Posts Categorized: Thought Piece

From Big to Grand: Unlocking Excellent Research

During two whirlwind weeks of teaching People-Centred Research, Eilidh and I had the opportunity to reflect on our approach to design research, what enables powerful outcomes, and how to teach those practices. Throughout the course we aimed to teach not just the theory and framework, but really the underlying techniques that cultivate great research: strategy, time management, comfort with people, communication, adaptation, documentation, and a bit of fun.

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The Art of Prototyping

One of the intriguing aspects of interaction design is the rapidly changing landscape and the overlaps with other disciplines and complex systems. To test and iterate ideas within this milieu, we design our prototyping process as much as we design final products and services.

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The Rules Of Good Collaboration

As our industry evolves from relying on manufacturing to being more heavily service-based, the role of a designer is evolving away from that of a ‘rockstar’, one-man genius. Here are CIID’s key principles for managing teams of collaborative fusionists that excel at designing services across our modern, complex systems.

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Making the most of meetings

Hosting a good client meeting may seem like a straightforward task. And it can be with a little thought. It can also be a fiasco, if you don’t treat it with its due credit. A well hosted and curated meeting can be the foundation of a good first impression, making important decisions, or even closing a deal amongst other things.

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A reflection on design (and) anthropology

For two days in August I participated in the Designing Anthropological Futures Conference, an exploratory conference that brought anthropologists and designers together to reflect on ‘future-making’ from a design anthropological perspective. The discussions, workshops, and animated debates made me reflect on the evolving nature of ‘design anthropology’.

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Research Over Skype: Making the Most of Virtual

We had a tight turn-around on a recent project and, instead of our typical face-to-face process, we conducted Skype interviews. People-centred-research is central to our design process and we always craft methods to best set the scene for what we want to learn—these Skype interviews were no exception. While not an ideal platform for user research, here are our key learnings about making the most of virtual interviews.

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Design Vs. Circus Magic

I am a designer. I’m in love with circus. What do my favorite things have in common?
On the surface it appears like nothing. But if you take a closer look you might think differently….. You get to a circus show and there is a sudden burst of MAGIC!

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Peering into the future of design & business

This year we made the decision to explore what it would mean for CIID to have a studio in the US. As part of this strategy we will be running a pop-up studio in New York and a feasibility study. With this initiative approaching quickly, my time is often spent thinking about what the vision should be? How will we create value? and what will the business model look like?

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Strike a blow for lo-fi prototypes!

Low fidelity prototyping as a step of the design process might seem like a time-consuming expense for clients. But it’s an effort well-spent – for clients and for the designers themselves. Testing your concepts both in shape and functionality with users is a fundamental method when ensuring a concept’s developmental path – even if it means an unexpected turn or that you have to toss the idea you initially believed in. In the end you will have a more sustainable and feasible design in your hand, and tests that assure your client of the best road to follow and what’s more likely to be succesfull.

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How to set up a mobile studio

At CIID Consulting, almost every project requires us to travel to new locations. We rapidly immerse ourselves in a new context to understand a particular user group and inform the development of new products and services. Over the past years the team has executed international innovation projects for global corporations, tech firms and nonprofits. Our work has taken us to many corners of the World; From a shipping dock at the Panama Canal, to rural parts of India to the bustling streets of New York City, Shanghai and Beijing to name a few.

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