1DD: how to positively impact with design
LEE: “1) impact over accuracy; 2) run toward, don’t run away; 3) hacker mentality over process; 4) be a great storyteller; 5) relentless pursuit of visiontyping (vision prototyping)”
"How to positively impact with design?
One of the most effective ways to positively impact with design is by creating a ‘makers’ culture. The way to create a makers culture is based on the cultivation of design thinking practice, practical demonstration of new approaches to product innovation, and changes of our own behaviors. There are 5 specific tips: First, impact over accuracy - invest your time understanding the data and take a leap of faith by building your idea fast. Second, run toward, don’t run away - don’t be afraid of leading cost-cutting projects or initiatives to help ushering in the future of company. Third, hacker mentality over process - take an active role in design hacks or hack-a-thon events and win it. Fourth, be a great storyteller - help the CEO envision your idea by creating a cinematic experience. Lastly, relentless pursuit of visiontyping (vision prototyping) - be audacious through showcasing a rapid prototype capability to demonstrate desired experience.
Impact over Accuracy
Invest your time understanding the data (business, product, industry, user), acquire a broader view of the problem space, and take a leap of faith by building your idea fast. The big data is useless unless someone is able to draw insights from it and visualize the inferred experience. The creative solutions are merely differentiating or impactful unless they are based on insights from data. To make a scalable and repeatable impact through design, understanding the insights from data is now pre-requisite for designers to make rapid iterations.
Run Toward, Don’t Run Away
Don’t be afraid of leading the most ‘un-designer’ projects or initiatives (cost-cutting, process improvement for cross-functional teams, internal tools) to help experience the future of company. These are a type of projects you get to apply 'design thinking' to solve real challenges often become the primary driver for business to make a drastic decision that impacts you!
Hacker Mentality over Process
The [design or business] process is an important part of operating the company. Unfortunately the process is not the end product. It’s simply a means to the end. Designers with a high sense of intellectual curiosity often demonstrate a hacker or maker mentality when they embrace problems. Sometimes the easiest way to rehearse the future or reality of making a profound design-led impact is to bet on the company's existing innovation practice channels like hack-a-thon, Skunkworks, Design-a-thon or design hack. These intensive yet highly productive 24~48hrs unleash enormous amount of creativity that can be demonstrated through what I call ‘turbo charging’ hacker mentality. Supporting hacker and maker practice in roadmap projects is especially critical as often the existing product development process heavily guards these projects. By creating a series of mini design hack as a part of the process helps instilling and injecting the essence of hacker mentality and ultimately establishes an ubiquitous business environment where exhibiting hacker and maker mentality isn’t a special eventful practice but the way designers think and work.
Be a Great Storyteller
Everyone loves to hear a great story, especially when the story is inspiring, visionary, relevant, and authentic. One way to make a differentiating design impact is to focus on creating and delivering cinematic experience solutions. These cinematic experience solutions usually come in as video or physical experiential demos. Communication designers are often filling these capability gaps. The key goal here is to partner with necessary capable individuals within and outside of organization or company to create an end-to-end immersive experience of target users. Investing in this type of design deliverables isn’t cheap. But the resonating impact and the decision that can be informed by highly immersive and cinematic experience is profound.
Relentless Pursuit of Visiontyping
Be audacious through showcasing a rapid prototype capability to demonstrate desired experiences. It involves a bold decision to assemble or hire a team of new hybrid discipline—one that doesn’t necessarily fit neatly into traditional design or the engineering function. By focusing on a few new solutions that will either make existing solutions obsolete or make the impossible possible, you as designer can unleash possibility of people imaging ‘what if’ while cultivating the exciting and engaging environment.
At the end of day, if you can help someone to dream again through embracing, deploying, and executing these approaches, you are making the impact with Design far beyond what most of people would expect from you. And that’s how my team and I positively impact with Design at Visa."
Kevin Lee | Vice President and Global Head of Design at VISA
Kevin Lee is Vice President and Global Head of Design at Visa, Inc, responsible for setting the vision and the strategy of design and user experience of all digital products across all platforms and devices. Prior to Visa, Kevin led the design studio at Samsung, the global design team at eBay editor and Paypal and a design team at Whirlpool Corporation designing and launching the company’s first digital touch screen consumer products and connected device strategy. Kevin is contributing author for several books and speaks at some of the largest design conferences in the world.