Archives For design for behavior change

linkedin space 3 580px

Project teams and small groups need to easily congregate—and then just as easily wander into private spaces for design iterations, coding sessions, etc. The mix of project rooms, smaller conversational nooks, and individual phone booths makes this possible. Our studio also allows for the high percentage of casual transient spaces needed to let folks easily collaborate.

This is a photo (above) of a corner of our San Francisco studio. The space is meant to enable the fluid nature of creative work at IDEO.

Individual IDEO-ers reserve a new desk space every week—meaning you never know who you’ll be sitting next to. This constant flux makes it easier to get inspired by colleagues in other disciplines. You never know when you’ll be sitting next to me!

At IDEO, we continue to create new spaces and work arrangements that invite inspiration, collaboration, and serendipity. Our spaces are ever-evolving prototypes.

(Posted also on my LinkedIn Thought Leader blog)

dlife2 580px

Great designers don’t just do design, they live design. Like them, we can learn how to practice design thinking principles both at work and at home.

As you start designing your life in 2013, here are five ways to begin:

1. Be optimistic, collaborative, and generative.
There’s something wonderfully gratifying about creating something new, whether it’s an award-winning design or a home-cooked meal.

2. Think of life as a prototype.
Conduct experiments, make discoveries, change as needed. Any process can be re-examined and tweaked. Look for opportunities to turn a process into a project with a tangible outcome.

3. Don’t ask “what?” ask “why?”
Instead of accepting a given constraint, ask whether this is the right problem to be solving.

4. Demand divergent options.
Don’t settle for the first good idea that comes to mind or seize on the first promising solution presented to you. Explore divergent options—and then set a deadline so you know when to move on.

5. Once a day, deeply observe the ordinary.
Make it a rule that at least once a day you will stop and take a second look at some ordinary situation that you would normally look at only once (or not at all). Get out in the world and be inspired by people.

Happy designing!

(posted also on my LinkedIn Thought Leader blog)

Artwork by Martin Kay / IDEO.

health bh1 580px

One way to get back to basics in 2013 is to focus on behavior change that positively impacts health. The World Health Organization estimates that in excess of 346 million people worldwide are diabetic and without intervention this number is likely to more than double.

This week, IDEO alums Adrian James and Sean Duffy launched a digital health product designed to help people overcome barriers to better health. Called Prevent, the 16-week personalized program supports people at risk of type 2 diabetes in reaching their daily diet and exercise goals in a group setting. Read the Forbes article about Prevent here: “If This Diabetes Prevention Program Were a Drug, It Could Be a Blockbuster

What’s your favorite behavior change network today?

(posted also on my LinkedIn Thought Leader blog)

Most prognostications about the future of work have explored how technology is disrupting work patterns or enabling new forms of work. Mostly they do not question the core motivations for why we work, or the value we should expect to unlock.

Will Work For is a design provocation and conversation starter—created by Collaborative Fund and IDEO—that encourages exploration around bigger ideas. Explore it here.

What will you work for?

(posted also on my LinkedIn Thought Leader blog)

nurse bc 580px

If you talk to people at the Santa Fe Institute, or read any of their books, you’ll learn that a key characteristic of a complex system is that the more complex a system is, the more information flows through it. If this is true, then we ought to be thinking more about these information flows when we are designing for behavior change in complex systems.

Harvard’s Nicholas Christakis has studied the relationships between people with respect to their health, and one of the conclusions he has come to is that if you are in a network of obese people, you are three times more likely to be obese yourself. Conversely, if you are in a network of non-obese people, you are three times more likely to not be obese. This is a very important insight for design: that the behavior of those around us significantly affects our behavior. Intuitively we might know this, but we don’t necessarily always think about it when we’re designing systems.

One way to exploit this insight is to put the tools of design themselves into the hands of people in the networks who may be delivering services. For example, at IDEO we’ve been working for several years with Kaiser Permanente, teaching nurses and doctors and technicians how to use design thinking to improve patient care. Kaiser now has its own consulting group made up of nurses who have become experts at this. They go around to hospitals working on different problems, creating wards and hospitals of the future, and evolving the designs over time as needed. Continue Reading…