Response to Design Thinking

The idea that design is just simply making already designed products look pretty differs in many ways from the portrayal of design as spoken upon in both the article and the video. In both there was this common idea that design is more about creating and designing products not so that they can look pretty but so that they fit the consumer's needs and desires. Brown specifically describes it as “innovation [that is] powered by a thorough understanding, through direct observation, of what people want and need in their lives and what they like or dislike about the way particular products are made, packaged, marketed, sold, and supported”. User centered design is from design thinking applying this thinking and making it evident through designing a product or system that fits the needs of the users, hence the term “user centered”.

An example of this that was displayed through the IDEO video was through the shopping cart. A diverse team of professionals wanted to figure out how they could design a shopping cart and eliminate the current problems that are evident with that current design. They took into consideration people's need for safety with the shopping carts and wanting convenience in relation to how some people need to stop and leave the cart so that they can actually shop. There was also the issue of theft that they wanted to somehow eliminate. The team went ahead and did research and spoke to people who use, make, and repair shopping carts, so they could see what they needed and desired. In the end through their process of design thinking and user centered design they designed a cart that moves side to side for the safety and convenience of the shopper, and the cart also has removable baskets so that people are able to move around more freely and shop without lugging around a huge cart. In this example user centered design was clearly much more than just making products look attractive, the team focused on how they could design in such a way where they can eliminate current problems and make the use or the cart easier, instead of just prettier.

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