Archive for the 'business' Category

Two weeks too late, but…

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

I’ve graduated! Two years of projects, classes, clients, tiredness, fun, and general smartness have resulted in another giant piece of paper:

I’ll be working a little bit this summer with UPMC doing some entrepreneurial design. But so far all I’ve been doing is relaxing, relaxing, and… more relaxing (and submitting a paper to Design and Emotion). I can’t really complain. This new vacation period has been pretty awesome.

Now, off to relax a bit more. ;)

A bit of design and business for today

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

I’m taking Product Planning and Development this term, which is a mini… this means that my last class is this coming Tuesday. For our final assignment, we were asked to create some sort of idea map using some of the things we learned over the past eight weeks.

I decided to incorporate the stage-gate process, a fairly standard product development process used by companies, and branding, another aspect of the product development process, while trying to infuse a touch of the iterative process used by designers.

The stage-gate process is a process that works exactly as it sounds: a bunch of different stages, separated by gates—points at which the team decides whether or not they can proceed with the development of their product. On paper, it’s a very linear process:

Traditional stage-gate process diagram

… however, I have a feeling that this isn’t the most effective and true way to think about new product development. As a designer who uses a design process somewhat similar to this stage-gate process (… minus all the gates), I’ve learned that processes like this don’t function at their best when worked linearly. We work more iteratively and back-and-forth. Nothing is ever set in stone at any stage in the design process. So, I decided to change the stage-gate process a bit, while bringing in the different stages and thoughts behind branding (click to enlarge):
Incorporating brand and the stage-gate process

I understand that companies have budget and time issues and so these ‘gates’ become critical in moving products forward, or keeping them from being released. My intention was not to completely change the model, but just to introduce a little bit more movement and dialogue between the different stages. At the same time, I took some ideas about branding and divided them into stages that I thought fit into the product development process.

My prof, Matt Beale (president of Daedalus Excel), agreed that companies do indeed work more in this way. And while this project wasn’t an gigantic exploration into mocking up a new model for new product development, it was an interesting exercise to think about product development and branding, as I am still fairly new to both these fields.

emergence 2007

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

This past weekend I attended Emergence, CMU School of Design’s second annual student-run conference. The theme this year was Exploring the Boundaries of Service Design. Dan Boyarski, Head of our School of Design, discussed the theme by asking how service design relates to disciplines such as systems, strategy, information, infrastructure, information, interaction, and product design. We spent most of the last conference trying to define and introduce service design as a discipline, and this year sought to work at the definition a bit more by looking at different fields.

That being said, here’s a quick glimpse of what I got from the conference. I attended one workshop, nine lectures, and two panel discussions. Here goes nothing.

Read the rest of this entry »

I want to go.

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

ICSID/IDSA Connecting ’07

The 32nd International DMI Conference

MSI’s Service Innovation by Design

I know there are a lot of other conferences but these three have recently put themselves on my conference radar. Looks like a collection of great speakers and interesting topics. If only I was made of money. Well actually, seeing as how MSI’s conference is only open to specific members, and the DMI conference would put me out over $2K, it looks like the ICSID/IDSA may be a possibility.

What is great design, anyway?

Saturday, August 4th, 2007

I’m in the middle of packing/cleaning the apartment. For one, my mom is coming tomorrow, and plus, I’m leaving in a week and figure I won’t really have that much time to lounge around cleaning or packing during the week.

Anyway, while packing I found the pamphlet I picked up when I went to Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum’s IDEO Selects exhibit. I leafed through it briefly because my attention span is worse than that of a goldfish. I noted that the three lenses that they chose to frame the items in the exhibit were inspiration, empathy, and intuition. “While we could have chosen any number of lenses, these three neatly distill the design thinker’s sensibilities as he or she solves a problem.”

Contrast this to something I read earlier in the week from Jeanne Liedtka (whom I quoted earlier today): “Great design, it has been said, occurs at the intersection of constraint, contingency, and possibility – elements that are central to creating innovative, elegant, and functional designs.”

Inspiration, empathy, and intuition. Constraints, contingency, and possibility. (oh my!). All important to designers. But the two groups seem to be somewhat disparate, no? Not that I’ve had time to dissect this thoroughly, but I find it interesting that IDEO chose to showcase their design exhibit from the first group’s frame of mind, while the business director described design from the other frame of mind.

That is all. I’m tired.