When I want to share and explain the concepts of design thinking with an audience of librarians I often make use of the video “The Deep Dive.” It was originally an episode of Nightline shown in 1991, and it profiles the firm IDEO. In the program the IDEO folks are charged with redesigning a supermarket shopping cart. Watching the IDEO folks, an eclectic mix of professionals, go through the process illustrates the basic concepts of design thinking in very practical ways. I’ve owned the DVD that I bought from ABC for a few years. But now, thanks to someone who put event online (paying no attention to the FBI warnings about copying the video) you can watch the entire Deep Dive on YouTube. If you haven’t seen it, spend 22 minutes watching it (in three parts) before it is taken down.
IDEO is a firm highly associated with design thinking, but there are other design firms that use this technique as well. One is Adaptive Path, and I recommend you follow their blog. A lesser known firm is Maya Design, but they’ve done some interesting work, particularly their re-design of the interior of the Carnegie Public Library. We featured a designer from Maya on a Blended Librarians Online Community webcast a few years ago. I recently noticed an article about Maya Design in the latest issue of Fast Company that discusses their 3-day design boot camps. Seems they are now teaching others to become design thinkers. Sounds like a program I’d really like to attend.
What also caught my attention this past week was the announcement of two UX-related resources in the library community. One of my favorite events at any ALA conference is the Friday afternoon OCLC Symposium. This year the main speaker is Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D, (The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary) who will “engage the audience in a conversation that explores ways to bring a unique customer experience to the library.” I’m already registered and will hear what Michelli has to say about Starbuck’s recent challenges and the resiliance of the user experience in a recession. But just the fact that OCLC is turning its attention to UX is interesting to me.
I also came across a slideshow from a presentation by John Blyberg, Darien Library’s Assistant Director for Innovation and User Experience, on the topic of user experience design in libraries. If Blyberg is discussing UX in his conference presentations that will help to get more librarians interested in these ideas.