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Showing posts from January, 2017

Revisiting some thoughts from 2008 "Design Thinking in 10 to 20 years"

In 2008 I wrote a blog post about the future of design thinking (see below). It was a short post and it was primarily predicting design thinking to have a serious and fundamental influence on the structure of higher education and research. I anticipated design to have become an integral part of all areas of academia, not just the traditional design disciplines. Well, I think it is obvious that my prediction were a bit too ambitious (even though we have barely made 10 of the "10 to 20 years" I was discussing).

We are still not where I thought we would be. Design as a distinct activity of inquiry and action is not yet recognized in academia. Design has not become the obvious third culture, next to science and art. However, we are definitely living in a time when design thinking has been recognized as an suitable approach when it comes to creative and innovative change, primarily by business and industry (I have in some other posts warned for the design thinking backlash).

Thi…

Designerly Thinking and Doing in Chicago on March 31st.

I will hold a workshop on Designerly Thinking and Doing in Chicago on March 31st.
Click on the link if you want to know more.

Here is what the workshop is about.

Professionals and leaders in all areas are today challenged with constant demands of producing creative and innovative solutions. Lately the notion of “Design thinking” has emerged as a new and exciting approach able to deliver such solutions. But what does it really mean to think and act in a designerly way? Where do you start? And how do you develop design competence and leadership? We've brought Erik back to share with us his approach to design judgement based on several decades of research with designers. The purpose of this workshop is to provide a deep understanding of what designerly thinking and doing as a way of navigating a complex world means and how to do it. Among the topics covered:
- When is a designerly approach appropriate
- Why engage in a designerly approach
- What does designerly thinking mean as a pra…

'Rich interactions' -- a blind spot in HCI research

I am often struck by the strive for simplicity that seems to guide almost all HCI research and also most of the popular press surrounding interaction design and UX. This strive towards simplicity seems to be so fundamental and unquestionable that it is not even understood as a purposely chosen goal. Instead it seems to be a given. Of course, it is not a problem to try to make things simple. Why shouldn't we? And as long as we are dealing with very simple software and apps that help people do simple tasks this is not an issue. But not all tasks are simple.

A lot of people are today working with (are users of) software of extraordinary complexity. This complexity is not necessarily a consequence of highly advanced algorithms or procedures, or of any intricate intellectual complexity, instead in many cases it is simply a consequence of a large number of variables and data, some kind of combinatorial complexity.  Examples of this kind of software is commonplace at your doctors office,…

Coding is not fun (and neither is design)

I completely agree with this short article by Walter Vannini titled "Coding is not ‘fun’, it’s technically and ethically complex". Vannini makes some simple and, in my view, very strong arguments why the attempt to make coding 'fun' is misguided and potentially harmful. The attempts in making coding 'fun' are similar to the attempts in making design 'easy'. In both cases we are dealing with powerful processes that can lead to immense transformations of our world. Why we need to see these processes as 'fun' and the ability to do it as 'easy' is highly problematic.