Techie Notes

Change by Design book by Tim Brown

Tagged: design

I am listening the “Change by Design” book by Tim Brown while driving or biking and trying to grab nuggets of whisdom in this blog. I am writing it day by day, putting down ideas that resonated with me and thoughts that they broght out.

Design is about telling the story

Story telling through design is how design solves problems

Design in 21th century different from 20th

Design of the 20th century was about creating a new form for existing tools. In 21st century the main feature of life is change. The design is about going along with the changing world, and creating tools, cultures, behaviors to meet new challenges and opportunities.

Design with human in the center

  • Design is about spotting human needs and creating new demands which reflect these needs

  • People do not know their needs more often than not. So the way to discover the needs you watch people struggle and go around the problems, hear what they say and what they do not say.

  • Designer goes into the wild and studies people from inside of their environment. It is important not only to look at the middle of the Gaussian curve, but also at edge cases, as edge cases often amplify needs of the middle. For example a 6 year old girl struggling with a can opener shows where the can-opener lacks.

Design with people

There are 5 ways to design, #4 is what book recomments, discarding #5 as not proven to bring good results (open design)

  1. Design against people
  2. Design isolated from people
  3. Design for people
  4. Design with people
  5. Assist people to do design

Design is not about improving existing, it is about creating nonexisting

When people design they are not (necessary) discovering something that exists already and waits to be discovered. They are creating something new that did not exist already, or at least such cases create the most important and game changing solutions.

Design as a communal effort

  • These days design is not done by designers only, it is most efficient when it is done by people from manty different views. The best designs come from teams which include people form different professions

  • Original idea is best when done by smallish team. After that team will grow according to the scale of the idea.

  • To create design-friendly environment people need to be freed from the confinements of standard corporate approach and ethics. They need to be moved psychologically as close to what they are as possible. Bewave about what will happen with people when they move back to their jobs later. They might not want to be what they had been anymore.

Unfocused droup

Identify UNIQUE individuals who emotionally connected and passtionate to the product. In countrast with the focus group of randomly selecged individuals

Chance favors prepared mind

Ovservation in environment, empathy to people, working with unfocused group are ways to perpare mind

Conversion and Diversion

Desian process consists of Diversion at first and generating a lot of ideas and then conversion of these ideas into a few, then the process repeats again and again until the balance between creativity and contrstrints of reality creates the best outcome of the design process.


Drawing is the best way to bring together emotional message and functionality of design. Therefore drawing is in one of the most important tools of the design. People who do not draw well – still should use drawing and get better.