IDEO Method Cards: 51 Ways to Inspire Design

Date: Oct. 30, 2008

Time: 2:54 pm

I believe that considering case studies are very fundamental and crucial to learn about the secrets of success and to eventually produce valuable project designs. “IDEO Method Cards” is one of the smart approaches in the realm of design. Basically, it is a design to inspire other designs_ a design research tool in which each card explains and describes one method by providing a concise story about when and how design methods are best used.

This method provides ways in which designers can understand people’s tendencies in designs. Even more, it engages people in the brainstorming process of designs; keeping people at the center of the design process _asking them how a designer might help and observing what they do_ is a key factor. Then, learning from the facts gathered and trying them out would add to the creativity of the design, “I believe that if we think first about people and then try, try, and try again to prototype out designs, we stand a good chance of creating innovative solutions that people will value and enjoy”, (Moggridge, 2007, p. 643).

This is not a “how to” guide method. It’s a design tool meant to help exploring and developing one’s new approaches. As it could help in designing something new, it also helps in designing a new version of something. This tool can be used by sorting, browsing, searching, spreading out and pinning up cards to execute design projects. As mentioned previously, this design helps to stimulate designers/clients thinking to burst innovations. Considering the priority of the design purpose, or in other words “what people really need”, rather than focusing on the art or the aesthetic side of the design is highly important, “Is design an expression of art (an art form)? The design is an expression of the purpose. It may (if is good enough) later be judged as art”, (Moggridge, 2007, p. 648). In this case, since this design is unlike other designs, the main purpose here is to inspire designs/ innovations and to manifest other purposes of potential designs.

Finally, learning that good designs recognize all possible/ relevant constraints such as price, size, time or mobility etc. is king and a key factor in the creativity of the design. Based on that principle, IDEO Method Cards deck has recognized constraints and figured out how to manage them, “Good design comes from the successful synthesis of a solution that recognizes all the relevant constraints, and the nature of the constraints defines the difference between design disciplines”, (Moggridge, 2007, p. 649).



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