5 Reasons Why Design Thinking is Good for Organizations

This guest post is from Maureen Carroll, Ph.D., the Founder of Lime Design and a lecturer in Stanford University’s d.school and Graduate School of Education. In doing hundreds of innovation workshops, she has discovered five compelling reasons why design thinking is good for organizations.

Design thinking on the run: using rapid methods at the Getty Research Institute

This guest post is from Liz McDermott, Managing Editor of Web & Communications at the Getty Research Institute (GRI). This post discusses how, with little time and limited resources, a team at the GRI used rapid methods and tools from the design thinking process to answer the question, "How can we make visitors in our galleries aware that we have a mobile tour available?"

Spreading design thinking throughout an organization: lessons from Atlassian

For this post, I interviewed Karen Cross, the Design Manager at Atlassian, about the internal design thinking program the company has been building up over the past year. Atlassian makes tools for software development, collaboration, and project management, and several museums and nonprofits use their products. Readers may be wondering why I’m featuring an interview with someone from a software company, and the answer is simple: I’ve always looked outside the museum sector for models of new ways of working, thinking, and collaborating. I believe museums can look to the private sector for new models of working, and adapt these processes to make museums smarter, more efficient, and more awesome.

Using design thinking to connect the physical and digital at the Rijksmuseum: an interview with Shailoh Philips

Last week I had the honor of interviewing Shailoh Philips, who worked for the last two years setting up the Media Lab at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, about a project titled Augmenting Masterpieces. The project explores connections between the physical and digital within the gallery space, and aims to build a theoretical framework for digital interfaces in a museum context from a human-centered design approach.

What museums can learn from improv: three principles to make museums more human-centered and empathetic

In improvisational theater, there are some shared principles that the improvisers work from. These principles create a positive and supportive platform upon which the improvisers, or "players," can do their best work. What if the principles that allow improvisers to thrive and excel could be applied to museums? In this post, I consider three principles from improv theater and share my thoughts on how incorporating these principles into museum practice could make museums more human-centered and empathetic institutions.

Design thinking at MuseumNext 2014: my five big takeaways

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 titled "Designing for Happiness: Using Design Thinking to Delight Visitors." In this post, I share the five big takeaways I presented at the conference on how to integrate design thinking mindsets into museum practice.

Prototyping exhibition web pages at the Getty: designing for online and onsite visitor needs

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, Ahree Lee, Senior User Experience Designer in the Web Group at the J. Paul Getty Trust, covers the process they followed, some of the key findings, and how the project is moving forward.

Image courtesy Michael Edson, Smithsonian Institution

Design Thinking for Museums: one year and counting

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. The blog was developed as a resource for the field and accompanied a paper documenting a partnership between SFMOMA and the Stanford d.school. When the site launched, I wasn't sure how long we would keep it up, if we'd get any readers, and what kind of response we'd receive from the museum community. I'm happy to report that now, one year later, there are small but significant signs of enthusiasm for and adoption of design thinking in the museum sector. I've just returned from the 2014 Museums and the Web conference, where I presented a paper with co-authors from the Getty and the Queensland Museum about how those institutions are using design thinking and prototyping to tackle challenges ranging from designing new digital publications to re-envisioning organizational structures.