Design thinking isn’t just about the visual outcome of a product. Rather, it’s a method of creatively and practically solving problems that keeps the user top of mind. Understanding the user’s wants and needs allows us to make more accurate decisions during the inspiration, production, and iteration phases of building a product. The outcome, hopefully, is intuitive products and services that actually improve users’ lives.
I spoke with Maya Weinstein, Sr. Designer at IBM Watson, about her thoughts on the design thinking method.
In your own words, what is IBM design thinking?
Design thinking has existed in some form for the past 20 years. What makes IBM Design Thinking unique is scale. IBM is a massive company and this is the first time design thinking is being implemented at a company of this size with this degree of training. We have an entire division, the IBM Design Education, whose sole focus is to train the entirety of IBM on the practice of Design Thinking. By training engineers, product managers, marketers, and executives on how to think like a designer, we are able to bring design thinking to a mass corporate level. This is design thinking in a company at scale.
Matthew Epler is a creative technologist specializing in creating one-of-a-kind interactive projects with an emphasis on the Internet of Things.
His work, which blends digital and physical design practices with computer programming, has been featured in museums and a variety of media outlets around the world including The Milan Triennale Museum of Design, mudac Lausanne, and on Wired, Huffington Post, Newsweek, Reuters, Vice, and Creative Applications.
Some of his most well-known pieces include the Netflix Switch, Levi’s Station to Station, Grand Old Party, and Big Bats.
Matthew describes himself as a designer who can code, and a coder who can work with his hands. Read on to see how learning to code transformed his passion for art and film into a thriving career in creative technology. Continue reading
Since graduating from GA DC’s first UXDI course last year summer, Nina has honed her skills with freelance gigs, one of them at a big political consulting firm. When Nina wasn’t freelancing or leading a Code for America chapter, she made time for Visual Design this spring. Since her second GA graduation, she’s been exploring the nonprofit space by working with the Asia Foundation. After her work in Cambodia, Nina is considering other ways she can share the value of good UX in DC and beyond.
Keep up with Nina on Twitter @nbaliga1.
What were you doing before you came to GA?
I was a freelance UX designer and digital strategist. Prior to doing freelance UX, I was working at several digital marketing agencies as a project manager/account manager/digital strategist.
What did you choose to take a course with us?
I wanted to develop my portfolio to make myself more marketable. I also wanted to leverage the GA network to make more contacts to increase my number of freelance gigs.
As an entrepreneur, one of the most important investments I make is in my own learning. Having spent a year running a content marketing consultancy, I’ve learned more than I ever would have imagined about my clients’ pain points, the legalities of growing a new venture, and even accounting.
Across all of these disciplines, I’ve noticed the following the trend — that with the proliferation of data and the pace at which information moves, information is becoming increasingly more difficult to communicate.
For years, I thought that learning to code would give me a competitive edge as a founder. I’ve been self-teaching principles of data science and programming for years, to the extent that I can confidently work with developers. When my CTO Justin joined my team as co-founder, however, I came to a touch realization: I was wasting both of our time by figuring out how to become an “expert programmer.”
The best way to increase my value as an entrepreneur would be to learn design.
Here’s why. Continue reading
Who knew that a logo design would receive this much international attention? In exactly one week’s time, former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for president in 2016, unveiled a shiny new logo, inspired a new font aptly named Hillvetica, and was accused of theft by WikiLeaks. The online feedback via Twitter and other channels was highly critical, claiming the logo looked low-budget (did you get that on Fiverr?), unoriginal (FedEx called and they want their arrow back), and, well, unpresidential.
CC Image Courtesy of Thomas Brasington on Flickr
You can be pardoned for sometimes feeling confused about all the terminology and job titles floating around the design world. What is the difference between graphic design, visual design, and user experience design? Do the three roles provide a different service? For visual and graphic designers, the difference may lie mainly in the job title and salary expectations. However, a user experience designer has very different end-goals and responsibilities from a visual or graphic designers. Below, a breakdown of what each of these designers does. Continue reading