Why every organization needs a human-centered design hallway: lessons from the Akron-Summit County Public Library
In an interview with Jennifer Stencel of the Akron-Summit County Public library, I learned how a scrappy, makeshift space is transforming the library from the inside out, making it a more human-centered place for the community.
Quick wins for building empathy with visitors: 4 hacks inspired by School Retool
Museum professionals are the "designers" of the visitor experience, and the key to developing an engaging and human-centered experience is understanding the people for whom you are designing. These quick wins, adapted from the School Retool fellowship, are things you can do next week to build deeper empathy for visitors.
Five mistakes of beginning design thinkers (and how to overcome them)
I’ve observed a set of common errors that practitioners new to design thinking often make when implementing the process. By leveraging the learnings of others, you can more successfully champion, utilize, and apply design thinking.
Join the conversation about design thinking and design sprints in museums
Are you curious to hear from other practitioners who are dipping their toes into the waters of design thinking and human-centered design? We've launched a new LinkedIn group and have started a Twitter hashtag for professionals to share stories, ask questions, and join the conversation.
Design sprints for visitor experience advocacy: 5 lessons from the British Museum
This is the second in a two-part series about running design sprints in museums. This post examines how the British Museum is experimenting with design sprints in the Product Development Group.
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.
Daring greatly through human-centered design: an interview with Hannah Fox of Derby Museums
Earlier this summer, I came across the Derby Museums Human-Centred Design Handbook, developed by the Derby Museums Trust in Derby, England. I spoke with Hannah Fox, Project Director, to learn more about the Museums' use of human-centered design methodologies.
Agile user research at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: an interview with Liz Filardi and Karen Plemons
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, staff from different departments are working together to employ rapid, low-cost research methods to better understand the needs of museum visitors and inform the development and design of apps, websites, and digital games.
How might we embed design thinking into a museum? 5 steps from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
How might we embed design thinking into a museum? This is the question I've been exploring with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science over the past six months.
Activating the museum with design thinking: stories from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, one of the largest encyclopedic museums in the country, began a design thinking process in 2013 to find new ways to enhance museum visitors’ experiences.
Lean and smart human-centered design: three lessons from the Grand Rapids Art Museum
How is design thinking being implemented in smaller museums? Recently I spoke with Jon Carfagno, the Director of Learning and Audience Engagement at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, or GRAM, about how the museum is taking a human-centered approach to the development of everything from strategic planning to in-gallery experiences.
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.
Needfinding in the galleries: overcoming blind spots with direct observation
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.
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.
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.
Interview with Helen Charman, Head of Learning, Design Museum London
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Helen Charman, Head of Learning at the Design Museum in London. Helen’s role is to develop and oversee formal and informal learning programs at London's museum of international contemporary design.
“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 […]