WebVisions 2014 PDX - Turtle Design in a Rabbit Age


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Would you let someone who speed-read a book on cardiology perform open-heart surgery on you? If you were attending a state dinner in Washington D.C. would you expect a gourmet meal prepared by the White House chef or would you be happy with a fast-food quarter pounder with cheese? When it comes to the products and services that we typically signify as having value, prestige, and even longevity, one single element factors into their creation: time. So why is it that design and the design processes, from ideation to development to implementation, are all happening on the fast track?
The acceleration of all that we once knew to be a “process” has antiquated our vital senses and deprived us of appreciating the finer details. Join Mel Lim as she discusses how at today’s speed of life, culture is instant coffee. Learn why we must slow things down, simmer our thoughts, steep our strategies, and craft our ideas into existence. Do we want the master who designed and built Greece and Rome, or just trailer park Rapid Prototyping? Explore with Mel why it may be time to rediscover listening, waiting, observing, experimenting, and reviewing for relevancy. Be part of the conversation on whether or not it’s time to employ our bare hands – draw, design, and doodle -- and find out if we still have expertise in hands-on processes should technology ever go dark some day.

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WebVisions 2014 PDX - Turtle Design in a Rabbit Age

  1. 1. Turtle Design in a Rabbit Age by Mel Lim twitter / @mellimdesign
  2. 2. Fast or Fastidious?
  3. 3. Quantity or quality?
  4. 4. Gourmet or Fast-food?
  5. 5. So why is design is happening on a fast track?
  6. 6. Culture Du Jour
  7. 7. Life is like instant coffee?
  8. 8. Chef Mario Batalior Chef Boyardee?
  9. 9. Chateau Margauxor Two Buck Chuck?
  10. 10. If we prefer the better, the organic, the chef-inspired, the majestic, the well-thought out, and the details, then why do we insist that design be rapid, cheap, easy, and just “good enough”?
  11. 11. Feeding On-Demand Thinking
  12. 12. “I WANT IT NOW!”
  13. 13. Are we amputating our senses?
  14. 14. “What IS this?”
  15. 15. Is discovery instant noodle?
  16. 16. So…who’s the tool?
  17. 17. “Computer?...computer?”
  18. 18. Technology is a tool to assist us, to improve our lives, but it is NOT the work itself.
  19. 19. Is Rapid Prototyping the ADHD of design?
  20. 20. Will rapid + good enough = valuable insights? = set the right standards? = increase accountability
  21. 21. IF…the discovery process is done hastily; (who needs research right?) AND the design can be done rapidly; THEN…logically, the final production should be done in the same manner…. WHICH BEGS THE QUESTION… What do you think the client can expect in terms of quality…Mac & Cheese?
  22. 22. • Proof of Concept • Usability Testing • Design flaws found at early developmental stages • Cost reduction/ effectiveness • Expectations between users & designers/producers can be aligned earlier on • Increased quality, development efficiencies • Stronger team work THE GOODNESS OF RAPID PROTOTYPING • Failure to replicate real product or system given amount of time & budget • Important touch points maybe omitted to get a quick and cheap working model • Possible increased costs • Design by committee • Decreasing quality due to lack of accountability & resources • Designers/Producers may be too attached to prototypes THE NOT-SO GOODNESS OF RAPID PROTOTYPING
  23. 23. If the users are happy with this “rough” prototype, why do we need to spend more money “beautifying” it? Just ship it!
  24. 24. “You’ve baked a really lovely cake, but then you’ve used dog shit for frosting.”
  25. 25. “When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will see it. You’ll know it’s there so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through” – Steve Jobs
  26. 26. Rapid prototyping is great for ideation; proof of concept. But ultimately, execution has to be well thought out…
  27. 27. How to win The Race
  28. 28. F**cking own it!
  29. 29. “Fail fast, fail often...” REALLY? “Failing quickly” might be a veil to truly accepting failures…
  30. 30. Failure should be a viable option. Setting the right culture to accept failure allows someone to put their word and reputation on the line. If failure is NOT an option, then it’s a liability… Then nobody will own anything. Reference: “When did accountability become passe?” by Deb Scoffield 04/07/14
  31. 31. “You got it backwards. Apple is NOT massively handicapped by their failures: failures are a mark of creativity. No failures mean insufficient creativity.” – Don Norman, father of UX Design
  32. 32. Screw Point A to B…
  33. 33. Can we rediscover…again?
  34. 34. “Temperament, in psychology, is thought to be the part of people’s personalities that is innate, rather than learned. This includes traits such as introversion or extroversion. Divergent thinking, however, is a process in which you’re generating ideas by exploring many solutions—using such tools as freewriting and associative thinking. This is the opposite of convergent thinking, in which you’re taking logical steps to arrive at a conclusion.” The most logical way is to be “illogical”…
  35. 35. “New ideas, perspectives, and the big value creating opportunities are in the gray areas between the unusual suspects.” – Saul Kaplan on Random Collisions with Unusual Suspects, Founder of Business Innovation Factory
  36. 36. Remastering Our Craft
  37. 37. “So what’s the real value in doing it by hand?” “Driving a vehicle is a personal thing; you want it to feel safe and trustworthy, but also like a companion you wouldn’t mind spending a very intimate 30 minutes with it every day driving to and from work. And while a computer-generated rendering might be precise, a computer model won’t tell you what it’s like to actually experience a car’s design, standing next to it. People still buy real cars. They don’t buy digital cars.” — Moray Callum, Design Director of Ford Motor’s North American brands
  38. 38. Rules of Mastery • Fall in love with what you do • Dedicate your life and breath to your craft • Choose your heroes wisely and be that person that inspires you • Be accountable; take ownership, without hesitation or thought of saving face, of your mistakes • Big is not always best • View each failure as a stepping stone toward constant perfection • Work hard each groundhog day and deliver the originality born of quality and consistency
  39. 39. Be the Turtle my friend…
  40. 40. “Once you decide on your occupation, you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success and is the key to being regarded honorably.” – Jiro Ono, Sushi Master & Owner of a Michelin 3-Star restaurant Be the Master Jiro
  41. 41. Be the Gao Shan Oolong tea…
  42. 42. Be the Daniel Day Lewis
  43. 43. Be the James Cameron
  44. 44. Crafting Value
  45. 45. What’s beyond serving a purpose… How do you craft “meaning”?
  46. 46. It’s the sticky gooey sweetness…
  47. 47. Let’s WOW again…
  48. 48. Make It Unforgettable
  49. 49. A Dash of Detail
  50. 50. An Element of Surprise
  51. 51. Delight with Craft
  52. 52. Do we still have expertise in hands-on processes should technology ever go dark someday?
  53. 53. Let’s talk! twitter / @mellimdesign email / mel@mellim.com web / www.mellim.com