How design processes and technology can make a difference

Innovation. It’s what fuels us in today’s economy. Knowing how to turn those ideas into solutions can be challenging. In the spirit of giving and sharing our talents, here are a few examples of things you can do to channel your talents to help turn innovation into solutions.


Rapid Design Prototyping. With rapid prototyping, you can quickly shape your design thinking into solutions that help people. The at Stanford University is changing the way we approach our design solutions. They teach a rapid approach to design thinking, and I have been really lucky to participate in a couple of classes that they offer, including the 90-minute Gift-Giving Project. It’s available for anyone to do online, but it is fun with a Stanford facilitator from the! You can also see it via this video.

In the gift-giving challenge, you get to explore the basic principles of design. The challenge is to redesign the gift-giving experience. And in the spirit of the holidays, I encourage you to rethink this process for the people in your life!

Hackathon, hackday, hack fest, code fest! What is this? An intense collaboration of software development teams – designers, developers, interface designers and project managers – using their talents to rapidly produce useable software solutions, generally on a tight time frame, from 2 days to a week.

List it out. Where do good ideas come from? Asking the right questions. Be sure to jot down a list of questions related to your research and what you’re hoping to accomplish. Plus, it helps us measure our results in the end.

Test, test and retest. Take your idea and test it. Then test it again. Look for loopholes within your experiment and make sure you’re seeing all the potential flaws. This sets you up for questioning from others and also gives you some credibility to stand on. After you’ve done all the necessary testing, you can modify your solution and make it better. Sharing your success is the goal and being able to give recommendations at the end of your work is a critical element of the innovative process.

While these steps may be helpful, remember that there is no single path to innovation. Technology and processes may change over time so staying up to date on trends is a valuable asset in the creative process.


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