Over the last few decades, the importance of design has been growing in the context of how to create disruptive game-changing innovations. Human centered design (HCD) is the way that innovators integrate design with a clear view of customer in to the process of creating an innovation that has impact. Be careful as bad design can doom innovation to the trash heap.
What is human centered design?
Many guests on the show have shared their inspirations when it comes innovation and design. This week is no different. Our guest, Gordon Stannis, shared how a 9 month cross country bike ride sabbatical armed him with a sense of fearless curiosity. By meeting and talking with a wide range of people from different backgrounds, Gordon became equipped to represent them and needs when designing products and services.
He took that experience and perspective to leading design positions at Herman Miller, BMW Group and Prince / Johnson Controls. Even with that experience, he recognized the need to do more. It just wasn't about design but an integrated discipline of design plus technology.
Gordon and a partner (who was technical) made the decision to create a company that was both design and technical with some unusual characteristics. There are no departments so no silo's could get established. To reinforce this, every six months Gordon re-shuffles where people set. This creates a constant sense of making of new connections across the organization.
Advice On Human Centered Design (HCD) And Innovation
What are the three pieces of advice Gordon gave for organizations who are thinking about embracing human centered design?
Develop a common language: Teams should create a process and language of human centered design and then train everyone in your organization to understand and use it. This will allow anyone to then run with it on their own.
Visualize: Vizio, PowerPoint and project charts are not tools of visualizing the solution. Organizations need to embrace the process of creating 3D highly visualized forms of the ideas and put them up for everyone to see. Not on some some small whiteboard. Take up the entire wall 10 feet high. Immerse yourself and the team in the visual representation of the innovation.
Understand the hierarchy of innovation: There is a hierarchy of innovation that organizations needs to understand and reward individuals and teams for achieving. These are:
- Curiosity (Like the parking lot when attempting a climb)
- Imagination (Base camp)
- Creativity (Mid-camp)
- Innovation (Peak of the mountain)
About Gordon Stannis
Gordon Stannis is the Director of Design and Strategy at Twisthink. One of Gordon’s greatest accomplishments is Co-Creating Twisthink based on the belief that there was a better way to create and deliver value to clients battling against the relentless wave action of commoditization.
Gordon holds a large number of Utility Patents and International Design Awards in transportation, consumer electronics, durable goods, medical, furniture and more.