“NECK-DOWN” DESIGNING: A Design for America Enrichment Workshop

In October of 2013 I lead a workshop for the Columbia University Chapter of Design For America and introduced students to design research methods aimed to unearth more rigorous discovery within their own research projects. For these students, it was important to get ‘out of their head’ and ‘into their body’. The methods I introduced them to were meant to discovering through the act of doing (aka ‘neck down designing’). A few frameworks I introduced:

  • SERVICE DESIGN – “an emerging field focused on the creation of well thought through experiences; aims to ensure that service interfaces are useful, usable and desirable to customers and from the client’s point of view effective, efficient and distinctive from the suppliers point of view”
  • CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPPING – identifying the different “touch-points” of a user’s entire experience, including activities, objects, interactions, environments, and potential “pain-points” or uncomfortable inefficiencies for the customer
  • BODY STORMING – “simply brainstorming, but done with the body; getting active gets you closer to the context of who, where, when, why, and how your ‘product’ or service is being used”

You can read more about the workshops here: