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Design Thinking: Design Management Methods and Processes (Vol. 21 No.3)

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Design Thinking: Design Management Methods and Processes


As we pondered the theme for this issue, we thought we'd like to explore what happens to a business when design thinking and strategic thinking overlap or when design thinking becomes a mode for informing project and tactical decision-making. What we found—and I am sure we should not be surprised—is activity on several fronts. The customer, the consumer, the user stands out as a critical priority. Experiences, rather than lists of needs and technologies, drive the development process. And design wisdom shifts from being the purview of trained professionals to a way of looking at problems shared by the full spectrum of managers, employees, and professionals.

This is not to say that design thinking is a cure-all, but rather that it is transforming. What contributors to this issue make clear is that design thinking reframes and leverages other business processes. It broadens the base of stakeholders and expertise at the same time that it helps generate more compelling bottom-line outcomes. If all of this sounds too good to be true, I hasten to add that we include a few skeptics among the voices in this issue. They enrich the dialogue and remind us that there are pluses and minuses in every arena, including design thinking.

A fireplace makes a room seem cozy and inviting. It doesn't matter that today it serves no functional purpose. With that analogy, brand consultant Dave Norton, business professor Jeff Durgee, and corporate designer Jeff VanDeVelde propose that consumers don't want merely to be satisfied. They want to be happy. The three analyze the qualities that produce this happiness and then give examples of companies and strategies that elicit that emotion from customers and the inevitable loyalty that accompanies it. It's a fine tale of design thinking transforming corporate decision-making.



Producing Customer Happiness: The Job to Do for Brand Innovation
David W. Norton, Jeffrey F. Durgee, and Jeffrey VanDeVelde

Design Thinking in Business: An Interview with Gianfranco Zaccai
Thomas Lockwood

Managing Experience Design for an Internet Company
Bo Young Kim and Ji Hyun Lee

Stepping Up: Design Thinking Has Uncovered Real Opportunities
Kevin McCullagh

The Trans-Generational Workplace: Balancing Wisdom and Knowledge
Craig M. Vogel

Design Thinking in Legal Practice Management
Mark Szabo

Cultivating Creative Equity in Scandinavian Design Brands
Oscar Person and Jan Schoormans

The Influence of Design Thinking in Business: Some Preliminary Observations
Jean Liedka, Sean Carr, Amy Halliday, and Andrew C. King

Right-Wing Customers - The Enemy of Innovation
Michael Beverland

Living Briefs to Turn Desired Futures into Reality
Alan Topalian 


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