Methods of Design Synthesis: Research to Product Innovation

Theory and methods for synthesizing design thinking research data to identify innovations and new product features.

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$25
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  • Lectures 12
  • Video 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion

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About This Course

Published 7/2013 English

Course Description

User-centered design research activities produce an enormous quantity of raw data, which must be systematically and rigorously analyzed in order to extract meaning and insight.

Unfortunately, these methods of analysis are poorly documented and rarely taught, and because of the pragmatic time constraints associated with working with clients, there is often no time dedicated in a statement of work to a practice of formal synthesis. As a result, raw design research data is inappropriately positioned as insight, and the value of user-centered research activities is marginalized – in fact, stakeholders may lose faith in the entire research practice, as they don’t see direct return on the investment of research activities.

Design synthesis methods can be taught, and when selectively applied, visual, diagrammatic synthesis techniques can be completed relatively quickly. During Synthesis, Designers visually explore large quantities of data in an effort to find and understand hidden relationships. These visualizations can then be used to communicate to other members of a design team, or can be used as platforms for the creation of generative sketching or model making. The action of diagramming is a way to actively produce knowledge and meaning.

What are the requirements?

  • A working understanding of design process

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Learn about how to manage the complexity of gathered data
  • Build both confidence and ability with the various synthesis methods
  • Learn to make sense of data and translate research into insights
  • Learn to create a concept map
  • Learn to create a process flow diagram
  • Learn to perform insight combination
  • Learn to reframe

What is the target audience?

  • Design researchers
  • Designers
  • Marketers
  • Product managers
  • Developers

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Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Theory of Design Synthesis
Design as Problem Solving: Well-Structured, Ill-Structured, and Wicked Problems
Preview
05:28
The Process of Design
Preview
01:49
Deductive, Inductive, and Abductive Reasoning
Preview
04:11
Sensemaking
04:58
Making Meaning Out of Data
06:04
Experience Frameworking
04:54
Gaining Empathy
03:00
Section 2: Methods of Design Synthesis
Process Flow Diagramming
10:39
Concept Mapping
09:02
Insight Combination
13:59
Reframing
08:15
Section 3: In Summary
Applying Synthesis in Real Life
02:57

Instructor Biography

Jon Kolko, Founder, Austin Center for Design; VP of Design, MyEdu

Jon Kolko is Vice President of Design at MyEdu, and the Founder and Director of Austin Center for Design. His work focuses on bringing the power of design to social enterprises, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and large-scale industry disruption. He has worked extensively with both startups and Fortune 500 clients, with a focus on humanizing educational technology.

Jon has previously held positions of Executive Director of Design Strategy at Thinktiv, a venture accelerator in Austin, Texas, and both Principal Designer and Associate Creative Director roles at frog design, a global innovation firm. He was also a Professor of Interaction and Industrial Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he was instrumental in building both the Interaction and Industrial Design undergraduate and graduate programs. Jon has also held the role of Director for the Interaction Design Association (IxDA), and Editor-in-Chief of interactions magazine, published by the ACM.

Jon is the author three books: Thoughts on Interaction Design, published by Morgan Kaufmann, Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner's Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis, published by Oxford University Press, and Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving, published by Austin Center for Design.

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