I’m a researcher who happens to love great design. So, it’s probably not surprising that whenever a client project comes up that is tackling a product or service design challenge, I leap at the opportunity to work on the team. Over the years, my absolute favorite projects had one thing in common; a team of diverse thinkers with very different backgrounds and skills. Something about the differences among the team members always brings out the best in our work.
If you’ve never had an opportunity to work on a design project but are interested in learning more, the above video is a great introduction. What I like about the video is that it dispels some of the hype surrounding the term “design thinking” and focuses on the rich opportunities to meld design and business thinking for greater impact. Well worth watching for inspiration!
Then, if you are interested in exploring design thinking further, a really great online Coursera class to explore is Karl Ulrich’s design class at the University of Pennsylvania. His class is fun, challenging and will definitely improve your design skills. He combines design theory with hands-on skills development so you will learn by doing. You’ll create a project website and take your idea through the design process. The lectures are fantastic, particularly the ones where Karl talks about his own experiences launching new products. The class should be offered again later this year so if you check out the course page you should be able to sign up for updates.
If you are not familiar with Coursera, it’s part of the massive open online courses (MOOC’s) movement in education and offers classes from more than 60 universities on a wide range of topics. I’ve taken classes on behavioral economics and design and so far have been impressed by the quality of the classes and the great ideas I could apply to my consulting practice.