Reconciling design thinking with the craft of design doing

The O'Reilly Radar Podcast: Suzanne Pellican on the ups and downs of Intuit's journey to become a design-driven organization.

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In this week’s episode, O’Reilly’s Mary Treseler chats with Suzanne Pellican, VP and executive creative director at Intuit, about three core principles of design thinking and about Intuit’s journey to become a design-driven organization.

Pellican also will be speaking at our upcoming O’Reilly Design Conference about creating a culture based on design thinking, experimentation, and risk taking. You can find out more at the event website.

Here are a few highlights from their chat:

Design thinking is the practice of problem solving, and to me, that is based on those three core principles that I spoke about: deep customer empathy, going broad to go narrow, and rapidly experimenting with your customer. That’s the actual skill set and the tools and the mindset that you have.

Design thinking is absolutely experiential, and I think the first mistake that we made when we started rolling this out eight years ago was, if you’re going to change the way people work day to day, that’s going to take a long time. You can’t just ask people to do it and expect them to change. You have to give them ample opportunities to practice so that they can then understand it and make it their own.

What also came out of [the Design for Delight journey] was a realization of the craft of design itself, not just about design thinking that’s for everyone, but the craft of design doing, which is for a select few called designers, and all of a sudden, the understanding of that skill set and how necessary that was going to be for the success of our company was realized.

The definition of design for too long was that design was the visualization of technology, and it was the skin on top of something that was much more important, and that’s not what design is. Design is about the creation of the experience and sometimes it has no skin, so I think that’s the change that’s happening in understanding our skill set.

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