Design Research Conference 2009

I was attending the design research conference in Chicago. According to the article of core77 for Design Research Conference 2009 in Chicago from the 1st – 2nd October 2009 I want to provide you with the most common relevant information provided by the speakers:

Robert Fabricant, Vice President of Creative at Frog Design, describe the phenomenon that the market for Design Researchers will become an “an ethnography bubble,” quite soon and he posed this question to the audience; “Where did we go wrong?”

Jon Kolko, Associate Creative Director at Frog Design, says companies are increasingly concerned with seeing results, due to the current economic downturn. The gap between design research and production needs to be filled by Synthesis, which he defines as “an abductive sensemaking process of manipulating, organizing, pruning and filtering data in the context of a design problem, in an effort to produce information and knowledge.

Dan Saffer, founder of Kicker Studio, was the only panelist fully confident in his company’s ability to synthesize research into design outcomes by affecting each discipline at every step in the design process. He conceded that this more iterative, less linear way of working can be frustrating, but maintained that it leads to stronger, provable results.

Jason Fried added fuel to the fire when he advocated for the removal of all “abstractions” from the design process. His company, 37signals, works in the absence of design briefs, personas, functional spec documents, and wireframes. “Building it,” according to Fried, is the key to successful design because “you don’t know if your ideas are any good until you can use them.”

Ryan Armbruster, founder of the SPARC Innovation Center at the Mayo Clinic, encouraged the audience members to “get to prototypes as fast as possible.” Armbruster emphasized that the key to differentiating yourself competitively is to connect with customers at a deep level, and he challenged us to “Go beyond asking questions, get the people you are trying to help involved, and make what you’re doing tangible.”

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