It’s the missing link, halfway between discovering an original idea and using it to make something new: this video tries to explain how it works

At the early phases of the design process, you employ inspiration, research, and discovery, in order to come up with ideas.  Later on, at the closing stages, you somehow manage to turn the ideas you choose into finished designs.

So why is it that the results of these two different parts of the design process so often turn out to have so little in common?

“And who is the design deity with the big earrings?”, we hear you ask:

Jon Kolko is an Associate Creative Director at frog design and the Founder and Director of Austin Center for Design, an educational institution in Texas.

He has worked extensively in the professional world of interaction design, solving the problems of Fortune 500 clients.

His work has extended into the worlds of consumer electronics, mobile, web, supply chain management, demand planning, and customer-relationship management, and he has worked with clients such as AT&T, HP, Nielsen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ford, IBM, Palm and other leaders of the Global 2000.

The underlying theme of these problems and projects was the creation of a solution that was useful, usable, and desirable. His present research investigates the process of Design, with a focus on Design Synthesis and the creation of meaning.

Prior to working at frog, Kolko was a Professor of Interaction and Industrial Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he was instrumental in shaping the Interaction and Industrial Design undergraduate and graduate programs.

Kolko sits on the Board of Directors for the Interaction Design Association (IxDA), and is the Editor-in-Chief of interactions magazine, published by the ACM.

Kolko is the author of the book Thoughts on Interaction Design, published by Morgan Kaufmann, and the forthcoming text entitled Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner’s Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis, to be published in late 2010 by Oxford University Press.

Here is a link to a paper on some themes relevant to this article by Kolko called:

Sensemaking and Framing: A Theoretical Reflection on Perspective in Design Synthesis