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Which clippings match 'Engineers' keyword pg.1 of 1
04 MAY 2012

IDEO Method Cards: a thinking tool for understanding human factors

"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."

(IDEO)

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TAGS

2003ability to focus • asking • browsed • cards • conceptualisationcreativitycultural probesdecision making • deck of cards • design inspirationdesign methoddesign process • design research tool • design science • design teamdiscovery • empathic research • empathyengineersevaluate and selecthigh performance thinkinghuman factorshuman-centred designIDEOlearning • mental block • methodmethod cardsmethods for design practice • pinned up • playing cards • problem-solving • searched • sorted • spread out • thinking tooltooltools for thinking • trying • turn a corner • understandinguser perspectivewatchingways of thinking

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 APRIL 2012

Cooperation and collaboration: problem solving and problem finding

"The economists Richard Lester and Michael Piore have studied the firms that sought to create the switching technology, finding that cooperation and collaboration within certain companies allowed them to make headway on the switching technology problem, whereas internal competition at other corporations diminished engineers' efforts to improve the quality of the switches. Motorola, a success story, developed what it called a 'technology shelf,' created by a small group of engineers, on which were placed possible technical solutions that other teams might use in the future; rather than trying to solve the problem outright, it developed tools whose immediate value was not clear. Nokia grappled with the problem in another collaborative way, creating an open–ended conversation among its engineers in which salespeople and designers were often included. The boundaries among business units in Nokia were deliberately ambiguous, because more than technical information was needed to get a feeling for the problem; lateral thinking was required. Lester and Piore describe the process of communication this entailed as 'fluid, context–dependent, undetermined.'[20]

By contrast, companies like Ericsson proceeded with more seeming clarity and discipline, dividing the problem into its parts. The birth of the new switch was intended to occur through 'the exchange of information' among offices 'rather than the cultivation of an interpretative community.'[21] Rigidly organized, Ericsson fell away. It did eventually solve the switching technology problem, but with greater difficulty; different offices protected their turf. In any organization, individuals or teams that compete and are rewarded for doing better than others will hoard information. In technology firms, hoarding information particularly disables good work.

The corporations that succeeded through cooperation shared with the Linux community that experimental mark of technological craftsmanship, the intimate, fluid join between problem solving and problem finding. Within the framework of competition, by contrast, clear standards of achievement and closure are needed to measure performance and to dole out rewards.

[20] Richard K. Lester and Michael J. Piore, Innovation, the Missing Dimension (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004), 98.

[21] Ibid., 104."

(Richard Sennett, 2008, pp.32–33)

1). Sennett, R. (2008). "The Craftsman". New Haven & London, Yale University Press.

TAGS

2008boundaries • business units • clarity and discipline • closurecollaborationcommunicationcommunication processcompetitioncompetitive teams • context-dependent communication • cooperationcooperation and collaborationcorporationscraftsmanship • deliberately ambiguous • designers • dividing problems into parts • dole out rewards • engagementengineers • fluid communication • framework of competition • hoarding information • information exchangeinformation in context • internal competition • interpretative community • lateral thinkingLinux • Linux community • measure performance • Michael Piore • MotorolaNokia • open-ended conversation • participationperformanceperformativityproblem findingproblem solving and problem findingproblem-solvingreward • Richard Lester • Richard SennettsalespeopleshareSony Ericssonstandards of achievementsuccess • switching technology • technical information • technical solutions • technological craftsmanship • technology shelf • The Craftsman • undetermined communication • working methods

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 SEPTEMBER 2011

Dyson: new ways of doing the familiar

"New ideas are the lifeblood of Dyson. Every year, we invest half our profits back into harnessing them at our research and development laboratory in Wiltshire. There are 350 engineers and scientists based there. Thinking, testing, breaking, questioning.

They're a varied bunch, too. Many are design engineers developing new ideas and technology. Then there are specialists who test and improve different aspects of each machine, from the way they sound to what they pick up. Some will have years of experience. Others are fresh out of universities like the Royal College of Art, Brunel or Loughborough."

(Dyson Limited, UK)

Fig.1 Sean Poulter (15th September 2011). "Sci–fi: The bladeless fan heater quickly warms an entire room without any visible moving parts" [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article–2037565/Get–hot–Dyson–unveils–new–heater–warms–room–using–jet–engine–technology.html], Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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TAGS

applied research • breaking • Brunel University • design and development • design engineers • Dyson • Dyson Air Multiplier • engineersentrepreneurshipeverydayimagineeringinnovationknowledge-based economyLoughborough Universitymachinenew ideasnew technologyquestioningresearch labRoyal College of ArttestingthinkingUK • Wiltshire

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 SEPTEMBER 2011

Nina Wenhart's blog on the prehysteries of new media

"this blog is nina wenhart's collection of resources on the various histories of new media art. it consists mainly of non or very little edited material i found flaneuring on the net, sometimes with my own annotations and comments, sometimes it's also textparts i retyped from books that are out of print.

it is also meant to be an additional resource of information and recommended reading for my students of the prehystories of new media class that i teach at the school of the art institute of chicago in fall 2008.

the focus is on the time period from the beginning of the 20th century up to today."

(Nina Wenhart, 26/06/2008)

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TAGS

20th centuryAlan Turingapplied researchARarchiveArs Electronicaart • art + science • art + technologyart of codeartificial intelligenceartificial life • artistic molecules • artistic practice • artistic software • artistsASCIIASCII-Artatom • atomium • audiofiles • augmented realityavant-gardebody • Cave Automated Virtual Environment (CAVE) • code art • cold warcollection • collection of resources • computercomputer animationcomputer graphicscomputer history • computer programming language • computer research • computer sculptureconcept artconceptual artconceptualisationconcrete poetry • copy-it-right • creative practicecritical theorycross-disciplinaryculture industrycuratingcurationcut-up techniquecybernetic artCybernetic Serendipitycyberneticscyberpunkcyberspacecyborgdata miningdata visualisationdesign research • dream machine • E.A.T. • early new media • Edward Ihnatowiczengineers • Eugen Roth • exhibitionsexpanded cinemaexperimental musicexperimentation • female artists and digital media • flaneur • flaneuring on the net • Fluxusfoundgenerative artgenetic artglitch • Gordon Pask • GPSgraffiti • Grey Walter • GUI • hackers and painters • hackinghacktivismHCIHerbert FrankehistorieshistoryhypermediahypertextIannis Xenakisimagineeringinformation theoryinsightinstructionsinteractive artinterdisciplinaryInternet • Ivan Picelj • Jack Burnham • Julije Knifer • Ken Rinaldo • kinetic sculpture • Lidija Merenik • live visualsmagic • Manchester Mark 1 • manifestomappingmediamedia archaeologymedia art • media art histories • minimalism • mother of all demos • mousemusical scorenetartnew medianew media art • new media exhibition • new media festival • Nina Wenhart • open sourceopen space • out of print • particle systems • Paul Graham • performance • phonesthesia • playlistpoetrypoliticspractice-led • prehysteries of new media • prehystories of new mediaProcessing (software)programmingprogramming languageprojectspsychogeographyradio artrare • re:place • real-timeresearch artefactresources • retyped • ridiculous • rotten + forgotten • SAIC • sandin image processor • School of the Art Institute of Chicagoscientific visualisation • screen-based • SIGGRAPHSituationistsslide projectorslit-scansoftwaresoftware studiesspeculative designspeculative research • Stewart Brand • surveillancetactical mediataggingtechniquetechnologytelecommunicationtelematic arttelematic experiencetext • textparts • Theo Jansentheoretical contexttheory buildingtimeline • Turing Test • ubiquitous computingunabomberundergraduate researchvideo artvideo synthesizervirtual realityvisual musicvisual research • Vladimir Bonacic • VRWalter Benjaminwearable computing • Williams Tube • world fair • world machine • Xerox PARCZKM • [Nove] tendencije

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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