Week 3: Inspiring, Ideating, and Implementing


When Design for America came to talk, I was quite taken aback. I was thinking questions like what does design or art have anything to do with IS/IT? But the presentation begged to differ. I was genuinely surprised how much design and innovation was used to actually create the beginning steps of a product. Like Brown mentioned in his “Design Thinking,” the design I assumed was for aesthetics or advertising strategies. Even when I think of design, I always think of forms of art category such as graphic design or interior design. Design thinking is taking an innovation or activity and changing it to fit human needs. In this day and age, a design must keep up with current technology.

Design for America's presentation

Professor Weightmen brought up that design thinking has to incorporate the desirability of humans, the viability of business, and the feasibility on the technical side. This was also seen in the article. For example, IDEO and Shimano (Japanese bicycle components manufacturer) designed a completely new category of bicycling. in the article, Brown talks about how the majority of American adults don’t because of dangerous roads and intimidation. To conquer such a problem IDEO and Shimano created coasting bikes that incorporated simplicity and straight-forwardness with the intent of pleasure and fun. This new product from an untapped market hoped to help Americans lapse into biking.

The presentation encouraged us to think outside the box. In business and design, success usually requires innovation that gives a company an advantage over other companies. As a group, we were given three design cards that forced us to design a product for a target group, a “problem,” and then a constraint. This was very fun since we got a mid-life crisis father who has everything with a constraint of the cloud. It challenged us to think differently while still making a product attractive and possible even when we had a big restriction.

Our group's (Tiffany, Taofik, and me) brainstorming and reasoning for the activity.

We also learned the three steps in design thinking: inspiration, ideation, and implementation. During class, as a group, we had to design a type product centered around senior citizens in their day to day life. This was very memorable because we were able to go through these steps to make something that had potential to become reality. For my group, we noticed that seniors often have less balance and fall easily. When they fall, they often don’t have the ability and resilience to get back up. We brainstormed many different ideas and possible products that could help the senior get the help they needed. Using such ideas we eliminated ideas that were less plausible and focused on something efficient and more likely to be used. Finally, we crafted a prototype of our product to show how it might work. Through this week’s we were inspired, we ideated, we implemented.

Our first prototype product for senior citizens.

Steven Widen’s “How to Use Design Thinking and Agility to Reach Product Development Breakthroughs” used another example of design thinking that is closer to home, the iPhone. Back in 2004, design thinking managed to push Apple on to the radar for innovation and creative technology. Even today Apple has stood far above the rest of the companies such as Motorola, or BlackBerry, and slowly but surely edging itself out of the competition with Samsung. Apple is able to stay successful by taking risks that they predicted will become the norm in a couple of years. For example, two years ago Apple decided to make the “plus” phones that were more than an inch bigger than the regular phone. There was a lot of critics on the phone, but now two years later, a big phone is normal and almost every phone designer has an option of going bigger with the size of the phone.