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December 5, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in innovation process, theory.
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The PuttingPeopleFirst-blog pointed me to a inspiring conversation between Don Norman and Jon Kolko, which tool place at the Academy of Art University in San Franciso this summer:

Here some quotes, which I took from the summary by Richard Anderson, who was hosting the event:

Don – the former usability guru: Usability is important, but it is not the most important thing. There are lots of parts of (the iPhone) that are completely unusable, and you know what? It doesn’t matter.

Don: Engineers and MBAs are fantastic at solving problems, but they aren’t any good at making sure it is the right problem…

Jon: Now, if you get an MBA, you might take a class called “design thinking,” where you will learn a bunch of design methods. You’ll learn a method called, “empathy.” For 4 days, you learn about empathy, and then you are now certified to be empathetic. Clearly, it can’t be that reductive.

Don: If you really want to be in control of your own destiny, go get an MBA in addition to your design (degree).

Jon: I worked at frog for about 4 1/2 years, and when I started, we had a design research practice that was small. When I left, companies were hiring us to do design research engagements — 4 or 5 hundred thousand dollar engagements — where all we did was do design research.

Jon: Not all problems are equally worth solving.

Don: My favorite quote is from (H. L.) Mencken, a journalist from the 1930s: ‘Every complex problem has a simple answer, and it is wrong.’

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