Design it Forward: Session 4

Institute for Nonprofits working across disciplines | a partnership course with IBM and the College of Design
Blog by Katie Gray Altmann
After presenting our “Final Playbacks” for the microproject, we spent session 4 of “Design it Forward” discussing the importance of understanding stakeholders.

AKA: working with people. My absolute favorite part of the design process!

I’ve often made the joke that I hope to pursue a career that allows me to work and interact with people more so than with plastic, as many strictly Industrial Design jobs might entail. This is partly thanks to my tendency to spend substantially more time in the interviewing, personal research, and feedback-collection phases of my design process. I feel strongly that user research is the key to successful design and I thoroughly enjoyed the IBMers’ introduction to understanding stakeholders, gaining empathy with them, and conducting research interviews.

What a perfect segway to the second portion of the semester – drumroll… – interfacing with the selected local nonprofit organizations to tackle some of their real, tangible issues!

The identity of the nonprofits has been withheld thus far, but having taken part in the facilitating of this web of relationships connecting the Institute for Nonprofits, the College of Design, and the IBMers, I was able to get a sneak peek. My classmates, on the other hand, have been great suspense, as best described by this candid quote:

“I’ve been looking forward to this Friday since last Friday… and before then too!” -Shaun

With excitement built high and accomplishment of the microproject fueling our creative initiative, the “Design it Forward” crew is ready to meet our next challenges head on and use design methods to leave positive social impact through the work and mission of these incredible nonprofits.

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