Posts Tagged ‘design’

During World War II, natives on Pacific islands saw something most unusual. Strange men appeared, cleared long strips of land and built structures decorated with flags. Some of these men wore large cups over their ears, while others waved sticks and, almost magically, machines appeared from the sky carrying valuable cargo.

After the war ended, the men left and the supplies stopped coming. Some of the natives formed cargo cults which copied many of the the rituals the soldiers performed. They marched in formation, wore cups over their ears and waved sticks around. Alas, no airplanes ever came.

Clearly, the idea was patently absurd. Anybody who thinks that waving sticks will cause airplanes to appear is missing some basic principles about how air travel works. Yet many modern executives also believe by mimicking the tactics of others they will somehow achieve the same results. These “cargo cult strategists” don’t do much better than the islanders.


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Group brainstorms don’t work. A Google exec says this is a far better approach –

The big idea of the sprint is to take a small team, clear the schedule for a week, and rapidly progress from problem to tested solution. On Monday, you make a map of the problem. On Tuesday, each individual sketches solutions. On Wednesday, you decide which sketches are strongest. On Thursday, you build realistic a prototype. And on Friday, you test that prototype with five target customers. It’s like fast-forwarding into the future to see your finished product in the market.

Through regular student feedback, Jennifer Luzar, associate professor of language arts at Northwood University, has compiled the following things students want in their online courses and ways that she has adapted her instruction accordingly.

1. Quick responses – From the time she started teaching online, Luzar has made it a point to respond as soon as possible to her students. The typical reply from students is, “Wow! Thanks for the quick response,” as if this is not usually the case. “I used to be surprised by that because I feel that as online instructors it is our responsibility to try to get back to these people as quickly as possible,” Luzar says.


See on Scoop.itResearch, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions

In this talk, Noah lays out a great framework for how to determine what question you are actually trying to answer, what data you need (and what you don’t) i…

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See on Scoop.itResearch, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions

“Clutter is a failure of design, not an attribute of information,” Tufte writes in Envisioning Information.

Sharrock‘s insight:

excerpt: “Tufte’s fame all flows from a rethinking of information design. He has consulted with IBM (IBM) on how to cultivate innovative thinking, helped The New York Times redo its information graphics and advised NASA on mission-critical software interface design. “[Tufte] has made it clear that in a cluttered Information Age we need methods of cutting through the brush,” says Steven Heller, a design educator and critic who has been art director of both The New York Times Book Review and Screw magazine.”

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“The biggest challenge is to be able to see deeper into tissues with optical methods.”–Elizabeth Hillman

Sharrock‘s insight:

Incredible interview that indicates multidisciplinary approaches needed for problem solving.


from the article:

“What are the engineering-design challenges you face?

We’re trying to rapidly incorporate new technologies such as faster cameras, faster scanning techniques for laser imaging, better lasers, more sensitive detectors—all these things need to be rapidly adopted and incorporated into the systems to make them able to image faster and image deeper with more sensitivity and contrast. We’re also layering on the complexity, for example a lot of conventional microscopes only have two channels so they can see two colors, e.g. red and green, whereas our system has red, green and blue channels and it has room to incorporate even more. So where most people can look at two types of cell at once, we can look at four or five different components of the system all at once evolving in the same field of view very, very fast. We also mix together different technologies and translate techniques between different applications. For example, one of the methods that we have developed for 3D brain imaging, we are now also applying to image skin cancer. We have to overcome a lot of engineering challenges to extract information from living tissues.

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