Tag Archives: product development

When Corporate Innovation fails

As designers we love great products, however, design fails are great too!

However, companies learn from their mistakes??

VISIT 141 PRODUCT FAILURES

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How to Rent Your Ideas to Fortune 500 Companies

I first met Stephen Key in 2001. Two months later, I used a few recommendations of his — shared over the customary gin tonic — to help a friend double overseas sales in less than two weeks in New Zealand and Australia.

How? Licensing. It can be a beautifully elegant model.

Stephen is somewhat famous in inventing circles for two reasons. First, he consistently earns millions of dollars licensing his ideas to companies like Disney, Nestle, and Coca-Cola. Second, he is fast. It seldom takes him more than three weeks to go from idea to a signed deal. Continue reading

The Beginner’s Guide to Outsource Manufacturing

VISIT: https://baysourceglobal.com/the-beginners-guide-to-outsource-manufacturing/?customize_changeset_uuid=#download

 

Design Ops — A New Discipline

Like all new terms, it’s a way of describing an emerging set of activities and behaviours. These activities aren’t necessarily new; we’ve been practicing elements of Design Ops since we created our first design system and modular code library way back in 2008. So it would be easy to balk at the term, seeing it as little more than an unnecessary buzzword. That’s not my reaction.

While many in our industry dislike the use of terms like UX Designer, Interaction Designer and Product Designer, preferring to drop the qualifier in favour of the more generic Designer, I find the specificity useful. I personally believe in the power of language to encapsulate complex concepts into a small and sharable package, making them accessible to a much wider group of people. The creation of new terms like Design Ops allows for the democratisation of these emerging ideas.

So what exactly is ‘Design Ops’ then?

Well, as the name suggests, Design Ops is somewhat related to the field of DevOps, which started gaining traction in our industry towards the end of the last decade. Back in 2008, there was often a separation between the people who wrote the code and the people who looked after the infrastructure it was deployed on. As agile started to take hold, and continuous delivery became the norm, this gap started to narrow. In order to increase the speed of delivery, teams required multi-disciplined individuals who could bridge the gap between the production environment and the server, allowing their code to be deployed faster and more efficiently. DevOps was born, and over the last decade, the field has gone from a few talented hackers to a profession with its own tools, techniques and culture.

The field of Design Ops is the result of a similar set of pressures. The rise of agile development has necessitated much tighter integration between design and technology, while recent investment in design — most notably by the big five tech companies — has highlighted the need to figure out how to deliver design at scale. Design Ops is essentially the practice of reducing operational inefficiencies in the design workflow through process and technological advancements. In short it’s about getting design improvements in the hands of your users as quickly and with as little friction as possible.

At first, the effort was focussed on low-hanging fruit. The creation, maintenance, and socialisation of modular design systems and component libraries. These libraries helped encourage consistency, reduce waste, and allowed teams to produce work at a faster rate. The next big challenge was to fit these tools into the design and development workflow, which is why we’ve seen the creation of tools like React Sketch app by the talented Design Ops team at AirBnB. The other big challenge is how to reduce — or even remove — the distance between design and deployment. This is something we’ve been trying to solve with our own Fractal application, which aims to create a bridge between your design language and your technology stack.

It’s worth noting that while Design Ops and DevOps are the result of similar drivers, the practices are considerably different. DevOps obviously has a much stronger bias towards tools and server-based solutions, while Design Ops tends to focus more on the process and operations side of the equation. Some argue that the similarity in names is therefore confusing. I believe this similarity is actually part of its power.

Where does it work best?

While design is starting to get a seat at the table, it’s arguably still a highchair. It’s vital for designers to use every political tool at their disposal. In most organisations, IT has a much bigger voice, and holds more influence than design. This is partly due to the maturity of the field, partly due to the larger head counts in IT, and partly due to the budgets they command. Pitching your language and values to a sympathetic technology department makes a lot of sense. After all, if your CTO understands the value of DevOps, how could they possibly not see the value in Design Ops? Especially when Design Ops will make the lives of their tech teams infinitely less messy and more productive.

It’s worth noting that Design Ops isn’t for everybody. It’s definitely not required at most agencies or single-product companies that do a redesign every 3-4 years. But if you work in a relatively large design team, inside a company that practices agile development and continuous integration, there may be an opportunity for you here. In these environments, the practice of Design Ops often emerges from a single individual — somebody who has noticed inefficiencies in the current system, and has hacked something together in their own time to reduce repetition. Either that or it’ll emerge from the design language team, as they remove the friction and pain points slowing down adoption.

Ultimately, if you’re trying to deliver design at scale, investing in a small Design Ops team will help you deliver better work. Who wouldn’t want that?

How do you see the role of Design Ops influencing the delivery of design at scale? We’d love to hear from you – tweet us @andybudd and @clearleft

Original article at https://clearleft.com/posts/design-ops-a-new-discipline

Is Generative Design killing Creativity?

Generative design is software that allows the designer to input goals and any specifications like materials, budget or manufacturing methods, the software then explores all possible solutions and gives the designer several designs to choose from.

This advanced technology is splitting people into two camps: The first camp feel that a computer cannot replace them, their skills are unique and specialised and not something that can be improved by a computer. The second camp disagrees. The people here feel that generative design makes us more efficient and even more creative. So, what camp are you in?

On 8 September 2017, we attended the Autodesk University South Africa event where generative design was a huge topic of conversation. And, back in May, we pinpointed generative design as one of the trends that’s leading advances in architecture. But, is generative design going to strip creativity away from us humans? We discuss how generative design is changing the role of the designer and whether that change is impacting creativity.

From creator to curator

A creator can be defined as a person or thing that brings something into existence. Whereas, a curator can be described as a keeper or guardian of something. If a designer is using a computer to select the best design option for them, they shift into more of a guardian role, overseeing the software that’s doing the creating and carefully selecting the final product. The designer is no longer a creator, but does that make them any less creative?

Earlier this year, Deezen published an article titled ‘Generative design software will give designers “superpowers”’. This is from a quote by Jeff Kowalski, the chief technology officer of Autodesk. He makes it clear that while generative design is a departure from the way we have traditionally done design, it’s not a threat to designers, instead it’s more like having superpowers.

And, in a way superpowers is an accurate word for what generative design can do for our creativity. Traditionally, an individual designer or small group of designers will come up with one solution based on a brief and, understandably, what they know, have experienced, their culture and upbringing. Whereas, a machine doesn’t have this kind of context, and can develop solutions based purely on the brief, free of environmental influencers.

The designer therefore becomes solely responsible for inputting the right requirements in answer to a brief, and then going through the various designs that the software has chosen and selecting the right one. This process may also help to redefine the problem and the requirements.

With the computer taking care of selecting a number of possible solutions, designers can channel their energy into ensuring that they understand the right requirements and that the right solution is selected. The designer has more responsibility – they are the overseer, the guardian and the keeper of the design. The computer may do the execution but the designers are the creative curators.

Bringing us closer to nature

Feroza Mobara, one of the BIM Specialists here at Baker Baynes, says generative design actually makes us more creative. Since the beginning of time human design has been full of straight, solid lines and geometric curves, which is unusual when you think about the shapes in nature – our original inspiration. Straight lines are certainly easier to design and make, which is perhaps why they make up most of our man made constructions. But, they are limiting, using more material and space than necessary, which is expensive and ineffective.

With 3D printing and additive design, we no longer need to be limited by straightness. In fact 3D printing favours this as it requires less material. As we covered earlier, human designers naturally design based on what they know. Whereas, generative design doesn’t have that context, which means it comes back with solutions that mimic nature’s curves, holes and lack of symmetry because it wants to give us the most functional yet lightweight solution available.

With this in mind, generative design is not killing our creativity, instead it’s exposing us to more creative solutions. We’re not going to be seeing just straight lines anymore but instead a whole range of new shapes specifically chosen because of their effectiveness rather than subjectivity.

Efficient creativity

Thabelo Netshivhungululu, the Head of BIM Services here at Baker Baynes, believes that generative design is the future because it’s a combination of human design and computer design: “AI can get to certain solutions quicker than a human mind can, so combine that with our insight and design capabilities then we can achieve better solutions faster”. Generative design offers greater design alternatives, easier design iterations, which will save time, money and ultimately boost creativity.

With generative design now featuring in several CAD programmes and Autodesk’s launch of its own generative design platform Dreamcatcher, this new trend is here to stay. So, will it be the death of creativity? We think not. It’s redefining the role of the designer into more of a curator role and widening our design options. Surely, this makes us more creative?

From http://bakerbaynes.com/architecture/generative-design-killing-creativity/