Solve or Navigate

Brown and Katz offer 3 criteria for successful idea generation in Change by Design (p.18).

These are:

1. Desirability
2. Viability
3. Feasibility

In a significant semantic emphasis, they write that Designers “resolve” these criteria to solve problems. In contrast, Design Thinkers “navigate among” these criteria in more of a process orientation (p.21). Further, they write that Design Thinkers shift their thinking from problem to project.

Which describes your methodology?

In Chapter 2, the Brown and Katz list 3 Elements of Successful Design:

1. Observation
2. Empathy
3. Insight

Elements of Successful Design

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The Innovator’s DNA (Dyer, Gregersen, and Christensen profiled Scott Cook, founder of Intuit. Cook credits the design of his software titles Quicken and QuickBooks to his penchant for observation.

The authors summarize observation as the result of two main attributes (p. 96):

1. Watching people at work to see what they really what to accomplish
2. Watching for interchangeable solutions among different people, groups, or processes

I wonder, are these elements deserving of equal attention or does one or two nudge out the others in importance?




Brown, T., & Kātz, B. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. New York: Harper Business.

Dyer, J., Gregersen, H. B., & Christensen, C. M. (2011). The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the five skills of disruptive innovators. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.