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New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) ​I hope today is that I give you two pragmatic methods that you can use in your jobs and your daily lives but when we talk about practicalities like methods I think it's important that we talk about the theory behind methods that's not to say that I'm going to drown you in a whole bunch of boring academic discourse but I will give you some grounding for while the methods that I'm going to present actually work and how you can go about integrating them into your lives so generally speaking in design there's a process this is overly reductive on purpose that moves from a discovery toward some sort of form giving towards some kind of delivery and along the way there's all sorts of methods and processes that are in place and you can get all sorts of books and read yourselves about how to do any of these different things recently in the popular press there's been a whole lot of conversation about ethnography which kind of lives over in Discovery I think when we talk about industrial design a form giving usually most of us think about the middle part that design phase and technology usually leads us toward a long drawn out path of that delivery phase but there's this area in the middle then ok that we rarely we rarely talk about and we rarely actually learn about and that shows this so what I'm hoping today to do is to help you bridge that gap from having some good research some good discovery some from doing all that ethnography that we think is going to lead to innovation and helping move that into the phase of design and so here is an overly academic working theory of design synthesis it's an abductor sense making process of manipulating organizing pruning and filtering data in an effort to produce information and knowledge and when I present that to people at frog I usually get blank looks and they say things like stop making up words abductive doesn't really mean anything and so we can kind of start there in fact it does mean something and we can turn to some really academic discourse maybe seeing you guys remember this from your philosophy classes this is CS purse spelled Pierce at the top there and there are some things about abduction and I didn't understand a word of this when I went to read it so I do what most of us do I turned to the internet specifically at Facebook and I asked my brother-in-law who holds a doctorate from Cornell and went to brown and Harvard about what the hell this guy was talking about it so he broke it down for me so follow along because again my small brand it's like it took a couple tries here but the thought is that if we look at deduction this is the logic that we're all taught in grade school this is the idea of a is B B is C in therefore a is C and I think we all sort of understand this we roll our eyes at and then we go oh yeah those are those like geometric logic proofs where you prove the triangle actually is a triangle and you're like what on earth is that for yeah that's deduction okay great we can kind of compare that to the idea of induction and this is going to be based on observation so each time I do a under the same conditions the occurs so inductively the next time I do a B will occur and this logic is true until it's not okay until one thing proves it wrong and then all of the sudden inductively that reasoning is no longer sound and this is usually where our conversation of logic stops there's this third type of logic which is coming in to both do in many ways to Roger Martin's writings Roger Martin was the Dean of a rocket School of Management in Toronto and he's been talking a great deal about a deductive reasoning and so this is to some degree a rationalization for why the magic of design actually works when I do a B occurs I've done something like a before but the circumstances were a little bit different I've seen something like me before but the circumstances weren't exactly the same so I can abduct that C is the reason that B is occurring it's a hypothesis driven form of reasoning okay and again this is logic but it's not the type of logic that we're generally speaking familiar with we can call this abductive reasoning and if we go to our academic sort of jargony working theory here we can see that abduction gives us this idea of best working hypothesis this is the idea of looking around you and all of the data you have the more data you have the better obviously although there's some caveats to that that maybe we will talk about soon and this data includes your life experiences if we think about how most logic works are supposed to exclude your bias in this particular form of logic you need to embrace your bias okay because the richness of your experiences allow you to make that abduction there's some other key words here that I'm not going to go too much into depth with this is the idea of knowledge production okay that we're actually generating new ideas because when you are being quote innovative the ideas that have something actionable at the end of it there's some other sort of Kezia the idea of pruning and that word making a judgment and again if we think about a lot of the ideas that you're taught at an early age don't judge right don'tyou don't judge things well this is taking a really different approach this is saying not all ideas are good and not all ideas are equal and then finally we can look at the idea of sense making and again this is a social or cognitive psychological phenomenon that embraces the richness that is you and it says that we're not going to get the same results when you do a design problem and

when you do a design problem and when you do it's not a problem and that's good okay so wonderful again we go back to real life give me something I can actually use in my job so there are a whole suite of methods that you can use in order to do synthesis I only have time to talk about two and I'm hoping that you can integrate these into your jobs irrespective of if you are or are not a quote designer the first method that I want to talk about is insight combination and so we can look to a number of different academic sources for what a pattern is the one that I choose is from Jen Sidwell we talked about how design patterns are possible good solutions to a common design problem within a certain context okay so these are this is the idea that hey I've kind of seen something like that before and again the circumstances weren't exactly the same but they were similar inside combination is going to be a method that relies on design patterns in order to create initial design ideas these slides will be available online so you don't actually have to try to write down all of this text here but the key takeaway is that it takes advantage of trends the idea of a design pattern is something that is starting to reoccur and we're starting to see over and over and over so let me break down how this seems to work if we take the ideas of things that you see and I'm using C really loosely everything you're gathering for perception okay your life experiences I'm plus the things you know you get an insight all right so let's walk through that I saw this this really is you being the good observer taking pictures of things asking people questions learning everything that there is to know about the minutiae that is culture because culture is the thing you're trying to shift through that innovation and frequently this is done through market research different talk about whether or not that's a good idea I know this is the idea of the ethics and morals that make up the way that you consider the world around you a lot of this is baked into you from day one a lot of this has learned okay and this really is everything from the way that your parents brought you up to the the types of music that you like to listen to this is the aggregate of you when you combine those two hopefully explicitly you get yourself an insight and that doesn't necessarily mean that it's a good insight or that it's a valuable insight but it's an insight great we can extend that idea and this is where the richness of design brainstorming or being creative comes into play we can combine this with an established design pattern we can take the insight and take things that we're starting to see reoccur over and over and over combine the two and we get a design idea that's a new creative concept that's been somewhat facilitated by existing trending patterns that we're starting to see in the world around us I'll give you a very brief example related to something as boring as enterprise configuration software we're just I know a lot about I spent a year working with one of the biggest router companies that doesn't network management helping them make it easier to configure their can price their products online and so the first thing we do is we write down a whole bunch of insights alright and these are insights that came for contextual research we talked to sales reps we talked to users we do all of the things that people do in their jobs when they're trying to understand a new domain and you can see some of these are truly insightful and some of them are sort of minor insights but all of them were new to me at the same time we have a number of patterns and these patterns may or may not have anything to do with the type of discipline that you're studying a pattern could be that they're starting to wear these really bizarre combinations of layered layered clothing in Europe and we and my personal opinion is that's American Apparel slowly catching on which is unfortunate that that's a pattern right it has nothing to do with enterprise configuration soccer we can write that down too another pattern is the idea of progressive disclosure with a technology of eight like Ajax is a way of allowing people to get just the right amount of information in a web form all right so they can be really geeky they can be about style not really important when we take the two and combine them we get design ideas and quite literally in this case we take one yellow car and one blue car and combine them and out pops a new idea again there's no guarantee that this new idea is going to be any good and that's not really the point the point is to generate as many of them as possible here's some very pragmatic steps to getting to that idea and I won't review all of this text but the key here is to have a good assortment of yellow cards which you're going to gain through ethnography and contextual research and a really good patter library of cards that you can combine and merge between the two when you do that it really is quite simple you pick one and you pick one and you put the two together very very simple ways anybody's second message that I want to posit is the notion of reframing and again a very very simple way of performing synthesis and arriving at new innovative ideas a frame is a perspective and it's an active one and so some researchers describe the frame as something that actively shifts the data that it is framing all of us see things through a frame of reference the goal of reframing is to see them through a different frame of reference and all of this important the biggest and most important part of all of these takeaways is that it's going to identify implications and insights of what a potential redesign might do scuse me don't look down you never know what's gonna happen consider a toothbrush okay we all know what a toothbrush is it's a real familiar artifact it kind of looks like that yeah we can start to think about it in three different new frames we can reframe it from a new environment a new perspective and a new embodiment these are all traditional frames yeah these are the ways that we normally think about brushing our teeth we think about a regular

person a consumer in the bathroom holding an object but we can start to reframe it in this example we'll reframe it in a new environment so what is it like to brush your teeth in the kitchen what's the ideal toothbrush for brushing your teeth in the kitchen maybe it changes dramatically how about at a conference where you're sitting next to somebody and you have that hot nasty coffee flavor in your mouth what's a toothbrush that's just for the TED conference look like what's it made like we can start to identify the users goal which is a little bit different in a context like this than it is in your bathroom right and then we can start to extract out implications and insights for design we do the same thing from a new perspective of a user so traditionally we think of brushing our teeth from the perspective of the person brushing the teeth what is it like if you're actually a dentist well we all know that dentist toothbrushes are very in our owns that's on purpose that's for a reason what's it like from the perspective of a blind date right very different artifact that comes out of that exercise gets really really interesting when you start to reframe in a new embodiment what if it's not an artifact at all what if tooth brushing is a service and I don't necessarily mean a dentist what would it be like if there was a carp that pulled up outside during our break offering tooth brushing for ten dollars is that a good idea I'm not sure but it certainly is a new idea because we look at something that's traditional we reframe it we give identify a new primary user goal and then we extract implications and insights from that goal again sort of a methodical way of approaching this but the key here the key really is to go sort of go through the rigor of actually writing down all of these new ideas and giving yourself that runway to have that crazy idea of what if a toothbrush is a plant one of the toothbrush is a car yeah we go well that doesn't make any sense but that's okay allow that to play out give yourself the room to see what that feels like we arrived at synthesis it's the way of bridging the gap between these two things and again there's a number of methods for moving from the sort of research phase into the design phase I've given you two and the idea is not that you follow the method blindly but that you integrate that method into the work you do augmented make it yours to some degree and so you end up with a working theory of synthesis which I hope makes sense I hope you can fit into your daily life in order to produce information and knowledge thanks very much I appreciate it you Molloy College, Rockville Centre.