DDO (+ 2 free giveaway Concept Maps)

Sometimes you find something on the web and it knocks you of your feed. Basically that happened to me when I found the website of The Dubberly Design Office (DDO).

Their slogan is: “We design software and services. We help make products more useful, more usable, and more delightful.”

What a great slogan but doesn’t every design studio says something like this? Maybe, but DDO delivers what they promise. Their projects are great. And you really should read their articles, they are highly inspirational.

But there was one thing what really spellbinded me. The DDO makes Concept Maps and these are one of the best infographics I have ever seen in my life. Not only the topics: Design for the Internet, A Model of Innovation or Heart Attack. But also the details, the information that they impart. I am stunned.

“We create concept maps, a type of model, to explore and learn about complex information spaces. By showing everything—the forest and the trees—in a single view, concept maps help people create mental models and clarify thoughts. We create concept maps to share understanding — with our clients, peers, and others interested in the subjects.”

I love these posters. And the first one of my favorite two is A Model of The Creative Process (take a look at the large PDF poster on the website):

The other one is A Model of Play (on the website you can get the poster as large PDF and also as step-by-step explanation):

One main reason why these Concept Maps are such great visualisations of knowledge is because of Hugh Dubberly:

“Hugh is a design planner and teacher. At Apple Computer in the late 80s and early 90s, Hugh managed cross-functional design teams and later managed creative services for the entire company. While at Apple, he co-created a technology-forecast film called “Knowledge Navigator,” that presaged the appearance of the Internet in a portable digital device. While at Apple, he served at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena as the first and founding chairman of the computer graphics department.”

Find more about Hugh Dubberly at AIGA: a great article about him. Really read it, you won’t regret it! (I think he has the job I always dream of)

But now comes the best part. I am used to write an email to the creatives, photographers, designers I am preparing to blog about. Just to ask if I may use their works (mostly they are under copyright). And sometimes, no mostly the people answer my email. Until now everybody was delighted that there is someone fascinated by their works and would like to report about it.

So did Hugh Dubberly, I asked him if it is okay when I publsih his posters and also give away two copies I printed out (below). I will quote his answer because I was so overwhelmed:

“Hi Markus –

Thank you for sending the kind note.

We’re happy to have your write about the concept maps.
Please send us a link!
Thanks.

By the way, if you liked the creative process map, you might like this compendium of design process models that we’ve collected. http://www.dubberly.com/articles/how-do-you-design.html

Best wishes,
– Hugh”

Of course, I took a look at the article he suggested. And this is on of the best things that I ever found in the internet. I could try to explain it in my own words but I think it’s for the best when I qoute DDO once again:

“Everyone designs. The teacher arranging desks for a discussion. The entrepreneur planning a business. The team building a rocket.

Their results differ. So do their goals. So do the scales of their projects and the media they use. Even their actions appear quite different. What’s similar is that they are designing. What’s similar are the processes they follow.

Our processes determine the quality of our products. If we wish to improve our products, we must improve our processes; we must continually redesign not just our products but also the way we design. That’s why we study the design process. To know what we do and how we do it. To understand it and improve it. To become better designers.

In this book, I have collected over one-hundred descriptions of design and development processes, from architecture, industrial design, mechanical engineering, quality management, and software development. They range from short mnemonic devices, such as the 4Ds (define, design, develop, deploy), to elaborate schemes, such as Archer’s 9-phase, 229-step “systematic method for designers.” Some are synonyms for the same process; others represent differing approaches to design.”

This really gets me. Lately I wrote about creating something, and then sharing it. But this is even one step further. DDO created (and are still creating) something that is supposed to help us all (because we are all designers). Then they ask people to contribute, in order to rise the variety of design processes, in order to justice different needs. This is a collaborative way to learn and isnpiration. And do you know what? It is all for free. I love it.

The picture below will link you to the amazing PDF of 147 pages stuffed with inspirational models of design processes.

Free Giveaway

Last week I went into the printing studio of my university. They just got that new printer which can print posters upto 44 inch width. And I thought I could print these two posters (Play and Creative Process) to hang up at least one of them in my room. But as I tried I it, I realised that my room is much two small for the two DIN A 0 posters (841 × 1189 mm). But they don’t make that much sense to be printed smaller because they are stuffed with lovely details. So, I thought I could give you the chance to win these two Concept Maps.

Just leave a comment and tell me what poster you would prefer Play or Creative Process. (Please feel free to comment as well, even when you don’t want to win one, just tell me)

Note: I will only send to German citizens.

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8 Comments

  • Marius

    Ein interessanter Artikel. Mir gefallen die Gedanken dazu, dass jeder designt, nur mit anderen Zielen, Methoden und Mitteln. Ist eine spannende Sichtweise, zumal sie einen veranlasst, sich viel intensiver mit solchen Dingen auseinander zu setzen und vielleicht aus dem einen oder anderen Prozess Inspiration für die eigene Arbeit zu ziehen. So geht es mir jedenfalls, wenn ich daran denke.
    Ich gestehe, ich bin gerade erst über den Umweg kopfbunt + twitter zu diesem Blog gekommen, aber freue mich jetzt schon, dieses Mal wieder auf den “follow”-Knopf gedrückt zu haben.
    Ich würde mich persönlich sehr über den “creative process” in ausgedruckter Form freuen, da dieses Mysterium für mich ohnehin eines der faszinierendsten ist.
    Viele Grüße von der Weser :)

  • Malte

    Moin Markus,

    der Artikel ist super und ich bin genauso begeistert wie du. Als wir uns vor einiger Zeit beim UX-Camp in Berlin über deine berufliche Ausrichtung unterhalten haben, da hab ich genau an soetwas für dich gedacht. Ich finde es einfach nur bemerkenswert wie du dich dem Thema Design umfassend widmest und wir gemeinsam auf die »Perlen« hinweisen. An dieser Stelle hast du mal wieder großartiges Wissen ausgepackt mit bewundernswerter Qualität – YeAH!

    Ich mag Denken in Bezug auf Design – es dauert dann zwar länger und das Ergebnis ist nicht sofort sichtbar, wie bei jemandem, der gleich mit Pixelschieben oder zeichnen anfängt, aber es ist meines Eindrucks meist nachhaltiger, wenn der Nährboden ein gutes Konzept ist.

    Danke für den spannenden Artikel!

    P.s. Ich wäre dankbar für ‚the creative process‘, denn ich habe auf jeden Fall genug Platz :-)

  • Thea

    vielen Dank für den Link zum .pdf, das ist ja ein Schätzchen… und die Poster sind unglaublich toll… das “Creative Poster” würde sich bestimmt super an meinem Schriebtisch machen ;-)

  • Markus Reuter

    Wow, vielen Dank für eure Kommentare und ich finde es echt coo, dass es euch auch so sehr gefällt, wie mir.

    Wer gewonnen hat, weiß ich noch nicht, das wird mir die Glücksfee noch mitteilen. Muss erstmal überlegen, wie ich das hier anstelle!?

    Würde auch gern mehr antworten aber ich bin total fertig, werde die Tage noch mal mehr schreiben, sorry!

  • Malte

    ** OFF-Topic **

    Moin Markus,
    ich würde es wunderbar finden, wenn dein Blog noch das Plugin zur Emailbenachrichtigung über neue Kommentar zu einem bestimmten Artikel hätte. Deine Beiträge gefallen mir sehr gut und in die Kommentare bei dir sind auch von gewisser Qualität. Deswegen an dieser Stelle ein Hinweis auf: Subscribe to Comments.

  • Anne

    Hallo Markus,

    bin heute erst auf deinen blog gestoßen und muss dich mal loben – hier gibt es schöne Sachen zu entdecken :)

    Da ich ein Freund von concept und mind maps bin, würde ich es sehr begrüßen eines dieser schönen Poster in Empfang zu nehmen (am liebsten natürlich ‘play’). Oder hat die Glücksfee schon zu geschlagen?

    Auf alle Fälle weiter so!

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DDO (+ 2 free giveaway Concept Maps)