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Well-Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love Hardcover – November 11, 2014
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A Best Book of the year” pick. worthy reading for anyone looking to launch a new product or tweak an existing one.” SUCCESS magazine
a welcome reminder that respecting customers' emotional needs should be your top product-development priority--no matter what you're designing.” Inc.
"If consumers engage with a product to the point of modifying their own behaviorhello iPad!the marketing is a done deal. It's all about identifying the opportunities then designing products that connect." Qantas - The Australia Way
Well-Designed provides a refreshing approach to the way we view successful services, policies, strategies and business models.” Engineering and Technology Magazine, The Institution of Engineering and Technology
ADVANCE PRAISE for Well-Designed:
Richard Florida, professor, University of Toronto and New York University; author, The Rise of the Creative Class
Steve Jobs’s creativity as a designer was the key to his entrepreneurial genius. But can Jobs’s style of design thinking’ be scaled? Jon Kolko shows that it can bestep by step, through a set of processes that are iterative, collaborative, and, best of all, easily learned. Well-Designed is bracingly practical and deeply inspiring.”
John Maeda, design partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; author, The Laws of Simplicity and Redesigning Leadership
Great companies are made through great products, and increasingly, great products are made through design. Kolko demonstrates that product managers must learn to think like designers; they need to embrace intuition, emotion, and most importantly, empathy. This insightful book is a must-read.”
Ric Grefé, Executive Director, AIGA, the professional association for design
Jon Kolko illuminates the intuitive skills of the designer with such clarity, truly describing how’ instead of just what.’ Two millennia ago, Vitruvius’s manifesto on great design exhorted, utilitas, firmitas, e venustas.’ Well-Designed expands on this: make things useful, usable, and delightfuland here’s how.”
Liz Danzico, cofounder and Chair, MFA Interaction Design Program, School of Visual Arts; Creative Director, NPR
There are books about design, and there are books about leadership. By uniting practical processes and insightful ideas and interviews, Jon Kolko gives us both: an essential playbook comprising advice, research, and methods for engaged product design leadership.”
Robert Fabricant, cofounder and Principal, Design Impact Group, Dalberg Global Development Advisors
Product managers are the most important link between great ideas and great products. Jon Kolko speaks directly to this critical audience, providing the practical know-how to make design fit within their day-to-day decision making. Well-Designed is the essential guide to design that all product managers will learn from and love.”
Don Norman, Director, Design Lab, University of California, San Diego; author, Design of Everyday Things
Well-Designed presents a unique, powerful, human-centered way to design a product and then, how to master the important and oft-neglected task of guiding it through the complexities of development and delivery. This unique, easy to read, and powerful book is essential for anyone involved with product management.”
About the Author
Top customer reviews
The book breaks down the product design process into a set of easy to understand an actual process in six simple chapters.
Chapter 1 - By Design
Covering issue like the scope of the product, the role of the designer, design thinking and design in product management.
Chapter 2 - Product-Market Fit: Finding Broad Appeal
Focusing on re-defining the nature of the market based on experience and empathy along with how that reality changes market definitions.
Chapter 3 - Behavioral Insights: identifying latent needs and desires
How do you organize and observe human behavior and incorporate those insights into new products and experiences.
Chapter 4 - Product Strategy: sketching a playbook for emotional value
Getting what seems to be qualitative input and insight into a structured process and set of investments
Chapter 5 - Product Vision: crafting the product details
Discusses how you move from ideas into product designs and delivery
Chapter 6 - Shipping
Covers the use of product road maps in mobilizing, testing and learning which are critical aspects of a digital future.
The story within the story of a new designer working at a new company launching a health and wellness app. This story works in much the same way as it does in Goldratt's The Goal. It brings the storyline and ideas together and provides an end to end example of the cases and ideas in the book.
The case examples are clear and well articulated.
The ideas and particularly the examples are well illustrated and laid out.
Most books about design tend to celebrate the 'designer' as the new leader of the organization and economy. Well Designed adheres to this trend with interviews with designers who have started up their own companies. Executives may find these interviews a little self serving and less accessible than the rest of the book.
Design books can easily take on a preaching tone as if everything that went before them was bad and only with design will things get good. This book has some touch of this, but Kolko is far from being a design bigot.
Beyond the introduction, each chapter combines three narrative approaches:
- The story of a fictional PM that wants to create a product related to health and fitness.
- The "hands on" explanation of each phase of product design.
- Interviews with PMs of different companies.
That structure is well balanced: the fictional story serves as a way to organize the book into the different phases of product design; the explanation is right to the point, and the interviews are really interesting (I got good insights from them, so reading only the "hands on" part will give you a partial picture).
Any critique about the book? Well I love it, but nothing is perfect. The last part of the book: about planning how to build your product... well there are others books dedicated to that particular area; and in this book I found it to be just "ok". For the build planning part with a UX perspective, take a look also to User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton.
My only disappointment was that there were few charts and illustrations that would help hold the interest of the reader. Otherwise, it would have been 5-star.