Tagged: Design

Identidad y la propuesta de nuestras empresas.

Por: Federico Hernández Ruiz

En nuestro entorno y quehacer como empresarios hay una constante que aparece una y otra vez, esta constante es como debe ser la propuesta. Nos referimos a la propuesta de servicio o a la propuesta de producto.

Muchos de nosotros como empresarios definimos un producto o servicio y creemos que lo que sigue es comercializarlo para lo cual están las áreas de mercadotecnia y ventas.

La verdad es que todos comenzamos haciendo una propuesta con lo que tenemos o lo que creemos que debe de ser, esto no es un mal inicio. Es más, es el mejor inicio que hay, solo que este debe estar enriquecido por un halo de duda. A lo que me refiero es, lo que hemos mandado al mercado es una propuesta y como tal puede ser bien solamente recibida, bien recibida o incluso puede ser rechazada. Si concebimos que lo que hicimos fue una propuesta y que estamos reconociendo lo que la gente o el mercado quiere, entonces podremos mejorar o cambiar nuestra propuesta. Y es justo ahí donde muchos nos atoramos. Creemos que lo que proponemos es lo adecuado y que solo debe ser mercadeado o vendido adecuadamente, pero eso no es del todo cierto.

Efectivamente, mercadotecnia nos ayudará muchísimo. Sus técnicas y procesos facilitarán la manera en que nos comunicamos con la gente pero siempre necesitará contar con la clara identidad de la empresa. Si esta identidad tiene oportunidades no atendidas, mercadotecnia y ventas se verán limitadas en sus capacidades para entregar un mensaje claro, contundente y con la fuerza necesaria no solo para entregar, sino para que la gente lo pida.

Les comparto, hacer una propuesta necesita incluir una palabra: “Valor”. Necesitamos hacer una propuesta de valor. En la cual está implícito un beneficio para la persona o entidad que va a usar o consumir el producto o servicio. Así es, nuestra propuesta debe beneficiar a alguien y por supuesto a nosotros también.

En este diálogo que existe entre lo que ofrecemos y entregamos, con quien recibe y usa, es donde muchos perdemos camino o dejamos de ver con claridad hacia dónde vamos. Creemos que si cambiamos nuestra propuesta, dejaremos de beneficiarnos, dejaremos de ser quiénes somos, perderemos nuestra identidad, la razón de ser. Yo les comparto que esto no es así.

La razón es que antes que nada, nuestras empresas y nosotros somos entes sociales y funcionamos en sistemas de convivencia. Nuestro intercambio es eso, un sistema en el que participan diferentes actores o elementos y todos construyen una experiencia que sucede.

Todos vivimos la empresa y sus productos. Al manejar un carro, no solo consideramos la marca, sentimos los asientos, olemos el interior del carro, escuchamos el motor, vemos los accesorios y tocamos las vestiduras, los asientos y el volante; al manejar, escuchamos el sonido de todo el carro en tránsito. En fin, es un sistema que vivimos con la marca y el modelo, sabemos que la identidad y su propuesta es la que nos gusta.

Es por está razón que nuestra propuesta y nuestra identidad están estrechamente relacionadas, necesitan reconocerse en un sistema en el que ante todo hay intercambios. Intercambios de productos y servicios por dinero, pero también hay emociones, relaciones, vivencias, espacios… Es un conjunto de elementos que debe tomarse en cuenta para reconocer con mayor claridad: quiénes somos, cómo participamos, cómo somos percibidos y lo mejor, cómo nos concebimos.

Es un sistema que está vivo y que puede moldearse o cambiarse en el momento que sea necesario.

Esta dinámica de vivencias le sucede tanto a la gran empresa como al micro empresario. Todos participamos y contribuimos en estos sistemas. Todos podemos cambiar y transformarnos para tener una mejor relación con nuestro entorno, para ser más competentes, si así lo queremos ver.

Podemos ser y tener la identidad que decidamos, para hacer la mejor propuesta al mercado. Una propuesta de valor que nos beneficia a todos.

Si reflexionamos sobre nuestra identidad como empresa y recordamos que la identidad se vive y sucede, entonces podemos relacionarla con el cómo queremos que esto suceda. Yo tomo como principio las características que definen ser competente y éstas son:

“Parecer ser, ser y actitud”

Todos conocemos empresas que podríamos colocar en esta definición. Es más, por ella tomamos muchas decisiones para relacionarnos con ella. Nuestras decisiones van desde el coche que usamos, el lugar en el que vivimos, el grupo con el que convivimos, etc. Como personas nos sucede exactamente igual. Convivimos en el sistema y llegamos a acuerdos o principios que nos guían para actuar.

La identidad de una empresa está estrechamente relacionada con su propuesta y es por ésta que podemos ver con claridad si nos propone un beneficio.

A todos nos ha pasado que hemos sentido desconfianza sobre un artículo, un servicio o una persona. Hay algo que no nos gusta. La respuesta está en cómo nos sucede ese contacto, cómo identificamos si nos conviene o no. La razón atrás es que el sistema está actuando y el conjunto de elementos que están participando no entregan un mensaje coherente y congruente. Sencillamente hay algo fuera de lugar. Y no digo que algo esté mal, digo que hay algo fuera de lugar, algo que desentona y que muy posiblemente necesite ajustarse.

Parecer ser, ser y actitud no son características que se dan por creación espontánea, son expresiones de la empresa. La empresa, sus empresarios y colaboradores construyen de manera cotidiana esta identidad.

La identidad por eso no se puede inventar o colocarse, la identidad es una expresión única de cada empresa.

Como dice el dicho: “La mona aunque se vista de seda, mona se queda”, y la empresa no es ajena a este dicho.

Un buen ejemplo del manejo común de la identidad es la de crear un logotipo. Un logotipo puede servir para identificar a la empresa, para que la ubiquen solamente. Pero no llegará a ser una identidad hasta que contenga y represente a ese sistema dinámico que es la empresa. Un logotipo se transformará en identidad hecha marca al contener esa expresión cultural de empresa.

Una identidad puede tener diferentes propuestas, entendiendo propuesta de servicio o producto durante el tiempo. Además es la manera en que interactúa con su entorno. Una identidad es un proceso que nunca termina, que trasciende en el tiempo y contribuye a la construcción de una cultura.

Una identidad implica poder ofrecer un servicio desde el interior de su razón de ser. -Por quien somos, proponemos y resolvemos para tu beneficio, para el beneficio de todos-.

Tener una identidad con una propuesta clara parece sencillo y sí lo es. Lo único que se requiere es disposición para reconocer que participamos en un sistema. En el cual tenemos características únicas por las que hacemos y ofrecemos un producto o servicio. Lo hacemos con una propuesta que corresponde a nosotros, gracias al proceso de reflexión constante, continuo y estructurado que hacemos. Tener identidad y una propuesta significa que hemos diseñado quiénes somos y cómo nos relacionamos.

El secreto está en el diseño. La palabra clave es: “Diseñamos”. Diseñar no es otra cosa que recrear un proceso de reflexión que nos permite cuestionarnos el por qué hacemos lo que hacemos, cómo lo hacemos, para quién lo hacemos, qué esperamos y qué esperan de nuestro producto o servicio. Diseñar no es embellecer, no es acomodar para que se vea bien. Diseñar implica observar, reconocer, crear ideas, hipótesis, probar y experimentar.

Diseñar nos invita a instalar un proceso continuo de reflexión, capaz de alimentar a la empresa y expresarse en todas las áreas, incluyendo la manera en que se entregan o se brindan servicios. Identidad y propuesta requieren ser definidos por diseñadores. Si eres empresario, este es el momento de comenzar a diseñar tu empresa, sus productos y servicios. Con ello podrás contar con una de los capitales más grandes que una empresa puede tener: el ser querida, deseada o admirada.

Podrás lograr con tu empresa ser la razón por la que muchas personas conducen sus vidas, ser un contribuyente de valores y riqueza en la sociedad. Con tu aportación, la sociedad entera te retribuirá con lealtad y con sentido de pertenencia. La gente adentro y afuera de la empresa se sentirá orgullosa de pertenecer a ella, a tu empresa.

Ahora sí, si en tus planes está darle identidad a tu empresa y crear una propuesta, acompáñate de los diseñadores adecuados como lo son los consultores de la comisión de Consultores de Coparmex en Querétaro. Más de uno podrá acompañarte, pero sobre todo, podrás liberarte de los mitos que te detienen.

Si decides contratar a un diseñador para crear una imagen que te identifique, cuida que no sea solo un embellecedor o creador de disfraces. Con él o sin él, saldrá a relucir la verdadera identidad de quién eres y cómo es tu empresa.

D.G. Federico Hernández RuizSocio fundador y Consultor en Identidad estratégica en asimetagraf y representante para la CGTFL en México de Duraznos, Nectarinas y Ciruelas California

Como consultor se destaca en la creación de sistemas de identidad especializado en productos de consumos. Su trayectoria cuenta con más de 20 años de experiencia y ha colabora desde grandes transnacionales hasta pequeñas y micro empresas. Algunas de éstas son: Kellogg’s, Heinz, La Perla, Grupo Pando, entre otros.

Actualmente representa a la California Grape and Tree Fruit League “CGTFL” para la promoción de duraznos, nectarinas y ciruelas California en México. https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaDNC

Para conocer más de asimetagraf y su propuesta, favor de entrar a: http://www.asimetagraf.com

Para contactar a Federico y conocer más sobre su trayectoria, entrar a: http://www.linkedin.com/in/federicohernandezruiz

To Get Users To Make Smarter Choices Now, Show Them Their Future | viaᔥ fastcodesign.com

WRITTEN BY: 

DESIGN CAN BE USED TO INTRODUCE USERS TO THE FUTURE NOW, SO THEY CAN ACT IN WAYS THAT WILL BENEFIT THEM IN THE FUTURE.

As designers, we spend a lot of time thinking about the future. We look for trends that give us clues about the Next Big Thing. We make predictions about how society, technology, and businesses will evolve. And we try to build products to withstand years of use.

What we don’t often do, however, is think of the future as a tool for persuasive design. But it is–and it can actually be quite powerful. When people get a peek at what’s in store for their health, their pocketbooks, and the environment, they tend to make better decisions–such as saving more money for retirement or going for a jog instead of watching television.

By making users’ futures–25, 35, or even 50 years from now–more salient in the products and services we design, we can nudge them toward future-oriented choices. A good place to start is by helping users feel more connected to their future selves.

MEET YOUR OLDER SELF

 

Me at age 29, and a projection of me at age 67, from Merrill Edge’s Face Retirement.

Computer-rendered “aged” photographs project what someone might look like several years in the future. Although they’re typically used in missing persons advertisements, these “older self” photos can really help influence people’s decisions.

In a series of experiments conducted by a team from NYU, Microsoft Research, and Stanford, researchers showed people either a present-day or digitally aged photo of themselves and asked them how much of their income they would allocate to retirement savings. People who saw their aged photos said they would allocate more money to savings–6.17% compared to 4.41%. The aged photos helped people more vividly imagine their futures, which made those futures seem more tangible. They also increased people’s sense of self-continuity–the psychological connectedness they felt with their future selves.

Most of the time, we tend to think of our future selves more as an “other” rather than as a “self.” Researchers at Princeton explored this tendency a few years ago in an experiment: They asked participants how much of a disgusting liquid they would be willing to drink for the sake of science (a delicious mixture of water, soy sauce, and ketchup).

When they asked participants how much they’d be willing to drink then and there, participants committed themselves to drinking less than a quarter-cup. Asked how much another participant in the experiment should have to drink, participants committed strangers to drinking nearly a half cup. And when people were asked how much they would commit to drinking themselves in a few months, they were much more likely to give answers closer to a half cup. Here’s what’s key: They treated strangers and their future selves quite similarly–in contrast to the way they treated their present selves.

Merrill Edge recently created a web app that shows people what their faces might look like at retirement age, tapping into the power of using aged photos to improve future-oriented decision making. (Customers use the app before creating a savings plan.) It shows you a projection of your face at various ages, all the way up to age 107, along with reference points alongside each photo–such as the estimated price of a loaf of bread 30 years down the line. The app preserves enough of your face and features to be fairly convincing.

Personally, once I got over the initial shock of seeing what I might look like at age 67, I found myself feeling empathetic toward the older woman in the photo. “This is an old lady who should be taken care of,” I thought. The irony, of course, is that I’m the old lady. (I also forwarded my aged photo to my husband to let him know what he was in for.)

WHY AREN’T WE TAKING THE FUTURE INTO ACCOUNT ALL THE TIME?

What’s keeping us from thinking about our future selves more regularly, especially when we’re making decisions with long-term consequences?

Behavioral economics and cognitive psychology suggest that cognitive biases impact the way we do (or don’t) take the future into account when making decisions. Equipped with an understanding of those biases, we can begin to craft design strategies that help combat them.

First, we tend to discount future outcomes.

Life is full of decisions where one option leads to a positive outcome in the present and another option leads to an even bigger positive outcome in the future. (This is called an intertemporal choice.) Most people choose the here-and-now outcome, even if it’s orders of magnitude smaller than the future outcome. We do this because we dramatically discount outcomes that occur in the future. The farther in the future an outcome occurs, the more we discount its impact. This is known as quasi-hyperbolic time discounting.

Second, we’re pretty bad at predicting our future selves.

We’re not great at predicting what we’ll want, what we’ll feel, or how we’ll react to life-changing events down the line. These are known as affective forecasting errors. They’re attributed to biases like the projection bias (we project our current emotional states on our future selves) and the impact bias (we overestimate our emotional responses to future events, such as the death of a loved one and don’t account for how we actually cope and adapt over time).

Third, we tend to focus on single events rather than additive consequences.

Even when we have good intentions about the future, we easily fall victim to narrow bracketing. That means we focus on the individual outcomes of smaller decisions instead of taking a more holistic or longer-term view to understand their additive effects.

DESIGNING WITH AN EYE TOWARD THE FUTURE

So how can we tap into the power of the future and help users combat common cognitive biases?

1. Help people keep their future selves in mind at the moment they’re making decisions.

What if, every time you were about to make a major credit-card purchase online, you had to write a quick note to your future self, perhaps using a tool like Future Me?

The food and fitness tracking app MyFitnessPal makes strides in this direction by giving users a weight projection at the end of each day, based on that day’s caloric intake. (“If every day were like today, you’d weigh XYZ in 5 weeks.”) From a purely behavioral perspective, showing the weight projection before users make food choices might be more effective–but it’s important to strike a balance between calling attention to the future and disrupting the user experience (particularly when you’re dealing with daily experiences). Testing with real people can help you determine the sweet spot.

 

2. Define future impacts in terms of personally resonant metrics.

Put future outcomes into clear terms that will resonate with users–like dollars saved, pounds of carbon dioxide reduced. We took the dollars-and-cents approach with Artefact’s SWYP printer concept; the interface makes clear how much each printed page will cost as users are deciding how many pages, and with what quality, to print.

 

3. Help people vividly imagine what the ebb and flow of their future lives will be like.

Thinking through the reality of day-to-day life can help people make more realistic predictions about their future emotional states. Without guidance to consider various minutiae, people will tend to focus on major life events (a birth of a child, a death of a spouse) and overestimate their impact.

Imagine if you had people describe a day in their life, 20 years from now, before making a decision with long-term consequences. This could be as simple as incorporating a basic either/or question into an existing experience: “Will you prefer your toast buttered or unbuttered when you’re 60? Would you rather do the crossword puzzle on Sunday mornings after you retire, or go for a bike ride?”

4. Make abstract future outcomes tangible in the present.

To give people a sense of what the future might look like, try to make distant outcomes feel more visceral. Whole Foods recently removed all of the produce that relies on bee pollination from its University Heights Market store in Rhode Island to help shoppers better grasp the magnitude of a future without bees. Out of the typical spread of 453 produce items, only 216 were left in the “post honey bee” store. As you can tell by the photo below, the effect of removing the 237 items that depend on pollination was quite striking–staples like apples, cucumbers, broccoli, and carrots were completely gone.

 

5. Pair each future preview with a call to action.

Once the impact of the potential future sinks in, people need to know what to do next to achieve (or avoid) that outcome. There’s a fine line between showing people a realistic view of a possible negative future and freaking them out. While graphic warnings on cigarette packages give smokers an idea of what’s in store–cancerous lungs and rotting teeth–they can be so upsetting that they lead people to revert to unhealthy coping behaviors. Like smoking. Which sort of defeats the purpose.

We want to help people get a better idea of what the future might be like, but we also have to help them understand that they have the power to change the course of events. Making sure people have a sense of self-efficacy–that they can achieve their goals and make change happen–is critical when it comes to changing behaviors. As designers, we must ensure that every time we give users a glimpse into their future lives, we also give them a clear path to creating a positive outcome.

 
 Read the original article at: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1673147/to-get-users-to-make-smarter-choices-now-show-them-their-future

The Context of the Innovator | Via DTActionLab

This content was created by the DTAction Lab team.

The Context of the Innovator

  1. Space
  2. People
  3. Process

2.- People:

In his book “The Ten Faces of Innovation,” Tom Kelley, general manager of IDEO (*), describes the following roles:

1. The Anthropologist

Anthropologists are constantly observing the world around them with a fresh eyes, and are capable of “seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one has thought.” They are good at seeking inspiration from unusual sources, and reframing problems in new ways.

2. The Experimenter

Experimenters love to prototype and are creative gurus when it comes to using what is available to physically represent their ideas. Every stage of the ideation process can be prototyped so experimenters will usually be the first to suggest a prototype of a marketing or sales plan through acting out a storyboard or creating a short video.

3. The Cross-Pollinator

Cross-Pollinators draw associations between seemingly unrelated ideas, bringing in a stream of new content from other disciplines. Using a breadth of knowledge in many fields with a significant understanding in at least one field, cross-pollinators spark innovative hybrids.

4. The Hurdler

Hurdlers push through obstacles by viewing problems as opportunities. They take their passion for design and tie it with the passion to create things to help people so that when obstacles arise they are seen as opportunities rather than roadblocks. “The essence of a Hurdler is perseverance.”

5. The Collaborator

Collaborators value the team over the individual, and act as facilitators that keep a constant flow of excitement and energy through a project team, while also providing the glue to bring together people from diverse backgrounds in order to make the perfect dream teams. With a huge heart, collaborators can always be counted on “to jump in when and where they are needed most.”

6. The Director

Directors see the big picture and provide inspiration and empowerment to bring the best out of everyone in the organization. They keep the momentum constantly flowing by leading when it is needed and delegating when the time is right.

7. The Experience Architect

Experience Architects realize that there is no one method for every occasion; they are constantly designing experiences for every unique product or service. They keep their eyes open for “trigger points,” which are the aspects of a product’s design that need to be emphasized for the best possible experience.

8. The Set Designer

“Set Designers care about the intersection between space and human behavior.” They adapt the physical space to balance private and collaborative work opportunities and to promote a culture of creativity. A Set Designer might be the team member prepared with markers and pens to create working spaces on the go.

9. The Caregiver

Caregivers, with big ears and big hearts, are always champions of empathizing with others. They are constantly listening to customers and take into consideration how ideas will affect their general audience.

10. The Storyteller

Storytellers understand that “stories persuade in a way that facts, reports and market trends seldom do, because stories make an emotional connection.” Storytellers “capture our imagination with compelling narratives of initiative, hard work, and innovation.” They not only transmit the values and goals of the organization or team, but they also make heroes out of real people.

Ten guidelines for effective front-panel design | Via Packworld.com

While there are no hard-and-fast rules in front-panel package design, here are some guidelines to help you define your brand on today’s cluttered retail shelves.

By Ron Romanik, Contributing Editor

Branding, marketing, and advertising all converge on the front panel of a retail package. Dedicated package designers would argue a package does all of that and more, and that nothing represents the brand more than the retail package. That’s because the package is the last place the consumer interacts with the brand prior to making a purchase decision. There are certainly no hard-and-fast rules in front-panel package design, and some categories have much more freedom to experiment. But here are some guidelines that will help you define your brand on the front panels of packages on today’s cluttered retail shelves.1. Determine the brand “position.” Know your company and your brand and your core values. Ask the hard questions again and again, and don’t underestimate the savvy of today’s consumers. Is there a unique value proposition? What is the primary product benefit, lifestyle advantage, or convenience gain? For a new brand or brand extension, remember that getting noticed is often the most important goal.

2. Explore the competitive environment. Use differentiation in a category for one goal—giving consumers a reason to pick up the package. Go to the retail environments where the package will live, and ask these questions from the perspective of the brand:
• Who am I? Do I represent something tangible? Do I inspire trust?
• What makes me special? Where do I fit in among competitors?
• Why would they buy me? What’s the most important benefit or advantage?
• How can I connect with consumers emotionally? What cues can I use?
3. Settle on a hierarchy. Information organization is a critical element of front-panel design. Broadly, the importance of the information hierarchy goes: 1) brand; 2) product; 3) variety; and 4) benefit(s). Analyze all the messages you want to convey and put them in order of importance. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be in that order, top to bottom, on the package, but it’s a good reference point to start with. Having a very organized, consistent information hierarchy across multiple product varieties helps your customer find the variety they desire and allows for a satisfying experience. Saving the shopper time in picking out a product should always be a priority.

4. Make one element the hero. Is the personality of the brand strong enough to stand on its own? Determine what is the most important single idea to communicate about your product. If you’re going to “own” something, what is that something? Align secondary brand messages under the primary umbrella message. If your brand is the hero, consider “locking in” a tagline with the logo. But make sure you’re committed to that tagline for the long haul. Otherwise, look for inspiration outside the category, which can often lead to breakout design. Use shapes, colors, illustrations, and photographs to reinforce the hero of your brand story. Above all else, make it easy for repeat buyers to find you the next time.

5. Keep it simple. Less is often more—communication-wise. Be succinct, both verbally and visually. Three main visual cues are all that the typical eye will tolerate. Successful package design is often an exercise in constraint. Remove overloaded messages on the front panel. Limit marketing claims and benefit statements. Any more than two or three, and the points will be counterproductive. Too many benefits will dilute the core brand message, and it will actually cause the consumer lose interest in the store aisle. Remember, most packages have secondary panels for more information. That’s where shoppers look when they want to learn more. Use the secondary panels, but don’t skimp on design for those either. If secondary panels are unavailable, consider a hangtag to tell a deeper brand story.

6. Manage stakeholder expectations. Expect some stakeholders to want to put all the information or marketing claims they have on the front panel. Remind them that a package is not an advertisement. Be prepared for the counter-arguments by having a repeatable design development process. Back the process up with checkpoints and transparency and show progress with visual aids. Explain how the process is both expansion and contraction, and have everyone sign off on the process before starting. Quickly develop three to five options so you can establish a common language to talk about the objectives. Be prepared with questions and suggestions should a stakeholder come to you with a printer or converter already in mind before design begins.

7. Communicate value visually. Of course, having a transparent window that shows the product inside is almost never a bad idea. Consumers want visual confirmation of the choices they make. Aside from that, you can say things non-verbally with shapes, design, graphics, and colors. Use the elements that will best communicate attributes and equities, sensations and feelings, emotional associations, and textures. Create an association with a sense of place. Suggest use occasions with graphics that have the elements of that use occasion. Involve a lifestyle. Today’s consumers judge products in relation to how the values of that brand fit into their values and lifestyle. Create a singular “reason to believe” that is capable of closing the sale in isolation.

8. Be mindful of category-specific rules. Each retail category has its own conventions. Some should be followed religiously. Some are important because bucking the convention can set a newcomer brand apart. For food products, however, the product itself should almost always be the hero. Spend the money on production and printing to create a photorealistic representation of the ideal serving suggestion. Conversely, for pharmaceutical products, the brand and product’s physical characteristics can be secondary—sometimes even unnecessary. The parent brand logo may not need to be on the front panel. Instead, emphasize the name of the product and what it does. Across all categories, though, it’s advisable to err on the side of less clutter on the front panel.

9. Don’t forget findability and shopability. Learn how consumers shop the particular category you’re in. Make sure they won’t be confused by the format or the information hierarchy. Remember, cognitively and psychologically, colors communicate ahead of everything else. Next come shapes. Words matter, but mostly as a support role. Words and typography are for reinforcement, not high-level brand communication.

Findability can be either about having a brand-first strategy or about creating a “blocking” element in the store aisle that draws shoppers in. Shopability is about having a consistent system of colors, shapes, materials, or front-panel hierarchy that guide both new and repeat shoppers in finding the specific product and variety he or she desires. If there are multiple lines under a parent brand, consider good/better/best strategies that indicate each value proposition clearly and succinctly. For instance, the relative strengths of different products in a line can be indicated by “strengths,” or relative saturations, of color.

10. Plan for future brand extensions. A brand that is flexible enough to extend to other categories also has a core brand identity that it owns. After that, a successful brand platform is one that can grow by adding product varieties or lines, or extending outside its original category. Test the versatility of a front panel’s design by applying it to new products and to new categories. Look at a wide swath of imaginary products and extensions, not just the flagship variety. Make sure they all work together, united as a brand but easily understood as separate offerings.

Even plan for future redesigns of your core product line. Don’t inhibit the future growth of your brand by creating a platform that is not both extendable and flexible.

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From Airbnb To Warby Parker: 7 Tips From Leading Design Entrepreneurs | Via Co.Design

IN KERN AND BURN, TWO DESIGNERS COMPILE PEARLS OF WISDOM FROM THE BIGGEST PLAYERS IN THE FIELD.

In Kern and Burn: Conversations with Designer Entrepreneurs, they’ve cataloged stories, reflections, and lessons-learned from the creative minds shaping the business landscape. Here, we’ve collected words and some tough love from nine of those designers.

1. BITE THE BULLET: LEARN HOW CODING AND WEB ANALYTICS WORK.

“Learn how to code a web application, learn how to print a design you’re designing for print, and not be limited to renderings and mock-ups. By learning ‘how to build’ a few things happen: You learn what it takes to build things, and can therefore better empathize with and appreciate those who are expert builders. You extend the potential influence of design. You can kick-start a building process, learn about the challenges your design decisions impose on the building process, and otherwise iterate on design throughout the building process.”
–Randy J. Hunt, Creative Director at Etsy

“The day that I started sitting in on meetings with the CEO and talked about things such as conversion metrics and the lifetime of a customer as it relates to our product, it definitely changed the way I think about what I was working on and how I solve certain problems.”
–Josh Brewer, designer at Twitter

2. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE HOW IMPORTANT DESIGNERS ARE TO BUSINESSES…

“We’ve definitely crossed over a threshold in the startup world, where it’s an assumption that it’s a good idea to pay attention to design from the very beginning. But there’s still a big gap in understanding what that means and how to find designers who can contribute in a meaningful way to the early stage of product design. We have a responsibility as designers to step up to the plate here. We’re invited to the table now–we need to bring something to it.”
–Wilson Miner, designer at Facebook

3. …BUT DON’T ALLOW THAT TO DAMAGE YOUR FOCUS.

“If you want to be the best UX designer in the world, then concentrate on that. Don’t let your ego and your thirst for experience distract you into thinking your opinion needs to be heard at the same level as your cofounder’s on all topic, such as hiring, copywriting, product scheduling, business relationships, etc. Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are a poison in this regard.”
–Ben Pieratt, cofounder of Svpply

4. KEEP A SIDE PROJECT–THEY CLEAR THE COBWEBS OUT.

“I worked as an art director at The New York Times, but I always worked on side projects to maintain my sanity. Something I try to instill in the students and young designers whom I meet is this idea of doing a side project. No matter how small, it is always important. I think when you go to the corporation, and when you’re entry level and just starting out, a lot is asked of you, and you can lose yourself and get washed up in it.”
–Peter Buchanan-Smith, founder of Best Made

5. READ EVERYTHING. A DIVERSE MEDIA DIET WILL LEAD TO RANDOM SPARKS OF INSPIRATION.

“Droog is invariably witty and socially on point. Fine artists would probably be the other inspiration category. I also really appreciate reading about the experiences and approaches of other businesspeople. One column I love is the Corner Office series in The New York Times. There’s also a collected book—The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons from CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed. Reality TV is my friend. I mean, where else would you hear a Real Housewife of Atlanta say, ‘Irony is so ironic?’ ”
–Jen Bilik, founder of Knock Knock

6. A PROTOTYPE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS.

“No matter how well you visualize, until you see that first hyper-real rendering of the product or the prototype, it’s just an idea—it sits around, and it gestates in your head, but it doesn’t become tangible until you make it real…IDEO’s Tom Hulme said, ‘Talk – Action = Shit.’ I don’t know how many times I’ve sat in meetings where people just talk, talk, talk and show renderings that just don’t sell the idea until they put this physical thing on the table.”
–Scott Wilson, founder of MINIMAL

7. MOST IMPORTANTLY, CONTINUE TO THINK WITH THE UNFETTERED IMAGINATION OF A STUDENT. THE ROLE OF A DESIGNER IS TO RETHINK HOW THE WORLD WORKS.

“We’re offering a $95 product for something that is typically sold at $500, and that question automatically is well, ‘Why?’ And ‘How?’ The why is because we personally experienced the effects of overpriced glasses, and we want to change the world. We want to transfer billions of dollars from these big multinational corporations to normal people. The how is that we’re able to design the frames ourselves and produce them under our own brand. We’ve made relationships with the suppliers that make the hinges and the screws, and then custom-acetate and assemble the frames, and cut and etch the lenses so we’re able to bypass the middleman by having those direct-to-supplier relationships, and by filling orders online, we have direct-to-consumer relationships.”
–Neil Blumenthal, cofounder of Warby Parker

“The Internet startup world’s convention of thinking is that you need to solve problems in a scalable way. You need to solve problems with lines of code, and the Internet allows you to do that. The same line of code can touch one user or 10,000 users. But, as soon as we started to do things that didn’t scale, everything started to click…We traveled to New York City; we talked to hosts; we did unofficial ethnographic research. We observed people using Airbnb. We experienced all of the pain points firsthand it for ourselves…We came back to our roots and applied the industrial design process to the Internet—merging customer feedback with our obsession for good design. Once we did that, everything clicked, and we began making money rapidly.”
–Joe Gebbia, cofounder of Airbnb

Buy Kern and Burn: Conversations with Designer Entrepreneurs for $30here.

[Illustration: Joe Gebbia and Warby Parker, Kelly Rakowski/Co.Design]

Original article: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1673079/from-facebook-to-warby-parker-7-tips-from-leading-design-entrepreneurs?partner=newsletter

Why We Need To Value Students’ Spatial Creativity | Via MindShift

July 31, 2013

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By Jonathan Wai

At 16, Albert Einstein wrote his first scientific paper titled “The Investigation of the State of Aether in Magnetic Fields.”  This was the result of his famous gedanken experiment in which he visually imagined chasing after a light beam.  The insights he gained from this thought experiment led to the development of his theory of special relativity.

At 5, Nikola Tesla informed his father that he would harness the power of water.  What resulted was his creation of a water-powered egg beater. Tesla, who invented the basis of alternating current (AC) power systems, had the unusual talent to imagine his inventions entirely in his mind before building them. He was apparently able to visualize and operate an entire engine in his mind, testing each part to see which one would break first.

Thomas Edison—famous for developing the light bulb and more than 1,000 patents—was fascinated with mechanical objects at an early age.  He once said: “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”  He wasn’t joking. In his lab he wanted to have on hand “a stock of almost every conceivable material.”  According to an 1887 news article, his lab was stocked with chemicals, screws, needles, cords, wires, hair, silk, cocoons, hoofs, shark’s teeth, deer horns, cork, resin, varnish and oil, ostrich feathers, amber, rubber, ores, minerals, and numerous other things.

Einstein imagined with his mind. Tesla imagined with his mind and built with his hands. Edison imagined with both. They all had extraordinary spatial talent—“the ability to generate, retain, retrieve, and transform well-structured visual images.”

Spatial thinking “finds meaning in the shape, size, orientation, location, direction or trajectory, of objects,” and their relative positions, and “uses the properties of space as a vehicle for structuring problems, for finding answers, and for expressing solutions.” Spatial skill can be measured through reliable and valid paper-and-pencil tests—primarily ones that assess three dimensional mental visualization and rotation. Read more about examples of items that measure spatial skill here.

But despite the value of these kinds of skills, spatially talented students are, by and large, neglected. Nearly a century ago, a talent search conducted by Lewis Terman used the highly verbal Stanford-Binet in an attempt to discover the brightest kids in California. This test identified a boy named Richard Nixon who would eventually become the U.S. president, but two others would miss the cut likely because the Stanford-Binet did not include a spatial test: William Shockley and Luis Alvarez, who would go on to become famous physicists and win the Nobel Prize.

[RELATED: Can Playing Video Games Give Girls an Edge in Math?]

Today talent searches often use the SAT and ACT which include math, verbal, and writing sections, but do not include a spatial measure. All of the physicists described above (and Tesla who could do integral calculus in his head) would likely qualify today at least on the math section, and Edison would likely have qualified on the verbal section due to his early love of reading.  However, there are many students who have high spatial talent but relatively lower math and verbal talent who are likely missed by modern talent searches and therefore fail to have their talent developed to the extent it could.  Also, because colleges use the SAT and ACT for selecting students, many high spatial students likely do not make it onto college campuses.

Nearly every standardized test given to students today is heavily verbal and mathematical.  Students who have the high spatial and lower math/verbal profile are therefore missed in nearly every school test and their talent likely goes missed, and thus under-developed. What’s more,spatially talented people are often less verbally fluent, and unlikely to be very vocal. Finally, teachers are unlikely to have a high spatial profile themselves (and typically have the inverted profile of high verbal and lower math/spatial), and although they probably do not intend to, they’re more likely to miss seeing talent in students who are not very much like themselves.

So what does the research tell us?  In a study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, my colleagues and I used longitudinal data from multiple data sets across 50 years to show that spatial talent (in addition to math and verbal talent) is important for success in STEM domains. The data came from the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY), Project Talent, and the GRE. Of those students in the top 1 percent of spatial talent, roughly 70 percent were not in the top 1 percent in either math or verbal talent—showing a large fraction of students having the high spatial but lower math/verbal profile.

Now a new study by Harrison Kell, David Lubinski, Camilla Benbow, and James Steiger published in Psychological Science has made the connection between early spatial talent and creativity in adult life even stronger. The study, based on SMPY data, showed that spatial skill had an increment of prediction over and above math and verbal skills (assessed at age 13) when looking at scholarly publications and patents—even those in STEM.

Can We Enhance Spatial Skill?

So, can enhancing spatial thinking improve outcomes in STEM?  A new study by David Uttal, David Miller, and Nora Newcombe published in Current Directions in Psychological Sciencenotes that “a recent quantitative synthesis of 206 spatial training studies found an average training improvement of 0.47 standard deviations.”  The authors suggest that including spatial thinking in STEM curricula would “enhance the number of Americans with the requisite cognitive skills to enter STEM careers.”

The research is clear that spatial skill is important for STEM careers, and perhaps we can even enhance spatial skill to help more people join the STEM fields. What we need is research directed at understanding the best ways to develop the talent of students who are high spatial, but relatively lower math/verbal. Perhaps spatial video games and online learning coupled with hands on interventions might help these students.

[RELATED: How Thinking in 3D Can Improve Math and Science Skills]

This is what’s so great about the Maker Movement and “Why Kids Need to Tinker to Learn”: It will help encourage all students to tinker, invent, and to use their hands to make things again. Certainly the skills encouraged by the makers might be helpful to students who go on to pursue STEM careers. But the movement probably will be most effective for spatially talented students who have been neglected in our school systems.

One student who felt neglected in the school system was researcher Matthew Peterson. As a child, Peterson felt that he was drowning in words and numbers. And in many ways he was, as he was identified as dyslexic—similar to Einstein and Edison. This bothered him so much that today he has developed a way to teach math in an entirely visual manner called ST Math.

Ultimately we need to have the individual skill profile of each student matched to individualized instruction tailored to them. We need to experiment in the laboratory and classroom and conduct rigorous evaluations to find out what actually works.

Redefining and Valuing a Different Kind of Creativity

Today we idolize creative actors, dancers, artists, musicians, and writers. But when was the last time someone raved to you about a creative engineer or mathematician? Why isn’t STEM considered creative or cool? Longitudinal research has made a solid link between early spatial talent and later creativity. Yet for whatever reason, we don’t appreciate the highly creative nature of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

It would seem impossible to argue that the theory of relativity, alternating current, or the light bulb were not creative innovations.  And yet it is easy to forget that these advances fall squarely in the STEM disciplines.  Consider the device you are reading this article from right now.  Spatially talented people imagined it in their minds eye and then they built it.  Not everyone is going to be an Einstein, Tesla, or Edison, but if we identify the many spatially talented students who have been neglected in our school systems we might discover many brilliant kids who are just waiting to develop their creative potential.  We need to help them.  After all, we will ultimately depend on their visions to help create our future.

Jonathan Wai is a researcher at the Duke University Talent Identification Program and Case Western Reserve University and writes “Finding the Next Einstein: Why Smart is Relative” for Psychology Today.

Link to original article: http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/07/why-we-need-to-value-spatial-creativity/

8.1.13 / THE PSUEDO-SCIENCE OF ADVERTS | Via “The Daily Heller @ Print Magazine

8.1.13 / THE PSUEDO-SCIENCE OF ADVERTS

 

Anyone who says that the mid-1950s Creative Revolution (The Big Idea epoch)  was merely a semantic change in the way advertising was practiced, should look below. Try to find the creative in this primer of persuasion.

The advertising industry, which Edward Bernays suggested was the propaganda ministry of the nation, sought whatever scientific means it could to guarantee success. Capitalism runs on commerce, so psychology, as Aldous Huxley has written, was employed early in the 20th century and adopted for better or worse in the postwar era.

adverts 10

Freud was the Mad Men’s best friend.

What everyone wants and advertising must exploit.

What everyone wants and advertising must exploit.

More fundamental wants and desires.

More fundamental wants and desires.

Advertising is a science?

Advertising is a science?

What's that in his hands, rope and bat? Hmmmmm.

What’s that in his hands, rope and bat? Hmmmmm.

Aspiration, inspiration, perspiration.

Aspiration, inspiration, perspiration.

Women: Consumer and allurer. . .

Women: Consumer and allurer. . .

Beats me . . . !!!

Beats me . . . !!!

Truth. You want the truth, I'll give you the truth!

Truth. You want the truth?! You can’t handle the truth!!!

Let's review. Got it? Got it!

Let’s review. Got it? Got it!

http://www.printmag.com/imprint/the-psuedo-science-of-adverts/

I GOT INSPIRED BY DAVID CARSON’S WORK AND CREATED THIS COLLAGE IMAGES.

ImageImageImage
Back in the day (1991), while I was studying graphic design at the university, I found the 6th issue of beach culture’s magazine. I got astonished by this completely new approach and usage of typography. All the black and white spaces, all the typos sliced, cuted and still building a visual story… A whole new visual proposal was in front of me. I have never seen something like that.

A few day later I had one of my first brochure design requests and yes I was really influenced by it, for sure. All kind of questions raised, how they came up to that idea?, how composition works on such a free style?, how i can find joy in such an irreverent space?. I just loved the feeling and my posture was, Even I love it, I will not copy it. I will find my own personal expression.

Time passed by, I did continue my design practice which I still manage to do so, and experience started to show me all those big names of all those great designers that I knew only by the work they have made, and David Carson was no exception.

A couple of days ago with no reason at all and while I was working, I just stop, my ADHD appeared, I stood up, look for my Beach Culture magazine copy, opened the issue and lived that emotion again. That thrilling emotion that innovation delivers.

What made me stop and look for it is still a mystery, one od those special moment that only attention deficit can deliver but instead of looking for an answer, I got my iPhone and capture the pages that I do remember shocked me, a day after I started a 3 piece collage composition inspired on those images. So here they are to be shared to all of you. A glimpse moment, an influential moment of one of the most important change players in contemporary design. My personal tribute to David Carson’s number 6 issue of beach culture magazine* that amazed me by the first time.
Yes, it has been more than 20 years since I started to design and I do love that special emotion of discovery, of known influence, and of course of unconditioned creation.

Long life to the free spirit that may raise in all of us ’cause of so many talented people. Thank you all!

Federico
Federico Hernandez Ruiz
I do care 4 design.

To know the authentic work of David Carson’s work, visit:

 http://www.davidcarsondesign.com/ Thanks to Brain pickings blog and their new curator code proposal. Please visit: http://curatorscode.org/

And to vote on DvdCrsn work, go to: http://dvdcrsn.artistswanted.org/yr2011

*My creation upon this 3 piece collage has no intention other than to recognize David Carson’s work and influence in my life as designer.  It has no commercial intention other than to contribute to DC relevant work, worlds cultural development and the importance of great design contributions to society in so many ways, all farther than just the aesthetics.

Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.