigurable design permits each passenger a level of interaction with (or privacy from) others that was previously reserved only for those in first class. In addition to best-in-class video and gaming, in-flight entertainment will allow travelers, Kiwi and foreigner alike, to share their experiences, photos and recommendations with each other, making plans and preserving memories for the life that follows disembarkation. The airline's service strategy, both onboard and on the ground, will shift to celebrate the people, rather than the landscape, of New Zealand - giving crew and passenger alike opportunities to interact and form meaningful connections. Policies and procedures were crafted to give travelers more control of their space, of their time, of meeting their demands and ultimately over having an enjoyable and memorable flight. Creating their own technology platform was essential to delivering on this promise of improved and individualized in-flight experiences at scale. IDEO worked with Air New Zealand to understand what they could do - build, buy, or partner - with a view towards near-term implementation.'"
"Design thinking is ... a discipline that uses the designer's sensibility and methods to match people's needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity. Like [Thomas] Edison's painstaking innovation process, it often entails a great deal of perspiration. ...
Historically, design has been treated as a downstream step in the development process - the point where designers, who have played no earlier role in the substantive work of innovation, come along and put a beautiful wrapper around the idea. To be sure, this approach has stimulated market growth in many areas by making new products and technologies aesthetically attractive and therefore more desirable to consumers or by enhancing brand perception through smart, evocative advertising and communication strategies. During the latter half of the twentieth century design became an increasingly valuable competitive asset in, for example, the consumer electronics, automotive, and consumer packaged goods industries. But in most others it remained a late-stage add-on.
Now, however, rather than asking designers to make an already developed idea more attractive to consumers, companies are asking them to create ideas that better meet consumers' needs and desires. The former role is tactical, and results in limited value creation; the latter is strategic, and leads to dramatic new forms of value."
(Tim Brown, 2008, Harvard Business Review)