"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."
"A variety of designers and researchers address issues of concern to contemporary design thinking in this first issue1 of Zoontechnica (not counting the pre-issue, now archived). All grapple with questions about how design can, in more substantial ways, contribute to sustaining those things that need to be sustained, like social justice, equity, diversity and critical thinking. ...
It is now widely acknowledged that design has played a central role in creating and sustaining cultures of consumption that continue to use up resources, burn fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases that lead to climate change, and so on. What's less recognized is that these are not just biophysical problems to be solved by technologies, but that the unsustainable is often that which is closest to us, the everyday world in which we feel comfortable, secure and accommodated (herein lies a dilemma for user-centred design – what to do about user needs/desires that clearly contribute to unsustainability?). Being-in-the-world is being with designed things, structures and spaces that design our modes of being. Sometimes this is obvious, 'the designed' declaring itself as such,but mostly, the designed nature of our worlds is invisible to us, and when everything is working as it should, we feel at ease. We shouldn't. So much of what functions seamlessly now, saves time, delivers convenience, gives pleasure, etc– is actually taking futures away."
(Anne-Marie Willis, November 2011)
"This paper focuses on how designers can contribute to enabling sustainable livelihoods in communities, especially communities of people with physical disabilities. This is a new area of design research and practice. The paper draws on a case study of the role and contribution of designers in one of the most disadvantaged communities in a semi-urban area of Thailand between 2007 and 2010. This was a collaborative project with nineteen community members with physical impairment in the Samutprakran province. This community had a long history of developing crafts for income generation. The aim was to explore and test new approaches that would result in a model leading to alternative livelihoods, including transforming their capabilities and using available resources in their community to achieve positive outcomes. Participatory Action Research (PAR), Human-Centered Design (HCD) and Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) were employed as research strategies and approaches. The project was structured around three workshops targeting three successive stages: 1) recruiting participants for a case study and facilitating the gathering of their own data and doing the necessary analysis; 2) enabling them to create and make their own choices to improve their situation; and 3) monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the implementation. There were four key findings. Firstly, the community participants stated that they had achieved the livelihood goals that they desired. They also devised a complementary income-generating activity which enabled them to continue to improve their capabilities, earn income and reinforce their value in their community, and to reduce their vulnerability. From the researcher's perspective, PAR integrated with HCD and combined with SLA were shown to be effective strategies and approaches because they facilitate the transfer of knowledge to the participants, giving them both incentive and ownership in their ideas and actions, enabling them to create and pursue their own solutions. Finally, this study demonstrated the benefits of reorientation of the designer's role from that of a solution provider to that of an agent of sustainable change."
(Siriporn Peters, 4 May 2011)
2). Siriporn Peters (2011). "Design for enabling sustainable livelihoods in communities", Iridescent: Icograda Journal of Design Research ISSN 1923-5003.
"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)