Speaker Details: Simon King

Noam: prototyping strong ideas, weakly held

One of the most important principles for designers is having “strong ideas, weakly held.” This philosophy allows teams with diverse backgrounds to work together towards a shared goal, each bringing a point-of-view but remaining open as they observe the situation, try out ideas, and reflect on the outcome. To support this approach a team needs the right processes and tools to stay open to change.

At IDEO, we start prototyping our ideas from day one. For projects with a diverse array of physical and digital interactions these prototypes can get complex quickly, which runs the risk of solidifying ideas too early. The writer Donald Schön described design as a “reflective conversation with the situation.” A prototype with too much complexity can cut that conversation short, as designers hold on to existing ideas because new ones would take too long to explore.

IDEO created Noam to make complex conversations simple. Noam is a messaging platform that allows designers to easily network hardware and software elements together, translating between diverse languages so the technology doesn’t impede the design process. Noam also allows individual team members to utilize whatever programming languages they excel at, while working together on a single prototype.

In this talk I will share how you can use Noam and other tools to create more, code less, and hold your strong ideas weakly through the end of a project.

Simon King

Simon King

Simon King is a Design Director and Interaction Design Community Lead at IDEO in Chicago. His work encompasses both macro- and micro-interactions across diverse mediums and audiences including large-scale medical imaging equipment, vehicle HMI platforms, personal medical devices, and financial planning tools.