The humane factor: Design thinking + humane systems design


Quoting some highlights points from Luke W’s blog posting on a lecture by Tim Brown (IDEO’s CEO).

“Design Thinking can be used to:

  • Drive strategy
  • Create new markets
  • Create new offerings
  • Create new business models
  • New application for technology
  • New ways of connecting to customers
  • Develop new partner relationships

So what is Design Thinking?

  • It’s a human-centered approach to innovation.
  • Being human-centered is unique to design, Designers think about people first, then the business second. The opposite is true for most companies.
  • In the traditional Venn diagram of People (desirable), Business (viable) & Technical (feasible), design thinking solves the problem from the People perspective
  • Design thinking is supported by a rich set of tools, processes, roles, and environments. Designers work like craftsmen. They know when to use the right tool at the right time.
  • There are 3 important phases for design thinking: Inspiration, Ideation, Implementation” [Read more at the original post on another blog >>

From BusinessWeek

“IDEO ran an ad for a conceptual designer. It read: ‘You bring…a holistic approach to process: Formulating cultural and user insights, mapping opportunity spaces through strategic frameworks, and expressing compelling solutions. ‘

“(GE) CEO Joseph M. Hogan …Today, when we think about designing, say, a new MRI system, we don’t just think about designing the product, we think about designing the whole radiology suite. Design in the next 10 years will move beyond the product. It will move beyond workflow. Hospitals in the future…will have different ways of interacting with the patient. We have to think about setting the course for how design can affect the whole health-care experience.” [Go to the source >>]

The need for a philosophical framework

It’s nice that we are recognizing the importance of the type of thinking that designers use to solve problems. Design is an important tool but equally important is the philosophical framework that informs and utilizes it. Anyone can use design thinking for any end – including those that harm people and their environments.

Related and relevant:

Different Business personalities discuss design thinking. (Noise between stations) >>

(Source for Tim Brown’s speech) – (

Design thinking on (blog) odannyboy >>


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