David Kelley

An interview introduction of David Kelley and what he’s trying to do:

David Kelley believes that everyone is creative, but we have a tendency to hide from that word as we get older. His mission is to help all people recover their problem solving abilities – their creative confidence.

Several years ago he founded a company called IDEO. I’ve known about the existence of IDEO for a while, but didn’t realize that I should be paying closer attention. I only knew that they helped companies make new products.

What I recently found out is that they have a whole framework for how to approach new problems. It’s called design thinking. Or human centered design. And they are very generous in how they share their process.

It has three main parts:

  1. Understand – use intentional empathy to understand the communities and individuals you are designing for. Here’s an example case study about redesigning the lunch experience for San Francisco’s Unified School System “A Cafeteria Designed for Me.”
  2. Ideate – No wrong ideas. Build on them, don’t tear them down. (Hint: They use a lot of post-it notes)
  3. Experiment – Take your best ideas and try to make something. A prototype is way better than just a “Hey, I had this idea….” A prototype allows people explain, discuss, and offer constructive feedback. It can hijack our imagination as we build upon what is already there.

If you really want to dive in to some of the resources, I would study (and maybe even contribute to?) any of the projects on OpenIDEO.

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