Explaining What Design Is Can Be A Challenge

I’ve always found it a bit of a challenge to find good, short, memorable messages that can provide a simple but powerful way of communicating the concepts behind design thinking. I’m currently reading the book Made to Stick (great read BTW – more on it later), and that’s already providing some good ideas on how to create a better way to deliver the messages that will effectively communicate why this is an important set of skills for librarians who want to design better libraries. As I develop those messages I’ll be sharing them with the readers of this blog for your feedback and opinions. Right now, I am developing some slides and messages (e.g., “design thinking is a way of solving library problems the way designers solve design problems”)- which are a good start but perhaps still too vague to quickly capture an audience’s attention and have them wanting to learn more.

Well I see I’m not the only one trying to develop better ways to, with simple and effective messages, communicate about design and design thinking so that it will stick. Take a look at Design Session 01, a video made by design student David Ngo, that tries to explain what design is. While it is somewhat amateurish and a bit corny in spots it looks like this video, which is the first in what will be a series of videos on design, has some promise. Well, take a look and see what you think. Perhaps a video on design thinking for librarians might have some possibilities?

Author: StevenB

Steven Bell is currently Associate University Librarian for Research and Instructional Services at Temple University, and was previously Director of the Library at Philadelphia University. Steven is the author of two regular columns published by Library Journal, From the Bell Tower and Leading From the Library. With John Shank he is co-founder of the Blended Librarians Online Learning Community. Bell and Shank are also authors of the book Academic Librarianship by Design. Bell's latest book is Crucible Moments: Inspiring Library Leadership. More information is found at his website.

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