The Interview Learning Experience

There’s nothing quite like reading good, clear explanations of the basic concepts and approaches we focus on here at DBL. Librarians may struggle as they seek to understand and familiarize themselves with design thinking, user experiences and other important elements of a library that delivers a great user experience. That’s why I found Kate Rudder’s interview with Nathan Shedroff to be informative and enlightening on several levels. Shedroff is experience strategist, author, and the Program Chair and founder of the brand new MBA in Design Strategy at California College of the Arts. Unlike some of the more technical articles on design thinking and user experience, the interview format makes it possible to learn from an expert who puts the theory into a more practical framework. Here are some snippets from the interview:

Design processes, specifically, approach the challenge to imagine and devise new solutions, in any context, by looking at customers in meaningful ways, integrating data from a variety of sources, and using it as a starting point instead of an ending point. Design respects different kinds of prototyping and iteration, which is an important part of the process.

You don’t have to be a designer to learn to innovate like one, but it helps if you’ve been through the process a few times to understand what to expect and how the process needs to be supported.

Design [with a big “D”]is about how people approach a challenge and develop a solution and, as such, these processes are extendable into almost any domain: interaction design, organizational design, etc. However, most of the time that the word design [with a little “d”] is used, it is often referring to a particular type of design or domain: graphic, industrial, web, interaction, fashion, interior, etc. and it invokes all of the baggage associated with that domain in both the speaker and the listener.

Great designers have processes they rely on to investigate, ideate, prototype, iterate, validate, and communicate that they can employ to validate what their intuition may be leading them to.

Check out the rest of the interview. I think you’ll find it a good learning experience

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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