Summary of Design Thinking Keynote from AIGA and Harrisburg UpNext Fest

Keynote by  Chris Cashdollar

Keynote by Chris Cashdollar

Harrisburg’s UpNext Fest included an evening session held at Midtown Cinema by Chris Cashdollar. His AIGA keynote was titled “Design Thinking for Modern Startups”. It was timely advice and relatable challenges, which left me inspired to educate and advocate within my organization. Here is a summary from my sketch notes.

Top 3 Takeaways

  1. Design is not simply visual
  2. Businesses must adapt Design Thinking to survive
  3. Design Thinking is Organization-wide, but it is NOT “design by committee"

Points from my sketch notes

  • Facilitate design, not just execute
  • Design is a noun, a verb, not just a professional/person’s title.
  • Learn, Build, Iterate. Learn, Build, Iterate.
  • Clear roles feel like safety nets, but they aren’t what creates a holistic design-thinking environment or solutions
  • Need requirements, why, goals. Often the practical side is missed in “waterfall” organizations.
  • Sharing ownership of decisions early on allows project to keep moving. Less surprises at the end.
  • Be a champion. Advocate for bringing others into the process early on.
  • Experience - Uber for employees and recruitment same quality as customers.
  • Educate others.
  • Top level buy-in is necessary to lead business by design
  • @cdixon - if you care about X your business will be about X
  • @jmspool - "Design Infused" phrase
  • Find easy ways to do “research"
  • A Book Apart: Just Enough Research
  • Be open to feedback inside the company as well as customers
  • Validate as you go
  • Book "User Experience Team of One”
  • Pattern Libraries allow design thinking to be less about visual and more about interaction
  • Google Ventures Business Stages Pyramid
    1. Level 1: Product Design
    2. Level 2: Interaction Design
    3. Level 3: Visual Design
      1. Google Made Materials to help with this so businesses could focus on L1-2
  • UX tipping point = IT tipping point via @jmspool 

Afterward, we all got together next door at ZeroDay Brewing Company, and I was honored to get to spend some time chatting with Chris about our experiences in organizations. I was further inspired for my specific situation, and have more validation on approaches I’ve been working on to help pull customers to the center of our design process. Thanks so much, Chris!