Monday, November 15, 2010

Observe before reflecting and designing

Daniel Pink in his book A Whole New Mind , shares his experience of going to portrait drawing school where he learned to draw a self portrait. After a few days and many lessons later, he said that he came away with the understanding that portrait drawing is not about putting on paper what you think your face looks like, but what you observe in the mirror.

This applies to product design as well. Keen observation is a prerequisite for reflection and creation. I really get scared when some one starts a design conversation with the phrase "I Think...". A better way to share a design thought might be to tell a story about a customer visit, a conversation, a book you read or a person you spoke to. This carries a lot more credibility than a personal thought, irrespective of how profound it is.

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