FUSE Muse
March 27, 2014 | Ravi Hampole social links

lost in thought
with Ravi Hampole

Creative Director, Graphic Design, Brand Design Group, Starwood Hotels and Resorts



I’m inspired by people that take a stand for something they truly believe in. It takes courage and it is never easy.

The best advice I ever received was advice in the form of criticism. In grad school I was told that I was a great designer, but I had no soul. So, I now spend my time inserting a bit of soul in a lot of the projects that we work on. Best criticism ever.

At least once, everyone should be an intern. It shows you how important it is to treat the entire team with respect.  Every member is essential to getting things and push really great thinking.

The most overused word in meetings today is "social,” though I'm one of the biggest offenders.

My tools of the trade are pen and paper. The best way to communicate an idea is with a pen and paper. Just draw the damn thing — even if it is a chart. You'll get the "a-ha" moment faster.

The biggest thing that has changed
since I started in the industry is technology. Otherwise - the goal is still the same.
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I’m happiest when I'm with my family. There is never a dull moment.

I lead by guidance, not dictation. I try to work with people who have as much passion as I do. And I always try and hire people that are better than me. You get better work, better dialogue about the work and strong opinions. Those that are passionate, and driven, will ultimately come to amazing solutions, or at least bump into things that will drive towards amazing solutions. Bigger leaps, bigger fails, and more learning opportunities.

The last stamp on my passport is from Istanbul.

The next stamp
on my passport is Paris.

I still hope to do a project that is really life changing — not just to myself, but also others. I haven't really committed myself to that yet, but I believe that is next up, or at least should be.
Find out more about Ravi Hampole's participation in FUSE 2014 arrow © 2014 IIR Holdings, LTD. All Rights Reserved.




Airline travel, one part designed to protect us from the .001% and the other part designed for the price of jet fuel. What part of airline travel is designed for people? Not much.

Airline travel is likely one of the least designed experiences we have in our lives. While many of the issues are "first-world problems" and a good portion are in place for our safety and security, there are still ways to design a better experience. 

For instance, it has been our contention for a while that if airlines charged for "carry-on" luggage and gave "checked" luggage away for free, the entire experience would change dramatically. Behavior often follows the fiscal incentives, certainly in a commoditized industry / experience, which is what you see in air travel today. 

When airlines started charging for checked bags, even more people carried on even larger bags. The result is a clogged aisle when you board a plane and a monotonous process when you disembark.

Now, switch the economics to a model where airlines charge for carry-on bags and give checked baggage away for free. How does this change the prototypical experience? More passengers check bags and it becomes easier to board a plane. The baggage claim and distribution system was designed to move bags in a proper and efficient manner. The traveller carry-on process was not designed to haul luggage efficiently and would require redesigned planes to have more overhead and underfoot luggage space. So, use the system designed to haul luggage for luggage and use the system designed for people for people. 

How does this sound to you? Anyone interested in taking us up on this idea? Anyone interested in a further discussion to dig into the cracks of the idea and find the design opportunities?

With FUSE 2014 just a couple of weeks away, I was fortunate to sit down with Natalie Nixon, Ph.D., Director of The Strategic Design MBA Program at Philadelphia University.  At FUSE, Nixon will be speaking along with countless brand strategists, designers, trend hunters and culture curators. With one collective voice, the 18th annual FUSE conference celebrates a collaborative approach to building more meaningful brands – becoming a forum for all to share stories, inspiration and best practices.

Here is what Nixon had to say:

IIR: A big theme for FUSE this year is inspiration. So, we want to know what is your “muse” or what inspires you in your work?

Nixon:  My muses come from 3 areas: fashion, music and the millennials. 

1) Fashion, because I used to work in the fashion industry and believe it is a thoroughly untapped industry -outside of tech, automotive and food- in terms of the way that it creates aspirational experiences for customers.  There is so much to learn from the way fashion firms create meaningful interactions, tap into crowdsourcing, and integrate left brain-right brain thinking.  In fact, I have co-authored an article about this, with Johanna Blakley, called “Fashion Thinking.” 

2) Music, because musicians (and fashion designers!) are using social media as a platform in some very interesting ways.  Take, for example, Pharrell’s “Happy.”  It is co-creation at its best!  Some of the actors & dancers were grabbed off the street because they fit the vibe and ethos of the song. Additionally, because this is the world’s first 24 hour video the viewer can tune in at any time of day to synchronize with the time of the video. Pharrell stretched the capacity of what a video is and how the viewer/fan can interact with the music. 

3) The millennials, because they are who I teach at the undergraduate level at Philadelphia University; they have access to a wide range of material and they are adept at manipulating the use of multi-media platforms.  They are the curators extraordinaire.  They are curating their education, their entrepreneurial ventures, their fashion looks and their weekends.  There is a lot to learn from them. 

IIR: Why is it important for brand strategists and designers to work collectively?

Nixon: Strategy is a creative endeavor- and design and brand strategy are inextricably linked.  Unfortunately, they often operate as silos in companies. I should clarify that I am not only referring to the design of the tangible- product design, fashion design, etc. 

Since I am steeped in design thinking, I am also referring to the design of the intangible: processes, services and experiences.  When designers and brand strategists work collectively, the end result is more cohesive and resonates more meaningfully with the end-user.  Brands are ultimately designed- not only in terms of logo and the online user experience that interactive media designers develop- but brands are also designed in terms of the ways that users interact with them, and can use the brand to gain meaning for their own lives.

IIR: What are ways a design can emotionally connect with its audience?

Nixon:  Story is one of the most effective ways in which brands can emotionally connect to its audience.  YouTube has become an awesome way for brands to do this whether it’s Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches,” Old Spice’s sense of humor about itself through “the Old Spice guy” or TC Bank’s “Dream Rangers” short film.  Story brings to the surface the meaningful “why”- not the how or what, to tap into Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why.”  Story compels us to lean in, hold up a mirror to ourselves through its use of archetypes, emotion and conflict.  Story humanizes brands. 

IIR: Knowing how consumers will react can be an art and sometimes involves clairvoyance. How have you developed this skill?

Nixon:  Whether you call it clairvoyance, or anticipating your client’s needs, knowing consumers requires an ability to discern the real problem that the product or service is solving for the user.  This can’t be done solely through quantitative market research data and focus groups. 

You have to get out of the office and into the context of your customer.  Do some deep observation, some participatory research and some rapid ethnography.  Those companies that are starting to hire anthropologists have the right idea.  The best way to anticipate the customer’s reaction is to get to know them- up close and personal, using some tried and true social science, qualitative research methods.

IIR: Gamification is shaping our interactions with everyday experiences, from education to retail. How has gamification affected you?

Nixon:  It’s a frontier that I try to incorporate into my teaching because I do not underestimate the value of play!  I have been told that gamification is the largest growing industry in the United States, as applied to corporations.  It makes sense- it’s a way to disseminate internal organizational culture, identify user’s need, and get buy in for your product and service.  Games, and play by extension, relaxes people, engages them and is one of our primal activities in human development that makes us social beings tapping into our curiosity, improvisational skills and ingenuity.  Gamification will lead to more innovative outcomes. 

IIR: We live in an always-on “now,” where the priorities of this moment seem to be everything. What does this emphasis on immediacy mean to marketing and design?

Nixon:  It’s interesting because we actually are not very consciously present for all of this focus on immediacy.  Immediacy is not equivalent to meaningful engagement.  The focus on immediacy has meant that marketing and design is on a shorter timeline crunch to produce – and often the output is diluted.  We are most likely headed for a swing back to deliberate, intentional focus on the now, or at least a hybrid approach. 

For example, it is very interesting to me that within the fashion industry there is currently a co-existence between slow fashion and fast fashion. The consumers are demanding some balance and that is reflected in both the valuing of the locally sourced, artisanal product (and thrift store/vintage) alongside the mass-produced, fashionable product at ridiculously low prices. 

IIR: How have you used Design Thinking to solve a problem?

Nixon:  I love design thinking. It is a framework where I can plug and play and make full use of my creative capacity (the divergent work) as well as get down to tactical, practical implementation (the convergent work).  More specifically, I have launched the Strategic Design MBA program at Philadelphia University, where we integrate the best of business school with design thinking principles.  It’s an untraditional MBA where teach our students in studio environments, and encourage them to revisit if they even asked the right question, to reframe the problem, and to use the creative intelligence of design and the analytical intelligence of business.  We call ourselves “The MBA for Hybrid Thinkers” because of this approach. 

For me, the coolest experience has been to have my students tell me that the program has changed their lives, has revamped the ways they approach their work… this is music to a teacher’s ears!

Nixon will be presentation a session entitled, “The Brand is the Voice – Using Design Thinking to Solve Business Problems” at FUSE 2014 in April. This year, we present our most Iconic and Inclusive experience ever and welcome all to discover the magic of FUSE. 

As a loyal reader of our blog, you get an exclusive 15% off discount when you use the code FUSE14BL. So register today to meet Nixon in person at FUSE! http://bit.ly/1dirc6R


About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.
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Fans and followers of the FUSE are invited to enter the Tweet & Win Contest by following @NextBigDesign and/or visiting and tweeting with the hashtag #FUSEWIN to win one of three prizes:
  1. A complimentary pass to attend FUSE 2014
  2. A signed copy of Present Shock by Douglas Rushkoff
  3. A meet and greet with Simon Doonan on Wednesday, April 9th

You may tweet anything you'd like regarding FUSE but be sure to include the hashtag #FUSEWIN to be eligible to win. Every time you tweet (and the hashtag is included) you will be entered to win. Twitter discourages multiple postings of the same tweet per day, we encourage you to be creative with your entry and use the hash tag #FUSEWIN or your tweet won't count as an entry.

One winner will be chosen per item (3 chances to win). The contest ends on Wednesday, April 2nd. Winners will be announced on Friday, April 4thon Nextbigdesignblog.iirusa.com and will be notified via Twitter. 

For more information, the rules, and a set of tweets to enter click here: http://bit.ly/1pfOmeg

With one collective voice, the 18th annual FUSE conference celebrates a collaborative approach to building more meaningful brands – becoming a forum for all to share stories, inspiration and best practices. At FUSE this year, we present our most Iconic and Inclusive experience ever and welcome all to discover the magic of FUSE. 


As a loyal reader of our blog, you get an exclusive 15% off discount when you use the code FUSE14BL. So register today! http://bit.ly/OBvICp
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FUSE Muse
March 20, 2014 | Natalie Nixonsocial links

lost in thought
with Natalie Nixon, PhD

Director of The Strategic Design MBA Program, Philadelphia University

I'm inspired by Sade; weeding (it's amazing the thoughts that come to mind while digging through dirt!); and the ocean.

When I'm having a creative block, I swim!

My favorite ad campaign Dove's Real Beauty Sketches... not an ad in a traditional sense but definitely took on a life of its own. Very human!

Favorite color deep orange... and deep pink!

Best advice I ever received never underestimate the value of 'please' and 'thank you' - from my dad.

The very next thing on my to do list is pack for Finland.

A least once, everyone should rappel off the side of a mountain!

The best way to unwind after a long day is a lavender scented bubble bath.

If I had a one year sabbatical, I would go back to the Maldives, swim every day in the Indian Ocean, eat super healthy, and write a work of fiction.

The most overused word in meetings today is innovative.
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At the moment, I'm obsessed with House of Cards!!!!!!!!

I'd define my personal style as sultry-athletic… and nothing some red lipstick can't help!

I'm happiest when I am relaxing with my husband, John.

I wish I could tell jokes without spoiling the ending or getting the order mixed up!

I'm proud that I taught myself how to do a flip turn to add into my swimming laps by watching YouTube videos.

The last stamp on my passport Monaco and the UK.

The next stamp on my passport Finland

When I look back on my career I am really happy. I gave most everything I had an itch for a try- except for professional beach volley ball. That was in my 20's. But that's ok. I hope my step-daughter Sydney gives that a try!

I still hope to love getting older.
Find out more about Natalie's participation in FUSE 2014 arrow © 2014 IIR Holdings, LTD. All Rights Reserved.


Some names are designed for people, others maybe not. 

We have been naming brands for just about fifteen years now and during that time we've been fortunate enough to name a chair for Herman Miller (Setu), a multinational software division of Fiserv (StoneRiver) and Simple Seed Organic Rice. During our methodology, we go down paths and draw inspiration from a universe of possibilities. When the filtering begins, one of the hard to measure criteria is "how does it feel?" Some names because of their phonetic roots, audio cues or latent meaning just don’t feel right.

This isn't about the absolute blunders which many people reference when considering naming. Like this more recent one by Panasonic, which is impressively idiotic. If this is indicative of your definition of bad name, then we need to set the bar a bit higher. 

Examples of names not really working but not offensive or idiotic (like example above) might include:

Natural spring water named: Zephyrhills 
– It just doesn't sound like something a human being should be consuming, simple? How can something that sounds like a drug name (see below) feel “natural”?

Bakery holding company named: Bimbo Bakeries
– While there is likely an argument for existing equities, the negative meaning just has to trump all such views. Check with the meaning and if it changes around you, change your name.

Clothing brand acronym: WESC
– WeAretheSuperlativeConspiracy, apparently WASC just wasn't right? Acronyms are a jumble of letters making for a hard to remember, irrelevant name. Avoid acronyms at all costs.

Drug name for high blood pressure: Edarbi
– In order to own a name in pharma, the name has to be unique to be worthy of Trademark, but sometimes the phonetics are just not as good as one would like. Say it out loud to yourself.

These are distractions, not names. They don't add to the brand message but rather cause confusion or misinterpretation. These are not the names that might be offensive or obnoxious in other languages, those are also plentiful. This is where names make a contribution or hold back awareness, social value and brand memorability.

The lesson here is not the extremes, it is the small spaces in between when it comes to names. Seek memorability using authentic story elements. Don't distract or confuse with jumbles of letters, strange phonetics and odd meaning. And, ask yourself, "What does the name feel like?"

We'll cover examples on the other end of spectrum “good names” in a future post.

With FUSE 2014 quickly approaching, we were fortunate to sit down with Tyler Thoreson, VP of Editorial and Creative of Gilt, Men's and Home to hear about what’s happening in the design & brand strategy space lately, from an editorial perspective.

At FUSE, Thoreson will be speaking along with countless brand strategists, designers, trend hunters and culture curators. With one collective voice, the 18th annual FUSE conference celebrates a collaborative approach to building more meaningful brands – becoming a forum for all to share stories, inspiration and best practices.

Here is what Thoreson had to say:

IIR: A big theme for FUSE this year is inspiration. So, we want to know what is your “muse” or what inspires you in your work?

Thoreson: I’m inspired by people who exude…whatever you call the opposite of FOMO. The ones who are so thoroughly in possession of themselves that they draw the rest of us into their orbit. Also, people who can get by on only four hours of sleep a night.

IIR: What is the best website you’ve seen this year? Why?

Thoreson: It’s called Gilt.com, and you should definitely check it out. It’s shopping as entertainment, a window into the exceptional, and a new store every day. Check it out. Buy something. Repeat.

IIR: Why is it important for brand strategists and designers to work collectively?

Thoreson: One needs to fuel and inspire the other, in equal and alternating doses.

IIR: What is the biggest design and brand strategy trend of 2014?

Thoreson: We’ve heard a lot lately about simplicity and authenticity, and I expect we’ll hear a lot more about both of those things in the year ahead. They’re buzz words that are going to be with us for a while. And, frankly, I’m not complaining.

IIR: Who is your industry icon?

Thoreson: I’m still trying to figure out what industry I belong to, but one person I have a ton of respect for is Andy Spade. His creativity is both strategic and savant-like. And he dresses well, too.

IIR: What are ways a design can emotionally connect with its audience?

Thoreson: By anticipating and addressing a need the audience didn’t even know needed addressing.

IIR: How has design or brand strategy changed in the last 5 years?

Thoreson: I think both have become more aware of their own importance and their shortcomings.

IIR: Knowing how consumers will react can be an art and sometimes involves clairvoyance. How have you developed this skill?

Thoreson: This, in a nutshell, is what an editor does. It’s part highly analytical navel gazing, and part trial and error.

IIR: Gamification is shaping our interactions with everyday experiences, from education to retail. How has gamification affected you?

Thoreson: Gilt has virtually pioneered the concept of shopping as a competitive sport. What I love about our version of gamification is that it’s not a “technique” we’re trying to goose sales. It’s core to what we do. 

IIR: Brands want their products or services to be special — to mean something important — to their customers. How do you make your product special?

Thoreson: We inspire our customers to live a more rewarding and stylish life, from fashion to experiences to home décor, but we never forget that the luxuries that we provide access to are meant to enhance a life, not define it. 

IIR: We live in an always-on “now,” where the priorities of this moment seem to be everything. What does this emphasis on immediacy mean to marketing and design?

Thoreson: It makes the creation of products and ideas that endure that much more important.

IIR: How have you used Design Thinking to solve a problem?

Thoreson: Design Thinking starts with empathy, and as I mentioned earlier, empathizing with the reader/ user/customer is what an editor does. That’s true whether you’re editing a magazine or working in ecommerce.

IIR: Each brand is a story and must be approached as a narrative. What makes a successful brand story?

Thoreson: Being true usually helps!

Thoreson will be speaking at FUSE 2014 in April. This year, we present our most Iconic and Inclusive experience ever and welcome all to discover the magic of FUSE. 

As a loyal reader of our blog, you get an exclusive 15% off discount when you use the code FUSE14BL. So register today to meet Thoreson in person at FUSE! http://bit.ly/1q0Hgxm  

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc
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 Is User-Centered Design an oxymoron or blarney?



Design is for people, innovation is for the corporation.

Where is "design centered" if not on the human? Are we saying design has been "corporation-centered" in the past? It is a bit odd how some experiences are designed, so the argument "most design is corporation centered" would pique my curious mind.

But, it still seems a bit odd. Because the intentional alternative is hard to imagine. How do you not have a human centered design process? Wouldn't you just have a "design" process? How did we design before the invention of the human centered design process? Perhaps pet-centered design was the rage in the early 80s. Where else has designed been centered in the past (we welcome both serious and humorous answers)?

Whatever the case, it is likely the most interesting use of words that makes corporations form entire divisions and departments to focus on a "user" or "human" design methods. It doesn't mean the methods are wrong or unworthy, just an odd thing we have done as a culture. We cloaked a fundamental design method used for 100 years, infused it into organizations and realized it was just something we should be doing anyway. Feels like learning vitamins don't do much, after 40+ years.

When design doesn't put people at the center, it faces a much better chance of failure.

Are you a member of a User Centered Design Team? Do you agree or disagree? And, are you Irish today only or everyday? Either way, happy St. Patrick's day to everyone and enjoy the day no matter the color you wear. 


Design the invisible.

Most of what people consider design is a physical thing you can touch, feel and see. Most firms in the creative services industry focus on the visible (ads, digital interfaces, packages, products, buildings, campaigns, etc). Most of what makes an impact on our culture (organizational, societal, subgroups) comes in the form of designed behaviors.

McDonald's restaurants redesigned our culture by getting us to bus our own dishes. Starbucks gave us permission to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee in a fast service environment. SmartWool socks designed a package which allowed skiers to try on socks and experience the luxurious feeling of Merino wool on their feet. The wine industry is changing a behavior by moving from corks to twist-off tops (for the betterment of both the wine and environment).

Behaviors are designed through creating new patterns and locking those patterns into new habits. Habits take time to form, some say between 18-224 days, which flies in the face of an advertising / promotional approach to growing brands.

For instance, if your focus is getting your ideal shopper to change a behavior, a coupon would need to arrive at the exact time when they make a purchase each time for the entire 7+ months. If your ad campaign is precisely integrated, it would have to be present in consumer's lives each time in the cycle of purchase. Unfortunately, campaigns typically don't last long enough to change real behaviors. So, what is the answer?

Design for people means we spend time understanding behaviors, needs, passions and belief systems. Design for people means we take an interest (deep empathy) in our role in human lives. Design for people means we can identify behaviors to be designed in favor of your brand. Taking a design approach means the effort is embedded into the experience and will have a chance of lasting longer than a campaign. Just saying it, "campaign thinking" versus "design thinking" takes someone farther out than how long a "campaign" typically lasts.

Relationships take time to build and a design perspective respects that effort.

Reply if you would like to discuss.


Somehow I Manage: Three lessons about fostering creativity from the world's best boss

If you’ve ever met me, you’ve likely discovered my obsession when it comes to NBC’s “The Office”. Since its debut in 2005, I’ve often found myself becoming the “That-reminds-me-of-that-one-time-in-The-Office-when…” guy, awkwardly quoting lines from the show that people don’t seem to pick up on. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve sat down and watched the seasons from beginning to end . My latest estimate is thirteen, which is equivalent to approximately 57,200 minutes. That’s right, I actually sat down and did the math (remember what I said about those obscure references?).

During its runtime, the show not only launched the careers of John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson and Mindy Kaling, but it also left behind much more in the (surprising) form of advice for the modern workplace. And though people may not catch on to my references, there are a number of aspects of the show that companies should be picking up on.

1. The best ideas can come from anywhere
When the new CEO Jo Bennett visited Scranton, she held a company-wide meeting to hear from all levels of the organization. After years of being isolated in the warehouse working as the foreman, Darryl Philbin was given a voice to share his plan for fixing logistics of the company’s shipping methods. Darryl’s initiative earned him a promotion and his own office upstairs.

Yes, the members of your top executive team are in their roles for a reason, but that doesn’t mean that an eager, young employee can’t come up with the next great idea. Innovation and creativity are ubiquitous. At Kaleidoscope for example, an ideation session meant to inform packaging graphics may include team members from strategy, industrial design, mock-up and even our model shop. The points of view are different. The industrial design team may uncover an opportunity to adjust the structure in a way that improves the holistic presentation of the package and creates manufacturing efficiency. Through cross-discipline collaboration and discussion, you’re able to learn what makes an idea good and a good idea better.

Find out the rest at: http://bit.ly/1iJUHks

FUSE Muse
March 13, 2014 | Lee Fain social links

lost in thought
with Lee Fain

Design Innovation, 3M

To me, brilliance is an elegant answer for complex problems.

When I'm having a creative block, I take a mental laxative.

Best advice I ever received is "the eyes are never full, hands will never rest and the heart will always search for the ultimate companionship."

At the moment, I'm obsessed with Magic The Gathering.

I'd define my personal style as provoking perseverance.

My tools of the trade are a notebook and pen.

I lead by invoking consensus.

My playlist is Chris Tomlin, Vampire Weekend, and Weezer.

You can usually find me developing small life hacks to avoid spending money on unnecessary accessories of life.

When I look back on my career, I'll be thankful for the completed opportunities that were accomplished through the good works prepared before me.
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Find out more about Lee's participation in FUSE 2014 arrow © 2014 IIR Holdings, LTD. All Rights Reserved.

This is a question we've been considering for a few years. Are there industries where design thinking is required for survival? 

Or, is design thinking something that exists early in an organization and then may be brought back, but is seldom a consistent behavior within an organization? We can use the classic names in design to consider this idea. Apple had some hints of design thinking early in their history, but even then Steve Jobs seemed to fall into the trap of the art side of design in the early years. Method uses design as a tactic, but it would be hard to say they use design thinking across all their offerings. Though the pump product line certainly is a great example. 

Moving into industries like retail and entertainment, there are other great examples like Disney, Target and Williams-Sonoma. They all use design (from an aesthetic and experiential perspective) but other than recent conversations with Target, they don't seem to use design thinking as a constant methodology. 

Now, the easy answer to the question above is "yes, all industries require it." But, that leaves commodities and price driven business models where the word design isn't even used. So, there are some industries not using principles of design, we have to admit. 

Here's a theory. The more important the immersive experience, the more important design is to the organization. For instance, retail has an experience, but the power in a retailer is in buyers and therefore, when it all comes down to it, they would rather design a sale than design an experience. But, burger joints and coffee shops, are run by restauranteurs (hopefully) or people who if they become successful can call themselves by the title. The experience and the food offering, balanced correctly are what make a coffee shop or burger joint a hotbed for design. 

Example: FiveGuys, burgers and fries. You can watch them slice the potatoes right there before they enter the frier. Then, when they put a cup of fries in your bag, they throw in an extra cup more to fall to the bottom of your bag. At first glance it's messy and strange, from the senses of someone who studies experiences. But, then consider what you feel when the bottom of the bag is overflowing with fries? Like they designed it for you by throwing in an extra cup -- it makes someone feel special, as if you got a huge bonus of fries. Certainly a designed moment. 

Example: Java on Sherman in Coeur d'Alene Idaho spatulas your whip atop your coffee [see image]. And, the whip topping couldn't come from anything other than a fresh batch. The consistency is just a few twists of the blender this side of butter. This is in contrast with something out of a can sprayed atop in Barbie perfect form. The resulting feeling from Java on Sherman is natural, hand-made and far superior to the contrasting example. Clearly a designed moment.

These are mere small examples of a larger universe of restaurants, coffee shops and burger joints where design has to be a fully functioning muscle. Perhaps there are other industries where design thinking is required to even have a chance, we'd like to hear of others if you know. Perhaps, as industries evolve, this is becoming more of a requirement (certainly seems so). 




Reply if you have an opinion.

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