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The answer to the above question is "a lot." We can learn how to solve problems better. How to look at the world around us with a fresh eye. How to think more creatively, and ultimately, how to open up new possibilities in our lives.
These are the things that great designers do every day. But the premise in my new book Glimmer is: "You don't have to be a designer to think like one." There's a whole way of thinking used by designers, and a step-by-step process they follow, that really can be embraced by anyone—whether you're in business, out there trying to contribute to the world in some way, or if you're just looking to improve your own life.
What I found, in studying some of the world's most innovative designers, is that—in addition to being immensely talented and bright people, of course—they tend to have two big things they rely on. First, they have a certain mindset that enables them to be fearless and optimistic and open to all kinds of new possibilities. And second, they have a framework they use—a proven methodology that helps them to bring their ideas and plans to life, to get things done, and to be successful. I sort of dejargonize this methodology and give lots of examples of how it works in Glimmer.
One of the things designers are known for doing is questioning everything. In fact there's a joke that asks, "How many designers does it take to change a lightbulb?" To which the answer is: "Does it have to be a lightbulb?"
It's a joke, but it's not: Designers all the time really do ask basic things like Does it have to be a lightbulb? The design process often begins with questioning the conventional wisdom about how we currently do things.
Of course, it's one thing to question the world around you-but it's much harder to begin to change it. As I write in Glimmer, if you just question everything without trying to improve it, you may end up being more of a whiner than a designer. Designers actually must take action in order to create new possibilities—that's their job. And so it's not surprising they've developed proven methods to help them do that.
I examine those methods in detail in the book, but they involve, for example:
These are just a few of the basic tools and principles designers use. And what really surprised me, as I worked on the book, was to see just how accessible these tools are to anyone. And how applicable they are to just about any situation.
In today's world, with all the challenges and problems we have to grapple with—both in our daily lives and in the world at large—we can benefit from having that designer mindset and methodology. Because the truth is, we all need to become better at facing up to tough challenges and finding new solutions.
Buy it only if you don't have the hardcover book entitled Glimmer.
This fascinating examination encourages one to think of the interconnectedness of design in individual terms as well as the implications for society as a whole.
I wouldn't be surprised if some designers used the book to help promote using designers or to help their clients understand the process and benefits.
It was exactly what I ordered and was in great shape even though I bought it used. Best price, and a great result.Published 18 months ago by Fernando Garza
GLIMMER is an incredible book. If you are looking for a "business" book that is realistic, practical, enjoyable, easy-to-read, actionable and inspirational - then GLIMMER is... Read morePublished on April 18, 2011 by crstub1
It's a great referenced to start reading about social design and wicked problems. A lot of real-world examples and good practices. Highly recommended.Published on March 22, 2011 by DanielaPardo
This is a paperback version of the excellent book on design thinking entitled "Glimmer". Buy it only if you don't have the hardcover book entitled Glimmer.Published on February 6, 2011 by Ira Laefsky
As someone who has to create (dare I say design) presentations, concepts and programs in my job, I enjoyed the read and the book gave me plenty to think about (several inspired... Read morePublished on June 4, 2010 by Julia C. Perry
Expand your thinking about design. UPS saw that route time could be shortened with fewer left-hand turns. Design favoring right-hand turns would save time and gas. Read morePublished on May 24, 2010 by KonKal
GLIMMER: HOW DESIGN CAN TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE, AND MAYBE EVEN THE WORLD offers insights into how great modern designers design new product lines from iPhones to social network... Read morePublished on January 15, 2010 by Midwest Book Review
This book is not about perfume packaging or dream car design. It is about looking at the way the world works, and then turning it upside down or inside out to find better or more... Read morePublished on December 3, 2009 by Tribune