Conversations are a large part of how we work together as a team. Designers are no different, but there are not many resources out there that concentrate on these necessary soft-skills. This book will provide practical and actionable insights to help your team give and receive constructive criticism. For managers, this book discusses proven tools to set a foundation for your team to stay focused on overall goals, and how to handle negative critiques. As an added bonus, the book also includes a Critique Cheat Sheet so you can quickly reference strategies and tools from top industry experts.
"When everybody zigs, zag," says Marty Neumeier in this fresh view of brand strategy. ZAG follows the ultra-clear "whiteboard overview" style of the author's first book, THE BRAND GAP, but drills deeper into the question of how brands can harness the power of differentiation. The author argues that in an extremely cluttered marketplace, traditional differentiation is no longer enough-today companies need "radical differentiation" to create lasting value for their shareholders and customers. In an entertaining 3-hour read you'll learn:
- why me-too brands are doomed to fail
- how to "read" customer feedback on new products and messages
- the 17 steps for designing "difference" into your brand
- how to turn your brand's "onliness" into a "trueline" to drive synergy
- the secrets of naming products, services, and companies
- the four deadly dangers faced by brand portfolios
- how to "stretch" your brand without breaking it
- how to succeed at all three stages of the competition cycle
From the back cover:
In an age of me-too products and instant communications, keeping up with the competition is no longer a winning strategy. Today you have to out-position, out-maneuver, and out-design the competition. The new rule? When everybody zigs, zag. In his first book, THE BRAND GAP, Neumeier showed companies how to bridge the distance between business strategy and design. In ZAG, he illustrates the number-one strategy of high-performance brands-radical differentiation.
ZAG is an AIGA Design Press book, published under Peachpit's New Riders imprint in partnership with AIGA. For a quick peek inside ZAG, go to www.zagbook.com.
In a sweeping vision for the future of work, Neumeier shows that the massive problems of the 21st century are largely the consequence of a paradigm shift-a shuddering gear-change from the familiar Industrial Age to the unfamiliar "Robotic Age," an era of increasing man-machine collaboration.
This change is creating the "Robot Curve," an accelerating waterfall of obsolescence and opportunity that is currently reshuffling the fortunes of workers, companies, and national economies. It demonstrates how the cost and value of a unit of work go down as it moves from creative to skilled to rote, and, finally, to robotic. While the Robot Curve is dangerous to those with brittle or limited skills, it offers unlimited potential to those with metaskills-master skills that enable other skills.
Neumeier believes that the metaskills we need in a post-industrial economy are feeling (intuition and empathy), seeing (systems thinking), dreaming (applied imagination), making (design), and learning (autodidactics). These are not the skills we were taught in school. Yet they're the skills we'll need to harness the curve.
In explaining each of the metaskills, he offers encouragement and concrete advice for mastering their intricacies. At the end of the book he lays out seven changes that education can make to foster these important talents.
This is a rich, exciting book for forward-thinking educators, entrepreneurs, designers, artists, scientists, and future leaders in every field. It comes illustrated with clear diagrams and a 16-page color photo essay. Those who enjoy this book may be interested in its slimmer companion, The 46 Rules of Genius, also by Marty Neumeier.
Things you'll learn in Metaskills:
- How to stay ahead of the "robot curve"
- How to account for "latency" in your predictions
- The 9 most common traps of systems behavior
- How to distinguish among 4 types of originality
- The 3 key steps in generating innovative solutions
- 6 ways to think like Steve Jobs
- How to recognize the 3 essential qualities of beauty
- 24 aesthetic tools you can apply to any kind of work
- 10 strategies to trigger breakthrough ideas
- Why every team needs an X-shaped person
- How to overcome the 5 forces arrayed against simplicity
- 6 tests for measuring the freshness of a concept
- How to deploy the 5 principles of "uncluding"
- The 10 tests for measuring great work
- How to sell an innovative concept to an organization
- 12 principles for constructing a theory of learning
- How to choose a personal mission for the real world
- The 4 levels of professional achievement
- 7 steps for revolutionizing education
From the back cover
"Help! A robot ate my job!" If you haven't heard this complaint yet, you will. Today's widespread unemployment is not a jobs crisis. It's a talent crisis. Technology is taking every job that doesn't need a high degree of creativity, humanity, or leadership. The solution? Stay on top of the Robot Curve--a constant waterfall of obsolescence and opportunity fed by competition and innovation. Neumeier presents five metaskills--feeling, seeing, dreaming, making, and learning--that will accelerate your success in the Robotic Age.
The Brand Gap
THE BRAND GAP is the first book to present a unified theory of brand-building. Whereas most books on branding are weighted toward either a strategic or creative approach, this book shows how both ways of thinking can unite to produce a "charismatic brand" a brand that customers feel is essential to their lives. In an entertaining two-hour read you'll learn:
the new definition of brand
the five essential disciplines of brand-building
how branding is changing the dynamics of competition
the three most powerful questions to ask about any brand
why collaboration is the key to brand-building
how design determines a customer's experience
how to test brand concepts quickly and cheaply
the importance of managing brands from the inside
220-word brand glossary
The Designful Company
Part manifesto, part handbook, THE DESIGNFUL COMPANY provides a lively overview of a growing trend in management-design thinking as a business competence. According to the author, traditional managers have relied on a two-step process to make decisions, which he calls "knowing" and "doing." Yet in today's innovation-driven marketplace, managers need to insert a middle step, called "making." Making is a phase in which assumptions are questioned, futures are imagined, and prototypes are tested, producing a wide range of options that didn't exist before. The reader is challenged to consider the author's bold assertion: There can be no real innovation without design. Those who are new to Marty Neumeier's "whiteboard" series may want to ramp up with the first two books, THE BRAND GAP and ZAG. Both are easy reads.
Covered in THE DESIGNFUL COMPANY:
- the top 10 "wicked problems" that only design can solve
- a new, broader definition of design
- why designing trumps deciding in an era of change
- how to harness the "organic drivetrain" of value creation
- how aesthetics add nuance to managing
- 16 levers to transform your company
- why you should bring design management inside
- how to assemble an innovation metateam
- how to recognize and reward talent
From the back cover:
The complex business problems we face today can't be solved with the same thinking that created them. Instead, we need to start from a place outside traditional management. Forget total quality. Forget top-down strategy. In an era of fast-moving markets and leap-frogging innovations, we can no longer "decide" the way forward. Today we have to "design" the way forward-or risk ending up in the fossil layers of history. Marty Neumeier, author of THE BRAND GAP and ZAG, presents the new management engine that can transform your company into a powerhouse of nonstop innovation.
The 46 Rules of Genius
Not since Strunk and White's ELEMENTS OF STYLE has a book compressed so many insights into so few pages. With his trademark simplicity and wit, Marty Neumeier has written and illustrated a concise guide that can be read quickly over a lunch break or savored slowly over a lifetime.
Part 1, "How can I innovate?" offers insightful guidance such as "Feel before you think," "See what's not there," and "Ask a bigger question." Rule #1 gives the paradoxical advice: "Break the rules."
Part 2, "How should I work?" offers down-to-earth tips on craft: "Use a linear process for static elements," and "Express related elements in a similar manner." The reader is also reminded: "Don't be boring!"
In Part 3, "How can I learn?" contains practical advice including "Do your own projects," "Invest in your originality," and "Develop an authentic style."
Finally, Part 4, "How can I matter?" deals with the deeper questions of a career in creativity, such as "Overcommit to a mission," "Build support methodically," and "Become who you are."
THE 46 RULES OF GENIUS is a reassuring lighthouse against the swirling tides of innovation. Geniuses from every discipline will want to keep it in sight.
(Educators: Those who recommend this book to students may also be interested its deeply researched precursor, METASKILLS, from which the rules were drawn.)
From the back cover:
There's no such thing as an accidental genius. Anyone who's reached that exalted state has arrived there by design. But simply wanting to get there is not enough. A would-be genius also needs a theoretical framework, a basic compass, a set of principles to guide the way forward.
Marty Neumeier, acclaimed author of The Brand Gap and Metaskills, has compressed the wisdom of the ages into the first "quick start guide" for genius-46 glittering gems that will light your path to creative brilliance. This is THE essential handbook for designers, entrepreneurs, marketers, educators, artists, scientists, innovators, and future leaders in every field.
Designing Products People Love
How can you create products that successfully find customers? With this practical book, you'll learn from some of the best product designers in the field, from companies like Facebook and LinkedIn to up-and-coming contenders. You'll understand how to discover and interpret customer pain, and learn how to use this research to guide your team through each step of product creation. Written for designers, product managers, and others who want to communicate better with designers, this book is essential reading for anyone who contributes to the product creation process.
Understand exactly who your customers are, what they want, and how to build products that make them happy Learn frameworks and principles that successful product designers use Incorporate five states into every screen of your interface to improve conversions and reduce perceived loading times Discover meeting techniques that Apple, Amazon, and LinkedIn use to help teams solve the right problems and make decisions faster Design effective interfaces across different form factors by understanding how people hold devices and complete tasks Learn how successful designers create working prototypes that capture essential customer feedback Create habit-forming and emotionally engaging experiences, using the latest psychological research