Design Thinking Books Make Their Mark

Here at DBL we’ve consistently tried to share those articles and books that we find particularly useful in helping us to better understand the concepts and practice of design thinking and user experience. I wanted to share an article that may save you some time since it provides good overviews to three different design and design thinking books, one of which I wrote about here recently. You may be able to save time by reading this article rather than the books. But I especially hope that reading the article will inspire you to want to read these books.

In the March + April 2008 issue of Interactions Alex Wright contributes the article “Doing Business by Design.” [Note: you need to click on the “contents” link to scroll down to the link to this article] Wright astutely observes that the business book publishers are beginning to realize books that offer a design perspective will be of interest to the mass market. He writes:

The business press has published a raft of articles testifying to the rise of so-called design thinking among corporate managers. So it should come as no surprise that designers are finally starting to break out of their professional literary ghetto to write books targeted to businesspeople.

So Wright offers an overview, with comments, about each of three different design-oriented business books. They are Subject to Change, The Designful Company and Do You Matter. He finds some things to like and dislike about each; the reviews are fair. I think he preferred The Designful Company.

Wright concludes that :

Ultimately, all three of these books share a purpose: trying to influence business readers to shift their focus from one-off-product development to a more integrated approach to designing the customer experience. The books also share a flaw; succumbing to the idealistic pitch mentality that is, alas, the consultant’s stock in trade.

I am also eager to get my hands on another new book by Nathan Shedroff titled Design is the Problem: The Future of Design Must Be Sustainable. Shedroff is a co-author of the book Making Meaning: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences which is a must read for those interested in user experience design. You can read an interview that Core 77 does with Shedroff in which this new book is discussed.

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