Museum professionals are faced with design decisions on an almost daily basis, from developing tour guidelines to building digital resources. In the routine of everyday work and with a lack of in-house visitor research staff, it is too easy to base design decisions solely on experience and precedent, and make choices based on assumptions and habit. But by conducting simple needfinding activities, such as direct visitor observations in the galleries, we can override our blind spots and arrive at new insights.
I recently returned from the MuseumNext conference in Newcastle, England, where I gave a talk, From Insights to Prototypes: How Museums can Use the Design Thinking Process to Engage and Delight Visitors and co-led a workshop (with Marco Mason) titled Designing for Happiness: Using Design Thinking to Delight Visitors.
In my talk and workshop, I shared five big takeaways on how to integrate design thinking mindsets into museum practice. Continue reading
My PhD focuses on how we can use design research to consider residency programs for museums and unite design thinking with museum practices. In this post, I explain how museum residency programs can be used as a lens to think about the traditional and emerging frameworks of design. This is then explored through a recent example of research I conducted on the V&A Museum Residency Programme in London. Continue reading
In January 2014, a cross-departmental team of designers, producers, editors, curators, and senior staff at the Getty kicked off an intense two-week effort to redesign and re-engineer the Getty’s exhibition web pages. In this guest post, I will cover the process we followed, some of the key findings, and how the project is moving forward. Continue reading
I launched this blog, Design Thinking for Museums, exactly one year ago at the 2013 Museums and the Web conference in Portland. It was an experiment that UX designer and Stanford d.school Fellow Molly Wilson and I built in a day at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art cafe, armed with coffee and WordPress. Continue reading
When we confuse “design” and “design thinking,” everyone loses.
Designers get their backs up at the intimation that anybody can waltz in and call themselves a designer. Something that sounds unflatteringly like “get off my lawn” starts to creep in.
Design thinkers don’t look too good either. Compared to designers, they look like sloppy, fluffy trend riders. Or, worse, they look like process geeks who strip the creativity out of the design process.
This guest post is from Jack Ludden, Head of the Web Group and New Media Development at the J. Paul Getty Trust. Jack and his team help the entire Getty organization better manage, transform and present content on a multitude of digital distribution channels. Jack is the past Chair of the American Alliance of Museums Media and Technology Professional Network, and currently the Vice Chair of all 22 American Alliance of Museums Professional Networks. Jack is the co-author of the forthcoming Museums and the Web paper, From Post-its to Processes: Using Prototypes to Find Solutions. Continue reading
This is the third of three posts in which I share some of my favorite improv games to use with teams who are learning and using the design thinking process.
The first post covered improv games to kick-off a meeting or workshop, the second covered improv games for warming up for brainstorming and embracing failure, and this post considers improv games for warming up for user testing and prototyping. Continue reading
This is the second of three posts in which I’ll share some of my favorite improv games to use with teams who are learning the design thinking process.
I’ve been taking improvisational theater classes for years, mostly because I find them energizing and extremely fun, but also because I started noticing that the skills I was practicing in improv were helping me navigate challenging meetings and difficult team dynamics at work. More recently, I’ve begun incorporating improvisational theater games into my design thinking workshops.
Whether I’m trying to get a skeptical curator to unfold her arms and participate, or an indifferent designer to look up from his iPhone and share his ideas, I’ve become increasingly mindful about which games can be used to foster creativity, model collaboration, support shared inquiry, boost energy, and support the design thinking process.