Tag Archive | RePlayables

Behind the scenes – Tools in innovation designers’ sandbox Part 2/5

New York, 2013. Sketching on windows gives you new perspective. Photo credit: Erika Pursiainen, UNICEF Innovation Unit, NYHQ

New York, 2013. Sketching on windows gives you new perspective. Photo credit: Erika Pursiainen, UNICEF Innovation Unit, NYHQ

This post is a sequel for my last one that dealt with teamwork – one of the most important tools in design. I briefly introduced our team’s working habits here at the UNICEF Innovation Unit in New York. Now, I will discuss simple design tools that have a much bigger impact than we might first think.

Simple tools, major effect

In addition to two assigned rooms, we sit in an open space where we can choose our working spots daily. Everywhere you go there are sticky notes, sketches, white boards, plans, graphics, process charts, hand-drawn calendars, pictures, you name it.

Though it sounds like a no-brainer, I want to emphasize the importance and effectiveness of tools that we use every day. Designers love tools like those mentioned above because they are great at illustrating the relationships between information, communicating with colleagues, organizing info, clarifying ideas, etc.

New York, 2013. White board and sticky notes – two of designer’s best friends. Photo credit: Erika Pursiainen, UNICEF Innovation Unit, NYHQ

New York, 2013. White board and sticky notes – two of designer’s best friends. Photo credit: Erika Pursiainen, UNICEF Innovation Unit, NYHQ

Chris (Fabian, Innovation Unit Co-Lead) always emphasizes the importance of visualization in communicating ideas, so we draw and write on white boards, sketch books, even windows, etc. Even though I try to be greener by relying mainly on electronic, I have recognized the effectiveness of the traditional pen and paper method. Sometimes it is simply faster and easier to sketch something on paper to visualize and express your idea.

Sticky Jots for those who heart stickies

For a short time I had the honor of working with Rachelle (Rae) Milne, an interaction designer who was part of our team over the summer. One day I saw her using special sticky notes when planning a video with Mini (Interaction Design Fellow whose favorite tools I will introduce a bit later).

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