• Random

  • 09.Aug
  • Queen at the London Riots
  • Many people are upset that The Queen wasn’t in London for the London Riots. So… Ladies and gentlemen who are leaving comments on The British Monarchy’s facebook page, worry no more. She was there: Click image to enlarge at full screen. Okay, I may have used a little Photoshop skills here. It’s actually a different […]

  • Design Process

  • 16.Apr
  • 5 Intelligent Questions to Ask
  • Here are 5 categories of questions good designers ask. I’m looking forward to being more self-aware of the questions I ask in the generative phase, making sure that they are diverging and not converging. I think it likely requires a little patience but I’m willing to wait for the ideas to ripen.

5 Intelligent Questions to Ask

Here are 5 categories of questions good designers ask. I’m looking forward to being more self-aware of the questions I ask in the generative phase, making sure that they are diverging and not converging. I think it likely requires a little patience but I’m willing to wait for the ideas to ripen.

By

In Ozgur Eris’s paper,  “Asking Generative Design Questions: A Fundametal Cognitive Mechanism in Design Thinking” he outlines how he discovered 5 categories of questions that smart designers ask during the generative phase of a project, known as GDQ (Generative Design Questions). I found this really helpful, as I’m looking at how I can explain to students what types of questions they should be asking to get the most out of the first phase of the design process: Problem Finding.

And here they are, with examples and all. Most of this is quoting this paper, while the examples are my own tiny contribution:

 

PROPOSAL/NEGOTIATION. The questioner wants to suggest a concept, or to negotiate an existing or previously suggested concept. Proposal/Negotiation questions are significant because proposing an idea in the form of a question promotes consideration and feedback, and negotiation promotes synthesis.

“How about if we tried this in that way?” (asking for feedback) 
not  “Do you think this is better?” (judgement)

SCENARIO CREATION. The questioner constructs a scenario involving the question concept and wants to investigate the possible outcomes. Scenario Creation questions are significant because accounting for possible outcomes generates and refines design requirements.

“What if the user or situation was different?”
Not  “Give me an account of the results.” (consequence)

IDEATION. The questioner wants to generate as many concepts as possible from an instrument without trying to achieve a specific goal. Ideation questions are significant because operating without a specific goal frees associations and drives concept generation.

“How many ways can this be used?”

METHOD GENERATION. The questioner wants to generate as many ways as possible of achieving a specific goal. Method Generation questions are significant because operating with a specific goal generates a set of methods for implementing concepts.

“How many ways can this be done?”

ENABLEMENT. The questioner wants to construct acts, states, or resources that can enable the question concept.. Enablement questions are significant because identification of multiple resources promotes surveying and learning from existing design features.

“What are the factors that contribute to this being accomplished?”

 

To me what seems to be at the core of this is that generative questions don’t ask for a specific result, rather lead to more questions, a variety of results, a variety of options to experiment with. It’s about planting as much information as you can into your brain, then afterwards stepping back and deciding what fruit to pick.

Too often designers are expected to just jump in and decide (based on a brief where someone else got to ask all the fun questions). Your logo uses this font, here is the shape of your car, the song uses this instrument, etc. But so much of the value of a designer is what happens to get to that decision, not just the object or result from it.

How did the designer know what typeface to pick? S/he imagined it in different scenarios–printed on a business card, a work van, online, or on a pen. Then looking at those scenarios found that not every font is legible when printed on a pen.

How did the designer know this car shape could be manufactured? Well the designer looked at the tool for making the shape and explored all of the ways that tool moulds objects and discovered a new shape.

How did the musician (I believe musicians are designers) decide this gas can would make a good sound? Well s/he explored all of the sounds a gas can makes and tried all kinds of methods to hit, drop, fill and roll it.

I’m looking forward to being more self-aware of the questions I ask in the generative phase, making sure that they are diverging and not converging. I think it likely requires a little patience but I’m willing to wait for the ideas to ripen.

Tags: ,

Etc.

You could put something here. Edit this in bottom.php.

Click

You could put an ad here. Edit this in bottom.php.

Tag Cloud