16 October 2012

Book: Innovating for People

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Innovating for People
Handbook of Human-Centered Design Methods
by LUMA Institute
2012, 86 pages

Abstract
Innovation is an economic imperative that calls for more people to be innovating, more often. This handbook equips people in various lines of work to become more innovative. It provides specific guidance for bringing new and lasting value into the world.
The key ingredient to successful innovation is the everyday practice of Human-Centered Design: the discipline of developing solutions in the service of people. Every story of a good innovation–whether it’s a new product, a new service, a new business model or a new form of governance– begins and ends with people. It starts with careful discernment of human needs, and concludes with solutions that meet or exceed personal expectations.

This handbook is your essential resource for innovation. It’s a compact reference book describing thirty-six methods of Human-Centered Design, organized by way of three key design skills:
– Looking: Methods for observing human experience
– Understanding: Methods for analyzing challenges and opportunities
– Making: Methods for envisioning future possibilities

Each featured method includes a brief description; a pictorial example; a listing of benefits; a sampling of method combinations; and a quick guide with helpful hints for initial application. The full collection of methods is small enough to digest quickly, yet large enough to address myriad challenges. This book does not prescribe a formulaic innovation process. Rather, it introduces a versatile set of methods for practicing Human-Centered Design as a daily discipline in order to be more innovative and drive sustainable growth.

LUMA Institute
LUMA Institute is a Pittsburgh-based education company that teaches people how to be more innovative. Through a hands-on curriculum, LUMA helps organizations learn and apply the discipline of Human-Centered Design to create new value and drive sustainable growth.

A personal comment
Chris Pacione and Justine Knecht sent me the booklet about a month ago, and my partner Jan-Christoph Zoels took it home immediately to read it from cover to cover. I only got it back today, and wanted to make sure that I plug it to the community before another Experientia team member runs away with it.

In short, it is an excellent and very practical resource for the UX community. Highly recommended.

LUMA has also published a deck of cards. Although I haven’t seen it yet, I am sure it must be on the same level of quality.

Chris Pacione is an old friend, whom we got to know at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, when he worked for BodyMedia. After consulting with Maya Design, he is now the Director and CEO of the LUMA Institute. Also Justin Knecht is an old Experientia friend: he used to be the driving force at the Siglo, Ireland based Centre for Design Innovation.

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