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Jon Kolko on Design Synthesis

(Download associated slides, PDF, 4.9 mb)

Jon Kolko talks on Design Synthesis, offering two sense making methods to translate research into meaningful insights.

The methods he talks about are Insight Combination, a method of building on established design patterns in order to create initial design ideas and Reframing, a method of shifting semantic perspective in order to see things in a new way.

Jon Kolko talks about Design Synthesis because he feels interaction design research activities produce an enormous quantity of raw data, and while this must be systematically and rigorously analyzed in order to extract meaning and insight, these methods of analysis are poorly documented and rarely taught. And because of the pragmatic time constraints associated with shipping products, there is often no time dedicated in a project to a practice of formal synthesis. As a result, raw design research data is inappropriately positioned as insight, and the value of research activities is marginalized– in fact, stakeholders may lose faith in the entire research practice, as they don’t see direct return on the investment of research activities.

About Jon Kolko

Jon Kolko is a Senior Design Analyst at frog design in Austin, Texas. His professional work deals with the manipulation of complicated business and technological constraints in order to best solve the problems of Fortune 500 clients. The work spans the boundaries of Information Architecture, Interaction Design, and Usability Engineering; the common underlying theme of these problems and projects is the creation of a solution that is useful, usable, and desirable.

Kolko is the author of the text Thoughts on Interaction Design; he is also the 2008-2011 Editor-in-Chief of Interactions Magazine, published by the ACM.

Other Links

Jon Kolko’s website
Jon Kolko’s book- Thoughts on Interaction Design