from my sketchbook

CS247B Design for Behavior Change

Instructor: Christina Wodtke
Ethics Lecturer: Katie Creel
CAs: Sean Chang
Matt Bernstein

CS247 Series Description

The CS247 series of classes are project-based courses that build on the introduction to design in CS147 by focusing on advanced methods and tools for research, prototyping, and user interface design. CS247 classes use a studio-based format with intensive coaching and iteration to prepare students for tackling real world design problems. This class will be synchronous sections for active and peer learning, with virtual “office hours” held on Slack, Zoom and in discussion forums.

CS247B Description:

Over the last decade, tech companies have invested in…

Beyond the Usual OKR approach

Since I first started writing about OKRs seven years ago, I have had a lot of companies reach out to me for advice. OKRs were originally envisioned to create focus on things that are important but not (yet) urgent. OKRs act as an accelerant on progress toward strategic efforts.

Learn more about Device 6’s Design process

CS247g: Introduction to Game Design

Design is a very ancient practice, but graphic design really found its core principles post World War One. Games are also very ancient but video games are still finding their feet. I think graphic design has a few things to teach people who make games, so here are the big concepts every graphic designer learns. You should learn them too!

First, studying graphic design is about building the skill to see things other people just accept. More importantly, it’s learning to see and name things ordinary people just are annoyed or repulsed by but can’t say why. You can’t just…

[image Jennifer Baer]

Welcome to ME120

I’m two weeks into transforming ME120, previously taught by Barry Katz as History and Philosophy of Design, into an active learning exploration of the relationship designers have had to ethics over the years. At the end of this quarter I plan to write up what I learned and what I’d change, but for now, in case any practicing designers want to “play along” I’ll share the course materials. Perhaps you can even create a virtual study group?


ME120 The History And Ethics of Design

Instructor: Christina Wodtke

CAs: Usman Khaliq, Stella Tu, Luke Liechty, Kris Mazurs
Meets: Asynchronously

Christina’s Office Hours: by appointment

Those who do…

Sketchnote by Tiffany Manuel. Hire her!

This is my lecture for CS247g, Introduction to Game Design. It’s a lecture I first developed for conference workshops then re-purposed for both CCA and Stanford. I own the copyright but I have made is a share and attribute licence so you can reuse. It’s also my first go at this kind of lecturing (online with slides and drawing on Explain Everything), so please be kind!

If you want to “play along,” students learn how to sketchnote and will sketchnote all assignments. You should too; it will improve retrieval. They start by doing the exercises in The Sketchbook Handbook and…

How do you avoid the slow waterfall of goals?

A draft of a chapter for Radical Focus 2.0. I write about high performing teams, check it out.

It’s probably my fault and I am sorry. But like Lean Startup, I experienced and worked with OKRs initially with startups. That meant cascading OKRs was reasonably simple and could be a true “cascade.” But this doesn’t scale AT ALL. And just as Lean had to adapt to enterprises wanting some of that speedy iterative goodness, OKRs need to adapt also.

When the organization has only one or maybe two levels of hierarchy, a straight cascade might make sense. The executive team…

While Design Thinking gets all the attention, it is not the same as (Digital) Product Design.

In How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Design Thinking, I wrote about how I learned to value design thinking and in Five Habits of Design Thinking I explain how you can build the skill of design thinking. But I’ve noticed my students tend to use the term “design thinking” as a synonym for UX/Digital Product Design. This is a dangerous smallification of design and a source of shoddy work.

This is not the complete design process.

Laura Klein explains the depth of complexity of design by taking you through one example of a feature: a reporting flag. You…

Kid, Me and Erin Malone

A post because people keep asking

Leave questions and I’ll update this post based on them!

drawn by @cwodtke

When Common Sense is Not Enough

There are three thinking styles that have transformed how we develop new products today: Agile, Lean (Startup) and Design Thinking. Design Thinking is the least defined and most problematic to explain. Agile gets engineering to work iteratively in cadences rather than invest in a lot of upfront planning, only to execute a plan that may be wrong. Lean (Startup) is about running constant business experiments whose outcomes reduce risk.

Design Thinking is often explained in a tautological fashion: it’s how designers think. But what makes this different than ordinary thinking, or Agile or Lean approaches? I believe what makes design…

Christina Wodtke

Designing business, and the business of design.

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