[Design]The Four Phases of Design Thinking

设计思想形成的四个阶段

What ingrained habits are linked to a designer’s ability to turn original ideas into innovations?

设计师的才华携手什么样根深蒂固的习性才能将最初的想法变成新兴的创造呢?

What can people in business learn from studying the ways successful designers solve problems and innovate? On the most basic level, they can learn to question, care, connect, and commit—four of the most important things successful designers do to achieve significant breakthroughs.

       从研究设计师成功解决问题、创造革新的方法中,商业人士能学到什么呢?最根本面上来讲,他们能学会提问、关注、联系和付诸行动。凭借最重要事情中的这四项,设计师们能取得意义非凡的突破。

Having studied more than a hundred top designers in various fields over the past couple of years (while doing research for a book), I found that there were a few shared behaviors that seemed to be almost second nature to many designers. And these ingrained habits were intrinsically linked to the designer’s ability to bring original ideas into the world as successful innovations. All of which suggests that they merit a closer look.

       在过去两年里,我调查了各行各业一百多个顶级设计师(为一本书作的研究),并发现了一些共同的、几乎成为很多设计师第二天性的习性。这些根深蒂固的习性与设计师的才能内在的联系在一起,成功地将原始想法变为现实中的创造。这一切都表明,它们值得一探究竟。

Question. If you spend any time around designers, you quickly discover this about them: They ask, and raise, a lot of questions. Often this is the starting point in the design process, and it can have a profound influence on everything that follows. Many of the designers I studied, from Bruce Mau to Richard Saul Wurman to Paula Scher, talked about the importance of asking “stupid questions”—the ones that challenge the existing realities and assumptions in a given industry or sector. The persistent tendency of designers to do this is captured in the joke designers tell about themselves. How many designers does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Does it have to be a light bulb?

提问:不管什么时候和设计师在一起,你会很快发现他们会询问并提出很多问题。通常,质疑是设计阶段的起点,并会给接下来的事情产生深远的影响。从布鲁斯·毛到里查德·沃曼到薛·博兰,我调查过的许多设计师都会谈到问“白痴问题”的重要性。“白痴问题”会向特定行业或部门既有的实施和设想提出挑战。从设计师谈论自己的玩笑中可以窥见他们持续提“白痴问题”的这种倾向。要花多少设计师来改变一支灯泡?答案是:它必须的是灯泡吗?

In a business setting, asking basic “why” questions can make the questioner seem naïve while putting others on the defensive (as in, “What do you mean ‘Why are we doing it this way?’ We’ve been doing it this way for 22 years!”). But by encouraging people to step back and reconsider old problems or entrenched practices, the designer can begin to re-frame the challenge at hand—which can then steer thinking in new directions. For business in today’s volatile marketplace, the ability to question and rethink basic fundamentals—What business are we really in? What do today’s consumers actually need or expect from us?—has never been more important.

       在商业环境里,问基本的“为什么”问题会让提问者看起来很天真,同时使其他人置于抵御之中(比如我们都这样做有20年了,你问“为什么我们要这样做”是什么意思?但是,鼓励人们退后一步,重新思考老问题或沿袭已久的做法,设计师可以开始重新架构周围的挑战,在新的方向上引导思考。我们究竟要怎样的商务?今天的客户真正需要的是什么?想从我们身上得到什么?在当今市场瞬息万变的商业中,质疑并重思这些基本原则的能力从未向现在这样重要。

Care. It’s easy for companies to say they care about customer needs. But to really empathize, you have to be willing to do what many of the best designers do: step out of the corporate bubble and actually immerse yourself in the daily lives of people you’re trying to serve. What impressed me about design researchers such as Jane Fulton Suri of IDEO was the dedication to really observing and paying close attention to people—because this is usually the best way to ferret out their deep, unarticulated needs. Focus groups and questionnaires don’t cut it; designers know that you must care enough to actually be present in people’s lives.

关注:关心客户的需求,说起来很容易。但要真正领会,你就必须乐意去做许多最好的设计师做的事情:走出公司泡沫,实实在在地让自己沉浸在你所服务的那些人的日常生活中。令我感到印象深刻的是像IDEO的简·富尔顿·苏里这样的设计研究员所具有的真正观察、关注人群的奉献精神,因为这通常是找出人们内心深处、未曾表达的需求。焦点小组和问卷调查并不能处理这些,设计师知道,你必须足够关注并真正融入到人们的生活中。

Connect. Designers, I discovered, have a knack for synthesizing–for taking existing elements or ideas and mashing them together in fresh new ways. This can be a valuable shortcut to innovation because it means you don’t necessarily have to invent from scratch. By coming up with “smart recombinations” (to use a term coined by the designer John Thackara), Apple has produced some of its most successful hybrid products; and Nike smartly combining a running shoe with an iPod to produce its groundbreaking Nike Plus line (which enables users to program their runs). It isn’t easy to come up with these great combos. Designers know that you must “think laterally”—searching far and wide for ideas and influences—and must also be willing to try connecting ideas that might not seem to go together. This is a way of thinking that can also be embraced by non-designers.

联系:我发现设计师有种综合的窍门—收集现有的元素或想法,在以全新的方式将他们糅合在一起。因为这意味着你不用一定要从零开始发明创造,所以能成为一种有价值的创新捷径。通过“巧妙重组”(运用设计师约翰·沙克拉杜撰的词汇),苹果公司制造了一些最为成功的混合产品;耐克公司巧妙地将一款跑鞋和iPod联系起来创造出突破性的耐克Plus生产线(能让使用者自行控制跑步)。这些伟大的结合来之不易。设计师知道必须要“横向思维”—海阔天空地思考想法和影响,而且必须愿意尝试串联一些的看似不可能在一起的想法。这种思考方式同样也可以被非设计师吸纳。

Commit. It’s one thing to dream up original ideas. But designers quickly take those ideas beyond the realm of imagination by giving form to them. Whether it’s a napkin sketch, a prototype carved from foam rubber, or a digital mock-up, the quick-and-rough models that designers constantly create are a critical component of innovation —because when you give form to an idea, you begin to make it real.

付诸行动:空想创意只是一小步。让这些创意成形,设计师能迅速将它们带出想象的领域。无论设计师常常创作的是一张餐巾纸草图,泡沫橡胶雕成的原型,或一个数字模拟器,还是大概的模型,这都是创造关键的组成部分。因为当你使一个想法成形时,你就开始使它成为现实了

But it’s also true that when you commit to an idea early—putting it out into the world while it’s still young and imperfect—you increase the possibility of short-term failure. Designers tend to be much more comfortable with this risk than most of us. They know that innovation often involves an iterative process with setbacks along the way—and those small failures are actually useful because they show the designer what works and what needs fixing. The designer’s ability to “fail forward” is a particularly valuable quality in times of dynamic change. Today, many companies find themselves operating in a test-and-learn business environment that requires rapid prototyping. Which is just one more reason to pay attention to the people who’ve been conducting their work this way all along.

    当然,我们这样说也不错,当一个想法还很幼稚、不完善,你却很早的就付诸行动,把它融入世界,你会增加短期失败的可能性。设计师往往比我们多数人更享受这种风险。他们知道,创新往往涉及一个曲折反复的过程,那些小的失败其实是很有用的,因为他们能告诉设计师什么可行,什么需要改善。在瞬间变化的时代里,设计师这种“从失败中汲取教训”的能力尤为宝贵了。如今,许多公司发现自己处在尝试和学习的商业环境中,需要快速的原型运作。如此一来,我们更有理由去关注那些一直按照这种方式从事他们工作的人们了。

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