Matthew T Grant


Tall Guy. Glasses.

Design Thinking and the Serendipitous Web

This was the second of a brief series of posts that I wrote on the subject of design thinking. It was originally published on March 9, 2007.

I had never really thought about “design thinking” until I read the blog post at Adaptive Path that led me to write my last post. The funny thing is that as I started to research the concept, I noticed that earlier that same day I had bookmarked, obviously without much thought, a blog called Design Thinking Digest, which is maintained by Chris Bernard, Microsoft User Experience Evangelist and which I was introduced to via this post on David Armano’s blog.

As if it weren’t strange enough that the mighty and mysterious Web would bombard my subconscious with secret messages about “design thinking” so as to get me to write about it, today Bernard is blogging about the design approach of BMW’s Chris Bangle and, guess what? Mr. Bernard is very taken with the fact that when designing cars, Bangle focuses on “the doing.” He writes, “His teams get outside to look at the car, they craft and sculpt designs with their hands. They are constantly on the lookout for new ways that they can make things, they spend as much time thinking about not the actual creation but the TOOLS they use to create with too.”

That is, a critical component of true “design thinking” as practiced by a successful designer like Bangle and admired by an evangelizing software designer like Bernard is “doing” – getting your hands dirty, working with tools, making things. But that was, like, exactly the point I was “making” in my initial post on “design thinking”!!!

Is the Web reading my mind?

More frighteningly, is the Web writing my mind?