design thinking & strategy by design

Luke Wroblewski about design thinking and the increasing importance of strategic design:
“Now as more companies specifically look to design to create meaningful long-term customer relationships and to differentiate their products (the volume of product releases and cost cutting [the China price] from competitors requires them to gain market advantage any way they can), the assembly line positioning of the design department becomes problematic. Designers in the midst of production cycles (getting a product out to market) are asked to think strategically about the next product cycle or the next big idea. Though this may initially seem like a great opportunity for these designers to add strategic value to the corporation, there are some potential drawbacks.
The strategic design process, as elegantly described by Tim Brown from IDEO, requires different processes, skill sets, and even environments than the production design process. Strategic design is a process of ethnographic user observation, rapid prototyping, and openness to failure (if it doesn’t work quickly try again). These methods are considered luxuries when a product team needs to ship on time. Instead, the production design process sees more direct benefits from incremental innovation, usability testing to validate detailed design directions, and prototypes that are iterated on -not quickly discarded. And frankly, failure often isn’t an option when a product needs to meet its release date.”
related link:
LukeW: Design as Strategy, Design as Execution
fast company: Strategy by Design

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