Hey, I am thinking like a designer ! (but I did not know …)

Jeroen Van Erp, Dutch designer, wrote in 2018 a book that struck me « Think like a designer, don’t act like one« .

« 75 inspiring, educational and sometimes hilarious insights in the adventurous minds of the designer » writes the editor.

What struck me is I agreed with the majority  (49!) of these insights -apart the #75 but read the book to understand- :

  • « Live Design is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to go there » Kofi Annan
  • #2 look through Chinese eyes : visualizing make understanding easy (therefore system modeling)(words into brackets are mine)
  • #3 break with the past, which too often obstruct our view of the future (so focus on future needs)
  • #4 look ahead : understand long term consequences (so analyse all Life cycle stakeholders’ needs)
  • #5 design like a director : step back, get the full picture, do not touch the camera (run a multi-disciplinary team)
  • #8 use both hemispheres : « Knowledge is limited, whereas imaginationencricles the world » Einstein said (so creativity + needs analysis)
  • #10 question the question : what’s the purpose of this job ? And behind it ? so « What for ? »)
  • #11 most advances yet acceptable : designer Raymond Loewy’s philosophy (so select value(s) solutions = desirable / feasible / viable)
  • #15 choose order : « Only when you are organized can you truly be free » (so analyse needs systematically before going creative)
  • #18 context is key (so focus on project objectives, scope and limits first)
  • #19 design the future « the best way to predict the future is to create it » said Abraham Lincoln
  • #20 always look twice : different perspectives hep generate ideas (so work with stakeholders on their needs and solutions)
  • #22 a chair for a lady : simple things are very important (so really listen to users)
  • #23 a chair is a challenge : simple things are often more difficult to design than complicated ones (so I discovered from my experiences)
  • #24 brainstorming for one : start getting ideas alone then share (so start solution search with individuals)
  • #25 long live the team : design is a team sport with client and end users playing (so work with all stakeholders)
  • #27 I never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that (so do not rely on you experience but others’)
  • #31 form follows me : an artist is driven by personal motives, a designer by the needs of the world around them
  • #32 it’s not finished until it’s completely finished : good ideas failed because of bad production, bad material … (so capture needs not only during use but before and after use)
  • #33 go for totality : design products + manufacturing + quality + ethics (so analyse Life cycle needs)
  • #34 meaning + mass =double success : artist create unique objects, as designers create for the multitude (so value(s)  = desirable * viable)
  • #35 be authoritative … but empathize (so needs are also esthetic and emotional)
  • #36 enjoy conflict : create resonance between apparently conflicting things (so capture needs even if conflicting and search for solutions for each one)
  • #37 don’t be different, be better (so select value(s) ideas)
  • #40 discover and survive : « We explore or we expire » said Buzz Aldrin (so innovation should never stop)
  • #41 create your own applause (so write a book 😉
  • #42 trust your intuition : do not skip ‘easy’ ideas (so write the all)
  • #43 think like the user … but not too much : user know the flaws of existing designs, but have no imagination … until they see the new solution and love it (so work with users to capture needs, and with suppliers to find solutions)
  • #44 the why helps : look for the purpose (so ask « What for ? » – much better than « Why ? » !!!)
  • #45 stay curious and keep learning (so work with stakeholders, always different)
  • #46 embrace complexity : things are interconnected (so model systems around solutions)
  • #52 don’t copy, quote (so build on others successes)  😉
  • #53 wabi sabi : old is not bad (so circular economy, up cycling)
  • #54 limitations are opportunities (so capture constraints and dissatisfactions)
  • #55 say it with design : corporate values should show in their products (so capture values in needs analysis)
  • #57 blah blah design : a crazy number of different design disciplines are developed, that all come down to imagine a good solution to a problem you are presented with, taking into account the conditions and restrictions and put it into practice (of course valid for ‘value(s) methods)
  • #58 use the power of the metaphor (so le Petit Prince)
  • #59 proportions matter (so dimension needs and requirements)
  • #60 kill the overkill (so track over-dimensioning and design « what is enough ? »)
  • #62 design thinking is the making of you : it is a way of being (so a philosophy, applying to system thinking instead of cartesian thinking)
  • #63 design the intangible : service design is never ‘finished’ (so also help users express needs for services)
  • #64 everything starts ugly : aesthetics comes always after (so design first for practical use and add esthetics in a later run of agile design)
  • #65 to know is to value : « the more you know, the more you appreciate things, the less you are inclined to throw them away » (so circular economy, up cycling, use minimum resources)
  • #66 waste is a design error (so design « what is enough »)
  • #69 focus on the similarity : not on differences (so check standardize solutions only around common needs)
  • #71 make a prototype (this has to be added to classical Value(s) methodology !)
  • #72 less is more, said Mies van der Rohe (so « what is enough » for « what is it for ? »)
  • #73 make room to fail (so design in short Agile loops, not long mega projects)
  • #74 go for the ‘no’ : provoke quick answer, even negative, is better than waiting (this is one of the Interactifs lesson)

So am I going to change my LinkedIn profile to « Value(s) designer » 😉


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