Design Thinking Blog Started By Tim Brown

You know I’m always on the lookout for new and valued sources for reading and learning more about design thinking. Well a good one appeared this week, a new blog by one of the gurus of design thinking. It looks good and should continue to be a useful resource for learning about design thinking.

Tim Brown is the CEO of IDEO and I’ve mentioned his work before or quoted him. Few individuals are as closely associated with the discipline of design thinking as is Brown. Now Brown will be sharing his thoughts in a blog. His blog is simply called Design Thinking. Turns out Brown is writing a book based on his well received June 2008 Harvard Business Review article on design thinking. In his message about the blog he refers to the book and says he will be sharing his ideas and gathering information from readers’ comments. I have to say that the comments I’ve read are pretty good. In fact the comments from just one post lead me to three different resources related to design thinking that were totally new to me. So clearly there are lots of folks out there interested in design thinking who have resources and ideas to share. I expect that Brown’s blog will be a focal point for the design thinking community.

Perhaps of less importance, but possibly of interest to those who would like more detail on the inner workings of design at IDEO, I came across another blog called IDEO Labs that takes you inside the process that the IDEO designers go through as they work on projects. It appears that it might appeal to those with more of a technical interest in IDEO’s prototyping process, but it could also be a good way to learn more about the various stages of the design thinking process. I’ll check it out from time to time.

Education For Design Literacy and Thinking

One way to stay abreast of the design world and the latest thought and practice in design is to follow new developments at design firms. Some ways to do that are to follow their blogs, use a web page change detect service to monitor their websites, or use your library databases to set up an alert to track new articles and announcements. I use the latter method to identify any new items with terms like “design thinking”. In my latest search alert results I found an interesting article about MAYA Design.

You may recall that MAYA is the design firm that consulted on the major interior renovation at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. MAYA’s work came to my attention a number of years ago, around the time the Carnegie work-practice study was being disseminated, and greatly influenced my thinking about how a design process could help a library to develop a better user experience. In fact, I asked Aradhana Goel, now with IDEO, to give a presentation about the Carnegie project at the Blended Librarians Online Learning Community. That happened about two years ago but we still maintain the archive of Goel’s presentation. If you need a reminder or refresher you can view these slides that describe the Carnegie project. They also serve as a good source of information about designing an experience.

Just recently MAYA announced a new innovative service to address the emerging need for design thinking in organizations. The press release names Chris Pacione as the new director of advanced development education. In other words Pacione will lead a new venture to help firms integrate design thinking and improve the design literacy of their workforce. According to MAYA’s CEO “people can learn how to think like designers.” I learned that MAYA offers a three-day boot camp in human-centered design methodologies. Sounds like a program I’d really like to attend.

Now, how do we get Pacione to a library conference so we can learn to leverage design – which Pacione describes as “the discipline of bringing about intentional change through the making of “some thing” – in our library organizations?