It is one thing to say that designers are engaging

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It is one thing to say that designers are engaging users in the creation of value. UCD, however, also implies a different way of thinking, which emphasizes interrelationships within systems and empathy with users. I explore this way of thinking and its implications for management in the next section. How Managers could Think like
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User-centred Designers Problems in management are increasingly characterized by complexity and instability (Boland and Collopy 2004). In this environment, managers need to develop an ability to understand wicked problems: complex, dynamic problems involving multiple stakeholders that defy easy resolution (Churchman 1967). Failure to appreciate the full complexity of such problems can lead to disastrous results (Hackett 2007). Since Herbert Simon (1969), in The Sciences of the Artificial, called for a new management curriculum based on design, several authors have argued that managers can learn a great deal from the approach taken by designers (for example, Senge 1994; Boland and Collopy 2004; Dunne and Martin 2006). Because designers are traditionally engaged for their creativity, it is with this quality that they are most closely associated (Kelley and Littman 2001). However, a great deal of research and reflection is required to develop ideas. Designers frequently need to reinterpret a brief to identify the underlying problem, to visualize abstract solutions and to integrate information from multiple sources. Conley (2004) argues that design competencies, such as the ability to frame problems in a meaningful way and integrate the components of a solution, can be applied to managerial problems; as an example, Kumar and Whitney (2003) show how data from ethnographic research conducted in a wide variety of contexts can be integrated through the use of thought tools for analysis and synthesis. Boland and Collopy (2004) go beyond skills and argue that a design attitude views managerial problems as opportunities for invention and development of elegant solutions. Sch n (1983) represents design as a reflective conversation with the situation in which the designer attempts a solution, reframes the problem and tries a new approach. A representation of the design process, adapted from the processes used at the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, is shown in Figure 9.1. This is by no means the only way of approaching design problems, but 132 New Educatio nal Perspectives for Designers and Manag ers it offers a reasonable representation of the process applied by many user- centred designers. The emphasis is on developing a deep understanding of the problem before attempting to develop solutions. A notable feature of this process is that problem definition is provisional and iterative: the design team begins with Statement of Intent 1.0 and modifies this according to the findings of its research into users and their context, business and market issues and design and technological constraints. Several statements of intent may be
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