Opposite of Chance - design and education blog

Sep 6
Come and visit my new blog: http://ayeletdesign.com
See you there :)Ayelet

Come and visit my new blog: http://ayeletdesign.com

See you there :)

A Crash Course in Design Thinking - learn design thinking in 1 hour

I was so pleased when a colleague pointed this resource out to me. 

D School in Stanford found an interesting way to let people who are not familiar with the concept of design thinking engage with the whole process in one hour. This video shows the full process and gives you time to try it out yourself, as well as provides resources you can use to facilitate such process. 

The topic is “redesigning the gift giving experience” that I thought was very cool, however, at parts I wondered whether it is a bit too vague to deal with. Guiding the participants through the empathy stage though was very interesting and inspiring to me.

Anyway, enjoy the experience and I’d love to hear your thoughts about it too.

Aug 2

Design for Sustainability

An interesting exploration of ways to create sustainable designs

(Source: youtube.com)

Designers - which competencies do we need?

According to Chris Conley in his paper “Leveraging Design’s Core Competencies”, designers’ expertise lay beyond ‘being creative’.

From his experience working with businesses and with students, he compiled a list of seven core competencies designers should hold:

" 1. The ability to understand the context or circumstances of a design problem and frame them in an insightful way.

2. The ability to work at a level of abstraction appropriate to the situation at hand.

3. The ability to model and visualize solutions even with imperfect information.

4. An approach to problem solving that involves the simultaneous creation and evaluation of multiple alternatives.

5. The ability to add or maintain value as pieces are integrated into a whole.

6. The ability to establish purposeful relationships among elements of a solution and between the solution and its context.

7. The ability to use form to embody ideas and to communicate their value.

This list of competencies can be an interesting alternative to the conventional ways we tend to portray the design process (examples can be found in this post) which tend to be overly simplified and linear at times.

Personally, this list allows me to reflect on my own practice and define my strengths and weaknesses.

As the author admits, this may not be the full or accurate list, however, it’s an interesting point of reference I hope you’ll enjoy as well.

A creative way to advertize. Push play to add drama. Enjoy!

Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our own decisions?

This inspiring TED talk, got me wondering about our role and impact as designers in decision making, and the basis to the decisions we make in our own practice. Design is power, and we should be mindful in how we use it.

A comparison of Design Process Diagrams and attitudes

As designers, we are taught to follow the design process in order to find solutions to complex challenges. However,this process seems to be described in many diverse ways.

In this post I collected a few approaches taken to describe the design process. My aim is to better understand the emphasis and variety of angles taken in describing what may essentially be the same process. Hopefully, this will also allow me to offer an alternative way to describe the process.

#1. The Iterative “Step by Step” models

These models represent a set of actions to be followed sequentially, and suggest that the process is continues - when you reach a solution, you can probably make it better by following the process again. It is interesting to note the different actions the models highlight in the process:

Hugh Dubberly’s representations of Kobegr’s models

One 2 One Media Solutions

Global Ideas

Mint Creative Solutions

#2. Stepping back

The following models introduce are simmilar to the first group, however, they add arrows going back as well as arrows going forward. This implies that the steps are introduced sequentially, however, are revisited and refined throughout the process.

Chicago Architecture Foundation

Hugh Dubberly’s representations of Kobegr’s models

#3 The design process as more complex interactions between activities 

As described so nicely by Typographic Design - Form and communication (fourth edition): “…perhaps it is more helpful to think of the process as five fields of activity that overlap each other in a multidimensional environment of intellectual discourse. The process is not linear; rather, it is one of interaction and ambiguity where paths appear to meander aimlessly towards durable and innovative solutions.”

Typographic Design - Form and Communication

"A holistic approach to design requires attention to all three areas during every phase of the project. If we spend too much effort in any single area, we put our potential for success at risk." - UX Magazine

IDEO's model

IDEO’s model from MWO blog

#4. Partial iteration

Some models describe the prototype section as an iterative part of a linear process.

Emma Whiteside

Ponoko using a model from PBS design squad program 


#5 Re-framing the process

Design thinking process description from “Designing for Growth” by J. Liedtka and T.Oglivie, taken from Ingo Rauth’s website

#6 Highlighting user-feedback

Diana Stutz Design

#7 Using the term ‘design’ to express only a part of the process
In some cases, the term ‘design’ does not capture the whole process but rather refers to parts of it.


Graphics and Templates


After exploring some of the different attitudes towards communicating the design process, I share Benton Barnett’s notion that describing the process in boxes may be a bit far from reality:

Benton Barnett

However, I’m not giving up on trying to find a way to communicate the process in a way that would be meaningful to me and will hopefully make sense to others.

* What is your design process? Did you identify different attitudes towards describing the design process? Please add your comments or send me a message so we could continue the conversation. Thanks!

Mar 2

Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling

This is one of my favorite TED talks! You really can’t help but smile…

I usually use this video as an example for the use of PREZI, which, if you are not familiar with it, is a presentation tool that seems to be used more widely everyday.

Many desperate PowerPoint casualties are seeking a change, a way to visually communicate their ideas in a non-linear manner. PREZI is proving to be the answer for many of them. 

What PREZI offers is basically a large canvas into which you can insert text, images and other media. You create a presentation by marking the areas you wish to zoom into on your canvas, and the order in which you want to zoom into them. PREZI then creates a zoom-in and out movement between those areas when you present. This particular function is what captures most viewers in the first minute, and makes them totally sea sick for the rest of the presentation in most cases… This unique ability had also granted it the glorious nickname “PowerPoint on Steroids”.

Like in the video above, some presenters create a presentation that uses a full zoom out function at the beginning or end of their presentation to demonstrate the relationship between the different parts of the presentation.

Due to this function, PREZI is considered to be less “linear” than PowerPoint. However, I find that using PREZI on presentation mode,the “linear” aspect is exactly the same as it is in PowerPoint.

So, if I try to summarize what I think PREZI’s pros and cons are, this is it:

Pros: working on a PREZI presentation invites the presenter to think about the relationship between the different parts of their presentation. This is due to the fact everything is laid-out on one large canvas. 

Cons: The transitions are incredibly destructing and it is very easy to create a BAD experience for your audience.

I’m looking forward to the day PREZI will make their transitions more seamless!

Until then, we can smile anyway (or eat a lot of chocolate…) enjoy the video!

(Source: ted.com)

Feb 5

Inspiration: 2 New Zealand artists that made me smile

Crispin Korschen

Barking and Mad Full Moon, Drawing by Crispin Korschen

I thought I’d share with you 2 “Kiwi” artists that always make me smile. 

Crispin Korschen, from Wellington, creates the most beautiful and dreamy paintings. Looking at her drawings I seem to dive deep into a world of fantasy, a world in which adventures are always around the corner, where friendships are meaningful and trusting, and where every moment is important.

Crispin’s joyful illustrations touched me when I saw them first on a greeting card (if you’re interested here’s the online shop: http://www.barkingmad.net.nz/categories/new-postcards-with-envelopes ). I was lucky enough to see some drawings at a gallery here in Dunedin at a later stage. Here’s another one of my favorites:

Always take the weather with you

Always take the weather with you, Drawing by Crispin Korschen

You can see some of her inspiration on her blog.

At the same gallery show, I got to see a first glance of another highly talented artist named Tony Cribb. I found his Tin-Man character fantastically amusing. His unique perspective over day-to-day life is shown through the humerus adventures of his Tin-Man.

You can purchase some of his work here (have a look at the “dry humor towel”…)

Until you do so, here are a couple of my favorites  :)


Dec 4
Benetton is asking the world to UNHATE and probably, to notice them at the same time… Just a reminder to how strong images can be and how brands are about emotions rather than products…
Click here for the full details

Benetton is asking the world to UNHATE and probably, to notice them at the same time… Just a reminder to how strong images can be and how brands are about emotions rather than products…

Click here for the full details