Successful innovation companies, such as IDEO, have long valued diversity in the workplace, and the creative sparks that fly from the interaction between different personalities and perspectives. And recent research on innovation has showed that a climate of constructive criticism is more beneficial than one of artificial positivity. Read more »
Normal distribution is used to describe any set of data that forms a symmetrical bell-shaped curve when plotted, and comes from the work of Karl Friedrich Gauss, and hence is also known as the Gaussian distribution or bell curve. Such distributions are found commonly in nature: annual temperatures and student test scores are two examples. The bell-shaped curve that results from plotting such measurements shows a small number of cases at the extremes and a large number of cases in the middle of the curve. Read more »
Card sorting is a great exercise for exploring how people group items into categories, and how they relate concepts to one another. In design, this approach is typically used for developing digital interfaces and tables of contents, but it has broader research applications too. For example, this can be a great tool whenever you need to investigate user comprehension, generate options for structuring information or create meaningful categories for a topic of interest (e.g. understand the different ways in which users group brands and categories). Read more »
Having written Brand esSense, I was pleased earlier this year to find a book which shares many of the same concerns. Michael Haverkamp works at the Ford Engineering Centre in Cologne, Germany and is the author of Synesthetic Design, first published in German and now available in English (see below). The book is a great resource on sensory design, focusing on the interaction and reinforcement of design across multiple senses. The book itself is multi-sensory, coming with a CD of sounds, sonic landscapes and music referenced in the text, so you can listen as you read.
Highlighting is used in design to bring attention to particular elements or features. Good highlighting is an effective way to get the attention of users, readers or viewers when applied to an area of text or image, but can be counter-productive if used inappropriately. The guidelines below are taken from Universal Principles of Design (and some personal experience). Read more »
Semantic Differential is a measurement technique and linguistic tool designed to measure attitudes towards a topic, event, object, activity, person or concept, revealing the deeper meanings that are attached to an individual experience, culture and belief system. It is a common (perhaps too common) tool in market research, although originally developed as a social research tool, with its popularity based on its simple and easy format. The tool is particularly powerful in revealing cross-cultural differences in attitudes and beliefs and reflects the common interests of linguistics and psychology.
IBM have just published their annual “5 in 5″ predictions about what may be to come inn 5 years time. This year they have focused on what information will enable us all to do in the future (which is after all at the heart of their business). The predictions are interesting reading as always and you can find a good summary here. Read more »
Hierarchy of needs is the premise that any design needs to meet users basic needs before it can attempt to satisfy higher level needs – that is, it must function before it can help users to be creative. Good designs follow the principle and get the basics right first, whereas poor designs attempt to meet needs from higher levels before delivering on basic functionality and reliability. This hierarchy is based on the work of Abraham Maslow in the 1950s. Read more »
Storyboards help build a visual narrative to generate empathy and communicate context to help understand or inform the use of design. It is a great way to help capture the different factors that influence behaviour – environment, social context and technology and their influence on how, when and why designs are used. The technique was first developed by Walt Disney in the 1930s
They are also a great tool for planning any kind of communication, including presentations and workshops. Read more »
Story is about eternal, universal forms” - Robert McKee
What can brands and marketers learn from myths and fairy tales?
Many writers have described the role of archetypes in storytelling. Aristotle, arguably the first literary critic, described the structure of comedy and tragedy, and remains a great source for understanding how story works. In Seven Basic Plots, Christopher Booker described seven templates for telling great (brand) stories. Read more »