Community Health Toolkit

How to Create a Culture of Open Design

"Except design is never the result of any one individual’s work. The most impactful design work is always influenced by external factors and driven by many diverse perspectives.

Except design is something that is always strengthened against the harsh weather that is constructive feedback, not weakened by it."


This is such an interesting article, @joyanne! I was really struck by:

The solution is making design a more transparent process. The problem, well…the problem is many organizations have product designers who unnecessarily repeat work. It’s that designers aren’t leveraging existing work—or sharing the work they’re doing so others can leverage it

I think this really speaks to the heart of what we’re hoping to achieve with the Community Health Toolkit and with this forum. If we can make our work more transparent — not just to our own team, but to other organizations — we can make all of our efforts more efficient and impactful. Thanks for sharing!

I liked this article too. As a design researcher, I think a lot about a particular aspect of transparency–how we can document the data and evidence we have used to inform design decisions. Donald Norman has written a lot about the distinction between design as a craft and design as an evidence-based discipline, and the way both traditions need to come together in human-centered design as we know it today. Many years ago, Don Norman wrote the classic The Design of Everyday Things, which in it’s first edition was actually titled The Psychology of Everyday Things. That original title reflects his training in psychology and I think that background and the orientation to evidence that comes with it is a big part of what he’s contributed to the design field. Here’s an example from his website about how he thinks about the craft and evidence-oriented aspects of design: