The Connected Future of Design with Patrick Newbery

During the COVID19 crisis, digital networks have played a critical part in keep humanity connected and informed. The adoption of networked experiences has scaled exponentially, seemingly overnight. In most cases, these designed experiences were crafted for very different contexts than what they are being used for. In our new, digitally connected yet physically isolated future, we will need new design mindsets and methods to account for hyper-connectivity, data-enriched experiences, and participation by non-human actors in the network. 

Patrick Newbery joins me on this episode of the Cohere podcast to discuss the history of experience design, the opportunities for a more holistic method of design, and what the near-term future of our designed world might look like. Patrick is an expert on design methodologies and implementation, the Co-Founder of Method, and the author of the book “Experience Design: A Framework for Integrating Brand, Experience, and Value“.  

The Cohere Podcast: Episode 5 – Patrick Newbery


Key quotes from the episode:

Patrick on Design Education
“I think in design, a lot of times the education focuses more on what I call kind of the formal aspects of design. So it is more of the components and the aesthetics and the way in which design can communicate and evoke a kind of emotion and response.  One of the things that I read early on in my research into what design was about was the history of the Bauhaus. (I) was really struck by two things:  number one, the general sense of removing the artifice and the subjectivity of design as a goal of the movement;  the other was thinking about people like Jan Tschichold and the approach to book design which was really predicated on both economic efficiency as well as aesthetic value

Patrick on Design Perspectives
“As I practice today, I look at design from three different different perspectives:
1. Pragmatic Design: What are the requirements of kind of the product or the service definition? What are the, what are the goals that the designer is being asked to solve for? What are the kinds of formal aspects of design that you play with? What is the strategy around how to do this efficiently?
2. System / Reference Design: Design for the business has to address a lot of things that may not be product or services. Any single product or service is probably part of an overall ecosystem of value that is being delivered to the customer. So you take a different view on the stages of relationships, the touchpoints that are used, how they cohere together, where those flexibility needed in thinking about how you’re really trying to help design.
3. Strategic Design: Which is really looking at what is changing for a business. Why will tomorrow be different? How do, trends in emerging technology and trends in economics or social-cultural context.
Change the kinds of products and services or even business models that the business will need to have in the future.”

Patrick on the Future of Design
“I think we should realize that everything that we’re doing right now and everything that we’re thinking about right now is really very early-stage and naive in terms of thinking about what is possible with designing technology. There’s been so much change in the past two decades that it’s really difficult to kind of keep in mind that there’s not enough history yet for us to understand what really are best practices and what makes the most sense in terms of design in business, and that as we look at the arc of technology things are going to continue to change and whatever we think now next decade, we’re going to look back and say, “Oh, that was a little naive. We didn’t anticipate this coming.” What excites me about things in general though is I think the ability for us to actually begin to think more in terms of data and information, because I think data and information are key to the design process. If we begin to think “where can we create value or, better resiliency, better ability to have things be regenerative in terms of value creation, specifically around things like climate change or, or health care?” To date, we’ve largely looked at a lot of these solutions or approach these problems from an economic perspective as opposed to a systems perspective.”

Resources:
Patrick’s LinkedIn Profile
Graphical Thinking Tools: Time for Design
Graphical Thinking Tools: Boxing Day
Graphical Thinking Tools: You’re Out of Line!
Graphical Thinking Tools: A Path is not a Map is not the Territory
Experience Design: A Framework for Integrating Brand, Experience, and Value

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