Friday, November 20, 2009


Lately many more people are talking and writing about the application of design thinking to intangible problems, design not only as a verb but as a way of — as Herbert Simon wrote — improving situations.

The main characteristics of a design thinking process are :

* Collaborative, especially with others having different and complimentary experience, to generate better work and form agreement
* Abductive, inventing new options to find new and better solutions to new problems
* Experimental, building prototypes and posing hypotheses, testing them, and iterating this activity to find what works and what doesn’t work to manage risk
* Personal, considering the unique context of each problem and the people involved
* Integrative, perceiving an entire system and its linkages
* Interpretive, devising how to frame the problem and judge the possible solutions

I’m sure one could play with the language and categorization to find more or less characteristics, but I’m happy with just those six.