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In this week’s Design Podcast episode, I sit down with designer Gretchen Anderson. Anderson is the author of the free O’Reilly report Designing for Social Impact and a program committee member for OReilly’s inaugural design conference, where she is also moderating a panel on designing with data for social impact.
In this podcast episode, Anderson talks about design as a force to improve our lives and about approaching design as an inclusive discipline.
Here are a few highlights from our chat:
Forget the color palette conversations. Stop trying to make everyone understand the craft of design any more than they want to — just take your seat at the table. Greg Petroff talks about how designers can be a little bit paranoid by nature. I think that comes with the territory. There can be a lot of ‘us and them’ — I think it’s important to really drop that way of thinking. Not everyone does what you do, but that does not mean that you aren’t part of a larger ecosystem; you want to foster that creative part of bringing everyone together.
Design is about finding and testing and being able to hold a point of view on what people need and want, whatever your mission or enterprise is, and being someone who can reconcile constraints into something awesome, not just the sad compromise of everyone’s democracy. Have the bravery and the skills to hold that and the relentless passion and patience for refinement of an idea, even the bad ones sometimes.
The Internet of Things is almost a non-user experience experience.
It’s important to recognize the skills that designers have around facilitating conversations, bringing people together around a specific idea, and not just abstractions. The idea of being a team player coach, that you can really get different disciplines to work together because all of us know it takes many, many different skills to design and develop something.
There’s the idea of design for evil. Brandon Harris talks about it. It’s having a persona that really is someone you want to outfox or stay ahead of in a way that maybe doesn’t happen in a more consumer product-oriented situation.
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