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Course Spotlight: Your Idea as Innovative Solution

If, like me, you hear “strategic thinking” a lot, but you’re not quite sure how to show you’re good at it, the upcoming class Your Idea as Innovative Solution may be for you.

Instructor Scott Hindell is a favorite of many, and can guide you in your approach to some of design’s most difficult problems. Here is what other students have had to say about him in this course:

Very helpful in designing and presenting innovation from different points of view.

Very passionate and knowledgeable. He is a great teacher.

Scott tackled our now-famous “course spotlight” questions:

Why is this course important for my design education?

We are hearing a lot about innovation these days, but most of it sounds like a race for bigger, better, faster, cheaper. A walk down the aisle at WalMart shows us what that gets us. Incremental improvements aren’t what businesses need. They are looking for quantum leaps in value, and research is telling us designers are the best people to lead us where we need to go. Designers are turned on by new ideas, the unknown, the unconventional. They like to produce the unexpected. Unfortunately, designers aren’t always the best equipped to deal easily with their ideas.

What will I take away from this course?

The real opportunity is to combine your design talent with the art of persuasion. It’s not as difficult as one might assume. Most think you must become an advocate for your idea, which means committing to a tireless defense of that idea. Surprisingly, it’s not that difficult, it just requires a little bit of strategic thinking.

Do you have a sample exercise/assignment?

Yes! Exercise – Students are directed to choose one of the three following research methods to observe Starbucks users:

Choice #1 (Narration) – Ask one user to describe aloud what they are thinking during a complete visit to Starbucks. Then submit a description of the most notable observations.
Choice #2 (Still-Photo Survey) – Capture a series of pictures of specific objects, activities, etc. during a complete visit to Starbucks. Then submit these with descriptive titles and/or captions.
Choice #3 (Surveys & Questionnaires) – Ask at least 3 Starbucks users a series of targeted questions in order to ascertain particular characteristics and perceptions of users. Then submit a summary of the most notable findings.

The primary goal of the exercise is to help students develop good observation skills, and most importantly, empathy for people’s differences.

When this course was offered last, I sat in the night this assignment was reviewed. It was way more illuminating than you may expect! The photo documentation and presentation was also engaging. It led to a great conversation about branding and personas.

This course credits as an elective in the Global Sustainability Certificate, as well as the DCA Certificates. If you want to see the syllabus or ask Scott a few questions, just let us know.

And register anytime by following this link.

 

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