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101 Design Methods: A Structured Approach for Driving Innovation in Your Organization Paperback – Oct 9 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; Original edition (Oct. 9 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118083466
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118083468
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.6 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #49,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Design thinking is a method that can be applied to nearly any endeavor, business scenario, or social reform. In his book, 101 Design Methods, author Vijay Kumar describes how design methods can be applied as a science, rather than through art, through practical steps of observation, reframing, ideation, prototyping, and planning." (Contract Magazine, May 2013)

From the Back Cover

A step-by-step guidebook on deploying design thinking for innovation

Design thinking is a mindset and method that can be applied to nearly any innovation challenge or endeavor. Using structured methods for observation, reframing, ideation, prototyping, and planning, design thinking can be used to develop innovative solutions in a wide range of business scenarios and social reform.

101 Design Methods is the first step-by-step guidebook for successful innovation through design thinking. Unlike other popular titles, 101 Design Methods approaches the practice of creating new products, services, and customer experiences as a science, rather than an art, providing a practical set of collaborative tools and methods for planning and defining successful new offerings. Exploring the "mindset" and "methods" for each, the modes of thinking covered include:


Strategists, managers, designers, and researchers who undertake the challenge of innovation, despite a lack of established procedures and a high risk of failure, will find 101 Design Methods an invaluable resource. Novices can learn from it; practitioners can structure their work; managers can plan with it; and executives can make decisions based on it.

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Format: Paperback
Vijay Kumar is not the first nor will he be the last to ask the questions posed in the title of this review. Here's another: "What to do about it?" This book is his response to that question. He suggests Four Core Principles of Successful Innovation:

o Build Innovations Around Experiences
o Think of Innovations as Systems
o Cultivate an Innovation Culture
o Adopt a Disciplined Innovation Process

Following an exceptionally informative Introduction, he carefully organizes his material within seven Modes of the design innovation process (summarized in Pages 10-13), each of which requires an organizational mindset that nourishes and supports the given enterprise:

Sense Intent: Where to play? What to offer? How to win?
Kumar explains how to develop a mindset that senses changing conditions in the competitive marketplace, sees overviews, foresees trends, reframes problems, and forms an intent for innovation

Know Context: What are the specific surrounding conditions in which changes occur?
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This book is gorgeous and inspiring. Your head will spin when you see all of the innovation techniques and frameworks offered inside. A must-have for design thinkers, business designers, marketers and strategists.
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Awesome book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9c978354) out of 5 stars 60 reviews
65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a414f68) out of 5 stars Mostly a pitch for consulting services, but some useful information June 29 2013
By Jackal - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book I wanted to like, but it is so superficially written that I can only give it two stars. On a generous day, I might have given it three stars, but not any more.

101 design methods turns out to be 101 tools for the innovation process (from initial stage all the way through to commercialization). The whole process is covered but it is fair to say that the focus in around the prototype stage. If you have read a book about design consultancy IDEO you know pretty much the type of work described in this book (anthropological methods, Post-it notes, etc.)

Each method gets two pages, which are identically structured:
* 10% description of method. Unfortunately this section is far too short. Sadly the author provides absolutely no references. Instead he takes credit as if these methods were novel. You might think that in a book for practitioners, references are not so important. Fair response, but at the very least there should have been some references for further readings.
* 35% picture. This is generally an illustrative picture. Good.
* 20% case study. It is nice with case studies even though they are written up in a too sanitized way. In fact, the section is often a repetition of the description of the method. The most typical case study is a not-for-profit service.
* 25% practical steps. The steps are always almost identical: identity, analyze, report. This section is extremely tedious and repetitive. Totally useless material.
* 10% filler material. Also not useful.

I seriously question the author's judgement when describing the methods in this manner. Personally, I don't like the very mechanical approach of presenting the tools. Still, there will definitely be some methods that you would like to look further into. For this reason the book could have been a three star book, if the author would have given the reader some advice for further readings. If the case studies would have been more illustrative the book would probably be worth four stars.

The book is printed in full color on pretty good paper. The layout of the book feels modern and professional.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa116560c) out of 5 stars Innovation brought alive Nov. 7 2012
By J. Aceti - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a consultant helping teams through innovation processes I found this book to be a wonderful compendium of frameworks and techniques to help focus ideas and processes. For a consultant or trainer in business or technology innovation this book provides a ready resource of methods that can be used to help uncover, unclutter or focus thinking. For teams on their own the book can be a ready resource to guide the innovation process; what to do next in innovating new products or services. The book proposes a seven step framework that helps you walk through the innovation modes: Sense intent, Know Context, Know People, Frame Insights, Explore concepts, Frame Solutions and Realize offerings. It goes into great depth for each mode providing method and technique that will help inspire new ways of thinking about how to approach an innovation challenge.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1165624) out of 5 stars Jazz Up Your Planning Meetings Dec 20 2012
By Rebecca Haden - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
The designer at the small web firm where I'm Creative Director teaches college, and so do I. When we saw this book, our immediate reaction was that it would significantly jazz up our classes. The book contains 101 snazzy ideas for approaching design and problem solving tasks, from puppets to simulations to mapping on the walls.

For a classroom, for conferences and retreats, for a large company looking for exciting new process ideas for working with different groups, for people who get bored easily or want to break out of a rut, or for folks looking for neat ways to present information, this book has some very fun and inspiring ideas. For small teams with a good process in place, it might be hard to justify the additional time and cost for some of the fancier ideas, and the simpler ones (sketching out ideas, observing people using your product) you probably use already.

So this book is not for everyone. Say it's for you -- it's a well designed book with lots of ideas. Each idea is presented with a full-page photo; a quick guide to the benefits, input, and output; step by step instructions with lots of drawings and examples; and an example project. There are interesting discussion of the seven different "modes of thinking":
* sense intent
* know context
* know people
* frame insights
* explore concepts
* frame solutions
* realize offerings

It's an intriguing book, and a pleasure to read.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a8a9b64) out of 5 stars Awesome has a name - 101 Design Methods Nov. 30 2012
By Reasonable Reviewer - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I give this book my highest recommendation!

Design has become a very popular concept in management over the past several years. Unfortunately, design has been like quantum physics in its application. It was hard to explain and the concepts often seemed to be both contradictory and useful at the same time.

In 101 Design Methods: A Structured Approach for Driving Innovation in Your Organization, Professor Kumar leverages his wealth of experience in practical design to provide a very approachable, consistent, and understandable methodology for design. The chapters are laid out in a logical sequence, and the author is ruthlessly consistent in applying the methodology. The entire book is structured, and the subsections are numbered in a way that constantly brings you back to the underlying process.

Each step is described in detail with the inputs, techniques, outputs, and information flows clearly articulated. There are examples with pictures sprinkled through every chapter.

The book is lavishly illustrated and brightly colored. (When I read the book on the commute to work, I routinely had people on the DC metro asking me to let them page through it.) It is fun to read, and I bought five copies of the book the day after I read it to immediately apply Professor Kumar's techniques to a real world, strategic issue my group was wrestling with.

The results have been phenomenal.

Bravo Professor Kumar!

Now, if you would just write a book on quantum mechanics!

In service,

The Original Dr. Games since 1993
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a2b9cd8) out of 5 stars Good examples but difficult following Case Studies May 16 2013
By idomyowntricks - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The concept of the book is very good. But as soon as the author starts describing a case study you really get interested but then it just stops without full explanation. I much prefer a more in depth explanation of each case study just not the setup and required research.