Once externalized, the ideas become "real"—they become something that can be discussed, defined, embraced, or rejected by any number of people, and the ideas become part of a larger process of synthesis. Of these three, sensemaking is the most vulnerable to the effects brought about when we face crises: limited attention, focus and confusion. Three charts will be used to structure the reframing exercises. Charles S. Peirce, "On the Logic of Drawing History from Ancient Documents," in The Essential Peirce: Selected Philosophical Writings, 1893—1913, by Charles S. Peirce, edited by Peirce Edition Project (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998), 95. Designers may follow a user-centered discovery process to immerse themselves in a particular subject or discipline, and then go "incubate" that material. The grouping label captures both the literal and the implied contents of the group—it makes obvious the meaning that has been created through the process of organization. The illustration oversimplifies this process for clarity; the actual process is not linear, nor is it as "clean" as shown. This is an attempt to make obvious the sensemaking conditions described above; emphasis is placed on finding relationships and patterns between elements, and forcing an external view of things. Intelligent Systems (IEEE) 21:4 (July/August 2006), 71. When a combination makes sense and generates a design idea, the idea is written on a green note. Abduction acts as inference or intuition, and is directly aided and assisted by personal experience. Innovation With Visualization: Seeing Things Differently, Conferencing the Pandemic, Part 5: Take-Away Lessons, "Act as if you make a difference. Visualizing a system of relationships — a radio station within a country, an apartment block within a neighbourhood — provides insight into a system, not just a product.  10 Philip Johnson-Laird, "The Shape of Problems." These tools help the designer gain a strong mental model of the design space; the externalization of the research data allows for a progressive escape from the mess of content that has been gathered. Of course, this insight could be completely wrong, and that's perfectly acceptable. It involves sorting and condensing thoughts until youâve found a compelling point of view and clear direction for ideation. " In plain language, both definitions position sensemaking as an action oriented process that people automatically go through in order to integrate experiences into their understanding of the world around them. They also explain that sensemaking is complementary although quite different from what they refer to as default thinking. Cognition is the meaningful internal embellishment of these cues. Consider, for example, a product designer tasked with creating an innovative new toothbrush. Again, the levels of specificity of the entity, context, and embodiment are dependent on the design problem being considered. Gasson, Susan. . Intelligent Systems (IEEE) 21:4 (July/August 2006), 71.6 Brenda Dervin, "Sense-Making's Journey from Metatheory to Methodology to Methods: An Example Using Information Seeking and Use as Research Focus," in Sense-Making Methodology Reader (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2003), 141—46.  9 Charles S. Peirce, "Pragmatism as the Logic of Abduction," in The Essential Peirce: Selected Philosophical Writings, 1893—1913, by Charles S. Peirce, edited by Peirce Edition Project (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988), 227. Edward De Bono, "Serious Creativity," The Journal for Quality and Participation 18:5 (1995), 12. A concept map is a graphical tool for organizing and representing knowledge. Unlike deduction or induction, abductive logic allows for the creation of new knowledge and insight—C is introduced as a best guess for why B is occurring, yet C is not part of the original set of premises. The data that has been gathered from contextual research will often take many forms; designers gather and create photographs, video clips, transcripts, magazine clippings, and other artifacts related to the problem or opportunity context. An inductive argument is one that offers sound evidence that something might be true, based on structured experience. A primer. Brenda Dervin, "Sense-Making's Journey from Metatheory to Methodology to Methods: An Example Using Information Seeking and Use as Research Focus," in Sense-Making Methodology Reader (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2003), 141—46. And unlike deduction, but similarly true to induction, the conclusions from an abductive argument might turn out to be false, even if the premises are true. Several hours later, the sheet of paper will be covered with what to a newcomer appears to be a mess—yet the designer has made substantial progress, and the mess actually represents the deep and meaningful sensemaking that drives innovation. These problems are roadblocks to innovation, and illustrate a deep disconnect between the core process of insight development and the billed process of product development. These methods illustrate pragmatic approaches to design synthesis that can be applied in design problems of any discipline or subject matter. The user research sessions will produce pages of verbal transcript, hundreds of pictures, and dozens of artifact examples. For the latter, there is only design. Not all of the data identified in a discovery process is relevant. - William James, It's hard to wrestle with sports knowing that it both creates a positive distraction and some joy for many people (â¦, Do you ever take stock of this year and find yourself laughing at the utterly overwhelming absurdity of all that'sâ¦. The designer will ask questions of each user about their jobs and record details of their responses. It has been defined as "the ongoing retrospective development of plausible images that rationalize what people are doing" (Weick, Sutcliffe, & Obstfeld, 2005, p. 409).The concept was introduced to organizational studies by Karl E. Weick in the 1970s and has affected both theory and practice. "The Dynamics of Sensemaking, Knowledge, and Expertise in Collaborative, Boundary-Spanning Design." Gary Klein, Brian Moon, and Robert Hoffman, "Making Sense of Sensemaking 1: Alternative Perspectives." They can then write the insights on yellow note cards. Others prefer to search for patterns in the context of the problem. There is a great section on âDesign Thinking: The Anatomy of a Bullshit Tornadoâ. Madsbjerg has first-hand knowledge dealing with these people. Subsequent experiences may prove this wrong, and thus an inductive argument is one where the premises do not guarantee the truth of their conclusions. Donald Schön, "Problems, Frames and Perspectives on Designing," Design Studies 5:3 (1984), 132—36. If there is no formal period of time allotted for design synthesis methods, and no formal deliverables associated with these methods, a strong message is sent to the designer: synthesize on your own time, or not at all. Combining the insight (mouthwash has an implicit connection of taste and smell with going to the dentist, which taints the product in a negative light) and the pattern (the trend in consumer goods—kitchen soap, gum—to introduce new artificial flavors and smells like amaretto and butterscotch) yields a new design idea: produce a mouthwash that has a new flavor, one that doesn't have properties normally associated with the dentist's office. By applying these methods in practice, by commonly and continually describing the role of synthesis, and by considering synthesis in Design Research, both practitioners and researchers can better realize how life experience drives design decisions, and how inferential leaps can systematically drive innovation. By taking the data out of the cognitive realm (the head), removing it from the digital realm (the computer), and making it tangible in the physical realm in one cohesive visual structure (the wall), the designer is freed of the natural memory limitations of the brain and the artificial organizational limitations of technology. Yet the incubation period described above can be well structured, and things that occur during that period are both repeatable and comprehendible. in The Shape of Reason: Essays in Honour of Paolo Legrenzi, by V Girotto, edited by V Girotto, 3—26. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. The reframed design context will have produced new constraints or implications, or will have highlighted existing constraints and implications that may have been otherwise hidden or overlooked. The toothbrush example provided above is purposefully over-simplified and overly analytical; a more realistic example might be in the design context of a complicated piece of enterprise software, intended to allow for pricing and configuration of parts. Remote working tools for collaboration can shape our culture of innovation or we can shape the tools themselves, the choice is ours, by design.  The frame is usually selected without introspection, based on experience, research, and assumptions. Through efforts of data manipulation, organization, pruning, and filtering, designers produce information and knowledge. As the charts begin to become populated with new frames, the designer will begin to fill in the Primary User Goal for all items in all charts. This is accomplished by using an often implicit scale of importance, or a set of guidelines upon which to compare the data. Dervin explains that "Sense-Making reconceptualizes factizing (the making of facts which tap the assumed-to-be-real) as one of the useful verbings humans use to make sense of their worlds. After encountering several design projects that include implicit design synthesis, a client may proclaim that they don't see the value in a discovery phase for future design activities. Elements are deemed to be more or less important than one another, and are physically moved to illustrate this importance. Thus, reframing is a method of shifting semantic perspective in order to see things in a new way. HYPERTEXT "01 " 5 Gary Klein, Brian Moon, and Robert Hoffman, "Making Sense of Sensemaking 1: Alternative Perspectives." 2006. Content can now be freely moved and manipulated, and the entire set of data can be seen at one time. There is a tacit consideration of the new constraints in the strategy. " 4 Daniel Fallman, "Design-oriented Human-Computer Interaction." The scale of importance is subjectively derived (but identified in a "reasonable" manner—not arbitrarily), but the use of this scale is then generally objective. Abduction has been described by Roger Martin (Dean of the Rotman School of Management) as the "logic of what might be," and while this certainly serves to embody this logic in the context of design, it isn't entirely accurate. JD Novak and AJ Canas, "The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct Them," Technical Report IHMC CmapTools (Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, 2006). Johnson-Laird has argued contradictorily that, in the context of generative and creative problem solving, the insight is developed not in a "flash" at all. Perceiving, Sensemaking and Choreography (PSC): Design Thinking for Results When we perceive we want to learn from our stakeholders what the problem is and what they really need. Cognition is the meaningful internal embellishment of â¦  The concept map itself represents the creators' mental model of a concept, but it also informs and shapes that mental model during creation, as it allows designers to see both the holistic scale of the concept and also critical details within the concept. Returning from a long pause, an experimental version of NextD Journal will be launching soon. The designer can purposefully view the problem from the perspective of a dentist, or a toothpaste manufacturer, or a child; the designer can shift cultural perspectives to think of an "average Indian" or "someone from Thailand"; the designer can reframe from the point of view of a person with no working limbs, or a group of people. Typically, a designer will observe four or five users as those individuals conduct their work. Integration of Process Knowledge into Design Support Systems (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1999), 249—58. This illustrates the generative and subtly abductive nature of the map, as the designer may have no deductive or inductive way of knowing that teeth can become clean by using a scrubbing motion. Design thinking is also associated with prescriptions for the innovation of products â¦ Abduction can be thought of as the "step of adopting a hypothesis as being suggested by the facts . As an example, perhaps the designer observed someone brushing their teeth and noticed that the individual avoided using the mouthwash that was sitting next to the sink. Both Peirce and Johnson-Laird agree that abductive reasoning is related to insight and creative problem solving, and it is this creative problem solving that is at the heart of the design synthesis methods that follow. Prioritization of unique taxonomy elements. Through efforts of... II. Perform an insight combination by pairing a design pattern with an insight and looking for affinities. Jeff Veen, The Art and Science of Web Design (Indianapolis: New Riders Press, 2000). Implicit and hidden meanings are uncovered by relating otherwise discrete chunks of data to one another, and positioning these chunks in the context of human behavior. Accessed November 3, 2008.3 Jon Kolko, "Information Architecture and Design Strategy: The Importance of Synthesis during the Process of Design" IDSA 2007 Educational Conference Proceedings (San Francisco: IDSA), 2007. Frame Reflection: Towards the Resolution of Intractable Policy Controversies (New York: Basic Books, 1994). Specifically, a concept map will form connections between entities (nouns) by describing relationships (verbs). Conf. Frames become the technique used to "organize the large-scale structure of inference making." We articulate these embellishments through speaking and writing â the âwhat I sayâ part of Weickâs recipe. Sensemaking builds on extracted cues that we apprehend from sense and perception. Default thinking is an automatic, taking-things-for-granted, unthinking use of the same tools and data to solving problems. This designer will have likely selected a frame similar to this: An average person, in their bathroom, using a physical item with small bristles on the end to apply paste to their teeth; that individual will likely then produce friction with the physical item, the paste, and the teeth in order to eliminate food. Yet synthesis methods have been continually referenced as critical in sensemaking, organization, and in drawing the important connections between apparently unrelated elements. During the process of synthesis, the designer must decide that one piece of data is more important than another. Most importantly, when applied and formalized, these activities are billable and immensely useful in the development of novel, useful, and appropriate designs. Synthesis is an abductive sensemaking process. But I like the idea of leaning into a sensemaking approach to help us address big challenges: âGood leaders understand that sensemaking is a continuous process, and they let the map emerge. The design opportunity will be reframed from the point of view of new entities, new contexts, and new embodiments (or new manifestations of the core artifact). Both the noun and verb elements that describe the design problem or opportunity are listed on index cards. Over 15 years I have worked across a range of projects in various different contexts and situations. Through multiple steps, this method first demands the articulation of individual design insights, and then forces a structured and formal pairing of insights with existing patterns. Three methods of synthesis are introduced below; each of the methods emphasizes prioritization, judging, and the forging of connections. Consider reframing the above example from the perspective of a different individual, rather than the non-descript "average person." For the purposes of this method, a design-specific frame can be described as: An entity, in a context, using or considering a particular design embodiment. Jeff Veen, founder of Adaptive Path, has noted that "Good designers can create normalcy out of chaos. While other aspects of the design process are visible to non-designers (such as drawing, which can be observed and generally grasped even by a naive and detached audience), synthesis is often a more insular activity, one that is less obviously understood, or even completely hidden from view. It has served its purpose in delineating the design space, has allowed for a collaborative process of sensemaking, and has provided a spatial understanding of structure. The designer will then return to the design studio. Hideaki Takeda, Akira Tsumaya, and Tetsuo Tomiyama, "Synthesis Thought Processes in Design." Extrapolate likely user goals. 23rd International Conference on the Beginning Design Student Proceedings (Savannah, 2007).17 Philip Johnson-Laird, "Mental Models, Sentential Reasoning, and Illusory Inferences." Because of the vastness of data gathered in even a simple design problem, the quantity of data that must be analyzed is often too large to hold in attentive memory at one time, and so a designer will externalize the data through a process of spatialization.  14 Edward De Bono, "Serious Creativity," The Journal for Quality and Participation 18:5 (1995), 12. From a sensemaking perspective, this embraces the episodic and experiential uniqueness of the designer's memories, and pairs it with generally accepted ways of doing things. The output of design synthesis is frequently incomplete or intangible—the value of the output is not immediately evident, as the results are "half baked." It "serves as a kind of template or scaffold to help to organize knowledge and to structure it, even though the structure must be built up piece by piece with small units of interacting concept and propositional frameworks." Part expose, part history lesson and part provocation, ReThinking Design Thinking extends Humantificâs significant body of sensemaking work addressing innovation, design and changemaking. Design synthesis is fundamentally a way to apply abductive logic within the confines of a design problem. Ideas are "moved forward" in a nonlinear fashion, jumping over the expected in order to arrive at the unexpected. This normative framing is a perspective that highlights "a few salient features and relations from what would otherwise be an overwhelmingly complex reality." The constraints are relaxed (or changed) in a new way, thus broadening the problem space and allowing for further consideration. These are the acts of prioritizing, judging, and forging connections. a form of inference. Some designers keep pattern libraries, noting trends and repeated design elements that appear in produced artifacts. They are, of course, right: they didn't see anything of value, and so they assumed the phase to be a waste of resources. Each of the methods—reframing, concept mapping, and insight combination—emphasizes prioritizing, judging, and forging connections. A valid deductive argument is one that logically guarantees the truth of its conclusion, if the premises that are presented are true. The design output and solutions can be unique, novel, and even exciting, but because there is no artifact-based procedural trail, the client isn't aware of the various internal deliberations that have occurred. Human Factors in Computing Systems, the Proceedings of CHI (Association for Computing Machinery, 2003), 225—32. In a previous post. Design patterns are "structural and behavioral features that improve the "habitability" of something." You might also think of sensemaking as perpetually emergent meaning and awareness. Charles S. Peirce, "Pragmatism as the Logic of Abduction," in The Essential Peirce: Selected Philosophical Writings, 1893—1913, by Charles S. Peirce, edited by Peirce Edition Project (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988), 227. to introduce new artificial flavors and smells like amaretto and butterscotch. Design thinking adopts the language of the humanities, but avoids deep understanding of context in favour of rigid rules, processes, and the â¦ Stakeholder interviews, user interviews, market research, cultural trends, and forecasting all produce quantities of data. All of the content is related in some way, but the important connections are frequently those that are multi-faceted, complex, and rooted in culture. The logical and cognitive background described above points to an action-framework of synthesis: there are specific types of actions taken by the designer during synthesis that yield a positive result in terms of both abduction and sensemaking. An agile approach to innovation is intended to be flexible and dynamic, but it can also be flaky if we’re, We can’t change what we don’t understand and can’t understand what we can’t make sense of. Is Design Thinking actually sensemaking? . It describes a very culturally-specific and archetypical example of teeth brushing. The method is then divergent, as it actively produces new ideas. when you are forced to try to hold in mind several models of possibilities, the task is difficult." As a methodology, the act of creation is generative and critical. It is only the lack of understandable documentation, or the decision to not share that documentation, that creates the sense of magic. It does." They are creative activities that actively generate intellectual value, and they are unique to the discipline of design. Klein, Moon, and Hoffman define sensemaking as "a motivated, continuous effort to understand connections (which can be among people, places, and events) in order to anticipate their trajectories and act effectively. Sensemaking is about large or complex information sets and creating meaning and understanding that can be turned into action. They will paint a picture of a credible story, judging responses and adding criticism as appropriate.  A concept map is a formal representation of a mental model; a mental model "represents a possibility, or, to be precise, the structure and content of the model capture what is common to the different ways in which the possibilities could occur . The designer begins to move content around, physically, placing items that are related next to each other. Like deduction, induction cannot offer any "new findings" contained within the logic of the argument. Because of the complexity of comprehending so much data at once, the designer will frequently turn to a large sheet of paper and a blank wall in order to "map it all out." Judging. Depending on the desired level of innovation for the particular design problem, it is often desirable to include "provocations"—as deBono describes, these are ideas that may ultimately prove infeasible, but allow for "movement" across patterns. These are the keys for relating research to design—synthesis methods are the ways in which ethnographic insights lead to new, innovative, appropriate, or compelling ideas. On a large sheet of paper, the designer begins to draw circles to illustrate the entities, and lines connecting the circles to one another in order to illustrate relationships between elements. Synthesis is an abductive sensemaking process. Again, this prioritization is a subjective exercise that forces the designer to make value judgments about each item based on his or her understanding of the problem space, arguing for or against a particular placement. See more ideas about thinking skills, critical thinking, critical thinking skills. These two theoretical constructs point to a structural framework upon which professional methodologies can be createdâexplicitly helping designers accomplish their work. Once the data has been externalized and the literal mess begins to be reduced, the designer begins the more intellectual task of identifying explicit and implicit relationships, physically drawing out these content-affinities through the process of organization. Extrapolate design implications. An insight could then be developed—that mouthwash has an implicit connection of taste and smell with going to the dentist, which taints the product in a negative light. Not only does design thinking foster innovation, but it also strengthens teams by creating common vocabulary and artifacts, and a trust-based team culture. Synthesis is an abductive sensemaking process. Essentially, the map can be thought of as a picture of understanding. Sensemaking, as presented above, is a process of making meaning that is highly dependent on unique perspectives and frames. The index cards are rearranged in a way to indicate the hierarchy implicit in the taxonomy. This paper has defined design synthesis as an abductive sensemaking process of manipulating, organizing, pruning, and filtering data in the context of a design problem, in an effort to produce information and knowledge, and has introduced three methods of formalizing the synthesis process in practice. In this larger context, simply understanding and articulating an initial frame is difficult. Forging of connections. To better understand abduction, it's necessary to understand the duality of the forms of logic that have been more traditionally embraced by western society in argument: deduction and induction. It is an act of insight, although extremely fallible insight. Edited by H. Kals and F. van Houten. Thus, one of the most basic principles of making meaning out of data is to externalize the entire meaning-creation process. This is the form of logic that is traditionally taught in mathematics courses and manifested in logic proofs: A is B.All Bs are Cs.A is, deductively, C. This form of logic is one that is self contained, and any argument that uses deduction is one that cannot offer any new findings in the conclusions—the findings are presented in the premises that hold the argument to begin with. Designers, as well as those who research and describe the process of design, continually describe design as a way of organizing complexity or finding clarity in chaos. Once the groupings begin to emerge through the process of organization, the groupings can be made explicit by labeling them.  18 Jennifer Tidwell, Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design (Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media, Inc, 2005). Now, the designer begins to combine insights and design patterns to create design ideas by mingling the blue and yellow notes, moving them around physically and actively reflecting on potential combinations.