During this reading, I kept asking myself, “is this paper just speaking about how to think as a person in general?” I actually flipped back a page or two to catch the magic word ‘design thinking’ or a designer should think like ____, but I didn’t find it. What I found however was a framework that encourages what Nelson and Stolterman call the ‘Intention Approach’. (please ignore the yellow post-its)

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The Intentional Approach’s aim is to get designers to start thinking in terms of Desiderata – that-which-is-desired. Normally, when faced with a design challenge (opportunity or problem) we tend to get stuck in Analysis Paralysis (the-which is) and Value Paralysis (that-which-ought-to-be).

“Analysis paralysis occurs when too much divergent information is generated, without any effective means for convergence. ”

“Value paralysis occurs when any and every value system is taken into account because they are considered equally relevant without any means of transcending the differences and diversity. “

Nelson and Stolterman are advocating that designers need to stop look at design issues and finding immediate needs/problems that require solving and instead start framing the intention of the design to find solutions, motivation for change, that are not even known. Here is a note from class I believe speaks to this point.

“Problem framing, problem setting happen at the same time as problem solving.   YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS. You job is to frame, state alternatives to the problem.”

What I found most helpful about this paper was seeing how designers can get caught up in trying to find solutions for problems they believe to be present from the get go when in actuality, the issues are not even known, and will only present themselves once you start to frame the the issue/problem/intention.

I found the key point to Nelson and Stolterman’s paper rather interesting.

“Our understanding of motivation, triggered by what we believe to be desirable—in other words, desiderata assessment—as opposed to what we need, remains remarkably undeveloped. Human intention, when motivated by desiderata rather than need, reshapes the entire process for intentional change. “

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