Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Trend Week : Day 3

You know that little thing that Bank of America does called "keep the change?" They transfer the left over some odd cents from each purchase on your debit card into your savings account. Or maybe you are one of the many people who have recently returned to leisurely biking due to the comeback of a simpler bike, a "coasting" bike. Because, let's be honest, not everyone wants to be Lance Armstrong.

Well if so, you are enjoying innovations from a consulting firm called IDEO. Today for Trend Week, Managing Partner and co-Chief Creative Officer of IDEO, Jane Fulton Suri spoke to a packed house.

What I took away most was the importance of empathy in design. Definitely key when designing product for Hallmark, but empathy is vital in the design of anything that needs to connect with a user/consumer/observer/etc. I am now going to once again steal copy, this time from the email sent out about our speaker today:

Jane Fulton Suri places special emphasis on the contribution of human insight, creative practice and design thinking as they relate both to IDEO's work and to client organizations worldwide. Jane has worked on multidisciplinary teams designing web services, electric vehicles, medical products, digital cameras, and environments for specific clients. As one of IDEO's global leaders, Jane plays a prominent role in teaching and adapting methods for use in innovation workshops. She has introduced terms like "empathic connection" - human centered design - and teaches her approach to observational research.

Jane is the author of Thoughtless Acts
, a picture book of empathic observations that invites readers to look more closely at interactions in the everyday world - a first step in design thinking.

Check out IDEO's website... there's a wealth of information there about their approach to problem solving and also a boatload of past projects, articles written about them, and a client list that will blow your mind.

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