User Experience NZ

UX and Design Research from a New Zealand viewpoint

Design Thinking – The road-trip of a lifetime.

Posted on | September 20, 2012

A couple of years ago I visited the Eames’ ‘case study house’ and thought I had entered design nirvana.
…Well, it did have a great swing:

Swinging in nirvana at the Eames house.

Next week I’m heading back to California, this time on a journey into the home of ‘design thinking’

Check out the highlights of the schedule…

I’m heading there with 25 CEOs of Kiwi export companies in the Government-backed Better By Design programme.

Along with a dozen others, I’m playing the role of ‘design integration coach’, helping promising NZ companies to integrate design into their business.

The principles behind the programme borrow a lot from the ‘design thinking’ school of thought popularised by IDEO, and more recently Stanford D.School. Both of which we’ll be visiting.

I’ve always been dubious of ‘design with a capital D’

In fact, I tweeted not long ago:

“Is design thinking to design what cookbooks are to celebrity chefs?”

I’d love design thinking to be more than just a tarted-up version of taking a user-centred approach to design, beginning with end user insights.

This trip will either fully convert me, or leave me wondering whether it’s another wardrobe for the emperor.

I’ll let you know how it goes…




8 Responses to “Design Thinking – The road-trip of a lifetime.”

  1. Kat H
    September 20th, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

    Ok, I am crazy-jealous! Have a super awesome trip, would love to hear all about it when you’re next in Wellington. :-)

  2. Blake
    September 20th, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

    Have a great time and be sure to update me when you get back…over a beer sounds good!

  3. Nick
    September 20th, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

    Thanks Blake, yes, let’s do that! always a pleasure to swap stories with you.

  4. Iain
    September 24th, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

    Your Australian cousins are very envious of the Better By Design programme. We expect to hear all about it. Enjoy!

  5. Steve
    September 26th, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

    You’re a lucky man. After you’ve done all that you’ll be able to write your first book (if you haven’t already)

  6. Alison Sharp
    October 9th, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

    That’s amazing. What a fantastic idea. I’d love to know which companies the CEOs were from. What this space in the NZ, eh.

  7. Nick
    October 9th, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

    Yep, a brilliant initiative. This was a motivated bunch from a spread of industries, biased towards food and beverage sector.

  8. Chandra
    October 11th, 2012 @ 4:25 am

    So envious Nick. I’m sure you’ll be an excellent ambassador and look forward to hearing details. Think of me if you need any help.

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This blog was set up by Nick Bowmast as a place to explore and discuss User Experience in New Zealand. ...about Nick Bowmast