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Sooner or later, every designer is going to come up against a client who, for whatever reason, won't pay up come invoice time. Lior Frenkel from nuSchool has been in this situation plenty of times, so he's written a book, Pay Me or Else! It's broken up into three parts: the first is about the best tactics for getting clients to pay up, the second looks into why clients don't pay, and the third part covers strategies for avoiding bad clients and working in a way that covers you in almost every situation.
Attention, says Oli Gardner, is a limited resource; every link and banner you add to a web page, while serving a purpose, also serves to distract your users and deplete their mental energy. If you want to eliminate unwanted distractions from your websites, his book Attention-Drive Design hopes to help you out.
In it, Gardner outlines techniques for achieving visual simplicity through psychology and interaction design, with plenty of real-life examples to help you ramp up your conversion rate.
Starting life as a talk in , Frank Chimero's self-published The Shape of Design was an early design community Kickstarter success, getting funded on its first day, and has since become essential foundational reading, not just in design education but in other creative practices, too. Focusing on the mindset of making rather than tools and methods, it asks: what are the opportunities, problems and possibilities of the creative practice?
And once the work is done, what happens when it is released into the world? Why settle for just one free ebook when you can have three? The DesignBetter. The editors will have a look at it as soon as possible.
Delete template? Cancel Delete. Cancel Overwrite Save. I also noticed that the people who inspired me were not necessarily members of the design profession: engineers such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Thomas Edison, and Ferdinand Porsche, all of whom seemed to have a human-centered rather than technology-centered worldview; behavioral scientists such as Don Norman, who asked why products are so needlessly confusing; artists such as Andy Goldsworthy and Antony Gormley, who seemed to engage their viewers in an experience that made them part of the artwork; business leaders such as Steve Jobs and Akio Morita, who were creating unique and meaningful products.
I realized that behind the soaring rhetoric of genius and visionary was a basic commitment to the principles of design thinking. A few years ago, during one of the periodic booms and busts that are part of business as usual in Silicon Valley, my colleagues and I were struggling to figure how to keep my company, IDEO, meaningful and useful in the world. There was plenty of interest in our design services, but we also noticed that we were increasingly being asked to tackle problems that seemed very far away from the commonly held view of design.
A health care foundation was asking us to help restructure its organization; a century-old manufacturing company was asking us to help it better understand its clients; an elite university was asking us to think about alternative learning environments.
We were being pulled out of our comfort zone, but this was exciting because it opened up new possibilities for us to have more impact in the world.
We started to talk about this expanded field as design with a small d in an attempt to move beyond the sculptural objet displayed in lifestyle magazines or on pedestals in museums of modern art. But this phrase never seemed fully satisfactory. One day I was chatting with my friend David Kelley, a Stanford professor and the founder of IDEO, and he remarked that every time someone came to ask him about design, he found himself inserting the word thinking to explain what it was that designers do.
The term design thinking stuck. I now use it as a way of describing a set of principles that can be applied by diverse people to a wide range of problems. I have become a convert and an evangelist of design thinking.
And I am not alone. Today, rather than enlist designers to make an already developed idea more attractive, the most progressive companies are challenging them to create ideas at the outset of the development process. The former role is tactical; it builds on what exists and usually moves it one step further. The latter is strategic; it pulls design out of the studio and unleashes its disruptive, game-changing potential. As a thought process, design has begun to move upstream.
Moreover, the principles of design thinking turn out to be applicable to a wide range of organizations, not just to companies in search of new product offerings. The causes underlying the growing interest in design are clear. As the center of economic activity in the developing world shifts inexorably from industrial manufacturing to knowledge creation and service delivery, innovation has become nothing less than a survival strategy.
It is, moreover, no longer limited to the introduction of new physical products but includes new sorts of processes, services, interactions, entertainment forms, and ways of communicating and collaborating. These are exactly the kinds of human-centered tasks that designers work on every day.
Change by Design is divided into two parts. Breaking the Time Barrier is the ebook to help you combat just this problem. McDerment and Cowper analyze the ways in which you can approach this issue and boost your earning potential no end. While McGuinness himself is a writer and a poet, his worldly advice in this free ebook can be applied to anyone in the creative industries. A genius logo can be the jewel in the crown of any brand.
Logo design is a crucial aspect of the process and one with which many designers are stumped. In this easy-to-understand textbook, you get a chance to get to grips with the basics when it comes to logo projects.
It may not blow you away with new, innovative ideas, but it will give you the honest help and support you may be lacking right now. Keeping on top of the ever-changing world of Adobe should be a core design value. Without that insight, you will find it a strain to even get started on some projects. Dealing with clients is anything but easy, at the best of times. An obstacle with which many of you will be familiar is the vague brief problem. That is, when a client gives you an extremely short brief with little-to-no information and somehow expects you to work miracles with it.
In The Design Funnel, Hay approaches the problem head-on. Repeat aloud. Ideas that create a buzz should be favored. Indeed, ideas should gain a vocal following, however small, before being given organizational support. These rules apply to almost every field of innovation. Together they ensure that the seeds of individual creativity take root—even in the aisles of a grocery store. John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods Market, has applied this idea of bottom-up experimentation to his business since its founding, in Each store may have its own unique regional and even neighborhood identity.
Managers are encouraged to share the best ideas so that they propagate outward across the company rather than remaining localized. None of this may sound all that revolutionary, but what Mackey has done since the earliest days of the company—he started with a single grocery store in Austin, Texas, and a total workforce of nineteen —is to make sure that every employee understands, appreciates, and has the ability to contribute to the overall vision of the company.
These ideas act as navigational beacons for the localized innovations taking place throughout the organization. Some companies provide suggestion boxes intended to harvest the bottom-up creativity of the organization. They tend to fail, leaving management to wonder why ungrateful employees pour coffee into them if they are hanging on the wall or flame them if they are online. At best they tend to yield small and incremental ideas.
More often they go nowhere because there is no obvious mechanism for acting upon suggestions. What is needed is a serious commitment from the top of the corporate pyramid, and it will be repaid by better ideas from the base.
Any promising experiment should have a chance to gain organizational support in the form of a project sustained by appropriate resources and driven by definable goals.
There is a simple test for this, though I have to admit that it has taken some getting used to: when I receive a cautiously worded memo asking for permission to try something, I find myself becoming equally cautious. But when I am ambushed in the parking lot by a group of hyperactive people falling all over one another to tell me about the unbelievably cool project they are working on, their energy infects me and my antennae go way, way up.
Some of these projects will go wrong. Energy will be wasted whatever that means and money will be lost we know exactly what that means. Sometimes the state of the world makes this difficult to sustain, but the fact remains that curiosity does not thrive in organizations that have grown cynical.
Ideas are smothered before they have a chance to come to life. People willing to take risks are driven out. Up-and-coming leaders steer clear of projects with uncertain outcomes out of fear that participation might damage their chances for advancement.
Even when leadership wants to promote disruptive innovation and open-ended experimentation, it will find that no one is willing to step forward without permission—which usually means defeat before the start. Without optimism—the unshakable belief that things could be better than they are—the will to experiment will be continually frustrated until it withers.
Positive encouragement does not require the pretense that all ideas are created equal. It remains the responsibility of leadership to make discerning judgments, which will inspire confidence if people feel that their ideas have been given a fair hearing. To harvest the power of design thinking, individuals, teams, and whole organizations have to cultivate optimism.
People have to believe that it is within their power or at least the power of their team to create new ideas, that will serve unmet needs, and that will have a positive impact. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in the summer of after being dismissed by his own board, he found a demoralized company that had spread its resources across no fewer than fifteen product platforms.
Those teams were, in effect, competing with one another for survival. Optimism soared, morale turned degrees, and the rest, as the saying goes, is history. Optimism requires confidence, and confidence is built on trust. And trust, as we know, flows in both directions. To find out whether a company is optimistic, experimental, and attuned to risk, people should simply use their senses: look for a colorful landscape of messy disorder rather than a suburban grid of tidy beige cubicles.
Listen for bursts of raucous laughter rather than the constant drone of subdued conversation. Because IDEO does a great deal of work in the food and beverage industry, employs food scientists, and maintains an industrial kitchen, I can often literally smell excitement in the air.
In general, try to be alert to the nodes where it all comes together, because that is where new ideas originate. I love to slip downstairs and observe members of a team at work building prototypes out of Legos or enacting an improvisational skit to explore a new service interaction. Above all, I love to be allowed to sit in on a brainstorm. I encourage them to continue to do so after all, some of my best friends are business school professors, and it keeps them busy and out of my way.
Some surveys claim that motivated individuals can generate more ideas in the equivalent time working on their own. Other case studies demonstrate that brainstorming is as essential to creativity as exercise is to a healthy heart.
Brainstorming, ironically, is a structured way of breaking out of structure. It takes practice. As with cricket or football or their American equivalents , there are rules for brainstorming. The rules lay out the playing field within which a team of players can perform at high levels. Without rules there is no framework for a group to collaborate within, and a brainstorming session is more likely to degenerate into either an orderly meeting or an unproductive free-for-all with a lot of talking and not much listening.
Every organization has its own variations on the rules of brainstorming just as every family seems to have its own version of Scrabble or Monopoly. At IDEO we have dedicated rooms for our brainstorming sessions, and the rules are literally written on the walls: Defer judgment.
Encourage wild ideas. Stay focused on the topic. Although we have plenty of skilled toy designers on our staff, sometimes it makes sense to hire expert consultants to help us out.
So we waited until their Saturday-morning cartoons were over and invited a group of eight-to-ten-year-olds to come in to our Palo Alto studios. After warming them up with orange juice and French toast, we split the boys and girls into two different rooms, gave them some instructions, and let them have at it for about an hour.
When we gathered the results, the difference between the two groups was striking. The girls had come up with more than two hundred ideas whereas the boys had barely managed fifty. Boys, at this age, find it more difficult to focus and to listen—attributes essential to genuine collaboration. The girls were just the opposite. The boys, so eager to get their own ideas out there, were barely conscious of the ideas coming from their fellow brainstormers; the girls, without prompting, conducted a spirited but nonetheless serial conversation in which each idea related to the one that had come before and became a springboard to the one that came next.
They were sparking off one another and getting better ideas as a result. Brainstorming is not necessarily the ultimate technique for idea generation, and it cannot be built into the structure of every organization. But it does prove its worth when the goal is to open up a broad spectrum of ideas.
Other approaches are important for making choices, but nothing beats a good brainstorming session for creating them. Drawing practice is not so much in order to illustrate ideas, which can now be done with cheap software. Instead, designers learn to draw so that they can express their ideas.
To draw an idea accurately, decisions have to be made that can be avoided by even the most precise language; aesthetic issues have to be addressed that cannot be resolved by the most elegant mathematical calculation. Whether the task at hand is a hair dryer, a weekend retreat in the country, or an annual report, drawing forces decisions.
Visual thinking takes many forms. We should not suppose that it is restricted to objective illustration. In fact, it is not even necessary to possess drawing skills. In November , relaxing in a late-night deli in Honolulu at the end of a long day of conference proceedings, a couple of biochemists took out a cocktail napkin and shared some crude drawings of bacteria having sex.
All children draw. Somewhere in the course of becoming logical, verbally oriented adults, they unlearn this elemental skill. When I use drawing to express an idea, I get different results than if I try to express it with words, and I usually get to them more quickly. I have to have a whiteboard or sketch pad nearby whenever I am discussing ideas with colleagues. I get stuck unless I can work it out visually. Often he simply stopped in the street to capture something he needed to figure out: a tangle of weeds; the curl of a cat sleeping in the sun; an eddy of water swirling in a gutter.
Moreover, scholars poring over his mechanical drawings have punctured the myth that every sketch depicts his own inventions. Like any accomplished design thinker, Leonardo da Vinci used his drawing skills to build on the ideas of others.
Spencer Silver, a scientist working at 3M back in the s, happened upon an adhesive with some curious properties. It was not until one of his colleagues, Art Fry, began to use the adhesive to keep his bookmarks from falling out of his church hymnal that a plausible use was found for the little yellow notes. The Post-it note stands as an object lesson in how organizational timidity threatens to kill off a great idea. But those ubiquitous little stickies have proven themselves to be an important tool of innovation in and of themselves.
Festooned on the walls of project spaces, they have helped untold numbers of design thinkers first to capture their wide-ranging insights and then to order them into meaningful patterns. The Post-it note, in all its pastel glory, embodies the movement from the divergent phase that is the source of our inspiration to the convergent phase that is the road map to our solutions.
The techniques of the design thinker that I have been describing—brainstorming, visual thinking —contribute to the divergent process of creating choices. But accumulating options is merely an exercise if we do not move on to the convergent phase of making choices. Doing so is critical if a project is to move from a rousing exercise in creative idea generation toward a resolution.
Just for that reason, however, it can be one of the most difficult tasks that a design team faces. Given the opportunity, every design team will diverge endlessly. There is always a more interesting idea just around the corner, and until the budget runs out they will happily turn one corner after another.
It is here that one of the simplest tools available for convergence comes into play: the Post-it note. Once everyone is gathered together for a project review, there needs to be a process for selecting the ideas that are strongest and hold the greatest promise.
Storyboards help—panels that illustrate, almost like comic strips, the sequence of events a user might experience in checking into a hotel, opening a bank ac-count, or using a newly purchased electronic device.
Sometimes it helps to create alternate scenarios. But sooner or later some level of consensus is called for, and it rarely comes about by debate or executive fiat. What is needed is some kind of tool to extract the intuition of the group, and this is where a generous supply of Post-it notes cannot be beat. Give and take. Compromise and creative combination. All these and more play a part in reaching the end result. The process is not about democracy, it is about maximizing the capacities of teams to converge on the best solutions.
The Post-it note, which encourages people to capture a quick thought, reposition it, or reject it, is just one of many tools available to deal with one insistent fact common to every design project: deadlines. Though we all have deadlines all of the time, in the divergent and exploratory phase of design thinking, deadlines take on an extra level of importance.
They refer to the process and not the people. The deadline is the fixed point on the horizon where everything stops and the final evaluation begins. These points may seem arbitrary and unwelcome, but an experienced project leader knows how to use them to turn options into decisions. Nor does it work to stretch it out for six months. It takes judgment to determine when a team will reach a point where management input, reflection, redirection, and selection are most likely to be valuable.
But the calendar is probably the most insistent limit of them all because it brings us back to the bottom line. This is not CAD, rapid prototyping, or even offshore manufacturing but that empathic, intuitive, pattern-recognizing, parallel- processing, and neural-networking Internet that each of us carries between our ears. For the time being, at any rate, it is our ability to construct complex concepts that are both functionally relevant and emotionally resonant that sets humans apart from the ever more sophisticated machines we use to assist us.
As long as there is no algorithm that will tell us how to bring divergent possibilities into a convergent reality or analytical detail into a synthetic whole, this talent will guarantee that accomplished design thinkers have a place in the world. People may be deterred from venturing into the turbulent world of design thinking for any number of reasons.
They may believe that creativity is an inner gift possessed only by celebrity designers, that it is better just to gaze respectfully at their chairs and lamps in modern art museums. Others, less in awe of the cult of the designer, may confuse the mastery of tools—including the qualitative tools of brainstorming, visual thinking, and storytelling—with the ability to reach a design solution. And there are those who may feel that without a precise framework or methodology, they will be unable to fathom what is going on.
They are the ones who are most likely to bail out when the morale of a team dips, as it invariably will over the life of a project. What they may not appreciate is that design thinking is neither art nor science nor religion. It is the capacity, ultimately, for integrative thinking.
The traits of management leaders, in other words, match the traits I have ascribed to design thinkers. The skills that make for a great design thinker—the ability to spot patterns in the mess of complex inputs; to synthesize new ideas from fragmented parts; to empathize with people different from ourselves—can all be learned. The design thinker has to be comfortable moving along both of these axes. Now, more than a million people in the United States alone work in corporate research and development facilities.
Instead, companies need to use design thinking to explore new ways of envisioning their products. For example, Nokia successfully sold cellphones from the early s on, but its leaders saw that neither its market share nor its technology would be enough to maintain its dominance. This meant incorporating cameras and internet access. Recognize that different types of innovations require different management strategies and investments, and carry different levels of risk.
Embracing design thinking helps create new products that adapt to changing market conditions. Massive, successful products like Wikipedia demonstrate this fact: People use it, but they also take part in creating it. The context of innovation is changing. You now have the opportunity to design not only for local customers and profit, but to meet the needs of communities, and to make the world a better place.
To address such issues, socially oriented design thinkers may work through nongovernmental organizations or as the partners of charitable foundations. As you create new possibilities, address environmental realities.A lot of free ebooks have been on offer over the last few years. Though there will always be a thriving market for design books written by experts and sometimes it is definitely worth splashing your change by design ebook free download to receive the highest quality contentthe quality of free and 'freemium' content has vastly improved. In fact, it's often on the same level as books you'd pay for. Thanks to the digital age, it's now viable for professionals to utilise the electronic book — a much, much cheaper way to distribute change by design ebook free download than printing a free physical book. 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