Product Design with Applied Improvisation


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On October 23rd, I had a blast chatting with Jessie Cohen Shternshus of Improv Effect, about applying principles of improvisation to product design and design thinking.

Product Design and Design Thinking

A few highlights from our conversation:

1. At the heart of improv and product design using design thinking methods is empathy. Focus on what your customers really need.

2. Empathy starts with great listening. When you interview (and later do rapid prototyping with customers), drop the scripted agenda and really listen to what customers have to say and the subtext of what they don’t say.

3. Create an environment that embraces innovation and failure (define what they mean to employees) and that requires leadership.

4. Bake principles of improvisation (yes and!, listening, empathy, etc) and design thinking into your company as early as possible so it’s easier to scale.

Of course, there’s more. You’ll have to check out the podcast below.

Enough talk: Listen to the Podcast!

Check Out Marketing Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with kathyklotzguest on BlogTalkRadio

I’d love to hear from you. How have you used improvisation and design thinking approaches in your product design work?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kathy Klotz-Guest
For 20 years, Kathy has created successful products, marketing stories, and messaging for companies such as SGI, Gartner, Excite, Autodesk, and MediaMetrix. Kathy turns marketing "messages" into powerful human stories that get results. Her improvisation background helps marketing teams achieve better business outcomes. She is a founding fellow for the Society for New Communications Research, where she recently completed research on video storytelling. Kathy has an MLA from Stanford University, an MBA from UC Berkeley, and an MA in multimedia apps design.


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