Managing up design thinking: 5 steps for promoting human-centered design in museums
“How do I get our director/my boss/the curators/my colleagues on board with the design thinking process?” This question touches on one of the most demanding aspects of human-centered design in museums: promoting change. In this post, I share five steps for managing up design thinking in museums.
Cooking with your users: reflections on the Museum Computer Network (MCN) Keynote
The keynote speaker at the 2015 Museum Computer Network, Liz Ogpu, talked about the power of human-centered design and its potential for impact in museums.
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.
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.
Design ≠ design thinking
This guest post is from Molly Clare Wilson, an experience designer and teacher in San Francisco. When we confuse “design” and “design thinking,” everyone loses. Designers get their backs up at the […]
Hacking old habits to effect organizational change
Some of the key mindsets of design thinking rely on un-learning old ways of working. To successfully integrate design thinking into your museum—whether it's for a small, one-off project or an institution-wide initiative—you must hack your old habits.
“This will never work here”: six strategies for facing internal resistance to design thinking
As I work with museums on how to integrate design thinking into their ongoing processes, I find myself spending a lot of time talking with my peers about the resistance—and […]
Breaking assumptions with empathy
Over and over, one of the big lessons in design thinking seems to be don’t assume—discover directly. The insights gained from talking directly to users informs our understanding of their needs, which in turn makes all the difference between spinning one’s wheels and developing solutions that people can actually use. And prototyping and iterating along the way provide constant check-ins and mechanisms for adjustments.
Stepping into the “continuum of innovation”: kicking-off design thinking in your museum
I've had numerous inquiries from colleagues at institutions around the world about how to get started with design thinking at home. To step into into this "continuum of innovation," there are some strategies and approaches you can implement to kick-off the process and start infusing the design thinking ethos into your work culture. Some of these are more attitudinal, while others are tactical.
Getting out there: a bias towards action
Holding back and striving for perfection is how many museums and cultural institutions approach new digital projects. Months, or years, go by before we "get out there."
Why design thinking for museums?
When I signed up for an Executive Education course offered through Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, or the "d.school," I didn't really know much about design thinking--or how it was relevant to museums. In fact, I didn't know what I was getting into.