Strategy, Innovation, and Education

Modernist Studio generates strategic value through non-traditional ways of thinking, brings that value to life through beautiful and functional design, and teaches organizations to harness the power of their own corporate creativity.

Service Design: Designing for Experience Over Time

Overview  This training program helps you leverage methods of design thinking in order to produce new and compelling service and system designs. It serves as a foundation for thinking about the behavioral touchpoints a user may have with your company, and how those touchpoints can be better designed to support a more comprehensive and purposeful brand experience. The training program's primary emphasis is on diagramming and storytelling. You'll learn to create quick, low-fidelity representations of ideas, so you can test these ideas and improve upon them. By embracing diagramming, storytelling, and rapid prototyping, you'll be prepared to introduce a culture of making into your company or organization. You'll understand how to visualize complex ideas, how to minimize complexity, and how to simply illustrate changes in a complex system.    Grounding Principles Experience . The experiences people have shape their views and perspectives, and the experiences people have with your brand shape the way they think about, judge, and interact with your company. Experience happens over time, and our curriculum focuses on the development of time-based artifacts that help tell stories of behavior. You'll learn to think about narrative structures, and consider products and services in a larger, experiential context. Empathy . Often, we look internally at our own company’s processes, attitudes, and perspectives. Empathy means looking outwards, exploring the emotions and perspectives of our users and customers, and trying to see the world through their eyes. Our curriculum emphasizes forms of active empathy: exploring novel situations from a perspective of vulnerability in order to feel what customers feel. Prototyping . Artifacts ground ideas in reality so that they can be critiqued, examined, and improved. Prototyping is a form of iterative making, in order to see ideas come to life. Prototypes can be collaboratively evaluated, and can be applied to products, services, and systems. Ideas can be developed at a variety of fidelities, and our curriculum emphasizes quick prototyping at rough stages of fidelity, in order to drive rapid improvement.    Recommended Audience  This course is right for you if you are:  An individual creative contributors, looking to expand their skillset to include a focus on services and systems thinking  A directors, responsible for shepherding and managing creativity in teams  A business leaders, interested in bringing new forms of creative problem solving and design thinking into their groups in order to change and direct the organizational culture    Learning Objectives As a result of taking this training in service design, you should be able to:  Analyze an existing service in order to judge its efficacy and value. This provides you with a language of criticism and evaluation.  Think about experiences as a series of designed touchpoints. This is a new perspective on products, treating them as part of dynamic ecosystems.  Understand how changes in one part of a system impact another part of a system. Systems thinking realizes that ecosystems are complex, and simple causality is hard or impossible to identify.  Tell stories of how people experience designed artifacts. The ability to craft narratives becomes one of the most fundamental ways of communicating time-based interactions.  Visualize how a person interacts with touchpoints in order to achieve a goal. These time-based visualizations bring narratives and stories to life in accessible, approachable formats.  Articulate the value of designing for time-based experiences. This provides you with the ability to sell and evangelize for service based thinking.  Create rapid, low fidelity prototypes of experiences. Crafting prototypes of interactions helps show otherwise hidden system boundaries.    Skills Developed  You'll learn these practical skills:  Scenario development and storyboarding. Written and visualized scenarios act as the underpinnings for time-based interactions. You will learn to craft believable, future-facing stories of how people use new services and systems.  Customer journey mapping. Journey maps act as visual representations of how a person explores a service over time, showing connection points between people, products, policies, and interactions. These visuals can be used to illustrate both the problem (or existing) state of a service, as well as the future (or ideal) state of a service design.  Service slices. Many services include human touchpoints, and these touchpoints often shape how we feel about the entire service experience. You will learn how to create various “slices” of a service in order to show information flow, sequences of interactions, and the power dynamics between actors in the system.  Rapid prototyping. You will learn to visualize your ideas in two and three dimensions, showing how new service touchpoints will actually manifest. You will learn to prototype at different levels of fidelity, and to critique designs in order to improve upon them. 
View course $45

Product Management: Building Great Products

Overview This course presents an introduction to product management – the process and skills necessary to develop a new idea and bring it to market. This training will help you better think about how to bring innovative new products to market. The course is structured around three main themes:  Defining market opportunities, or arriving at insight  Positioning solutions, and learning to articulate value Structuring delivery by constraining and prioritizing capabilities  Through a mix of lecture and hands-on exploration, participants gain familiarity and competency with the tools used by product managers to think strategically and execute effectively. Audience Engineers and designers, who work with product managers and need to better understand how to communicate with them effectively Business leaders, interested in bringing new forms of creative problem solving and design thinking into their groups in order to change and direct the organizational culture Product managers, looking to expand their skillset to think about their job through a design lens Learning objectives As a result of taking this training in product management, participants should be able to: Identify latent needs in qualitative research. This provides participants with the ability to identify important insights that can become foundational elements.  Think critically about what people want, need, and desire. This provides participants with the ability to be keen observers of behavior and identify hidden or non-obvious opportunities.  Speak confidently about complex and ill-defined ideas. This gives participants the ability to compel and persuade their peers to follow them in a particular strategic direction.  Describe the value of a new product. This provides participants with the language necessary to convince a team – and themselves – that an idea is worth pursuing.  Identify the sequence and pacing of developing and releasing new features. This provides participants with the ability to work in a resource constrained environment and to show how small ideas build to big results.  Produce visual artifacts that simplify complex ideas. This gives participants the ability to synthesize complexity so that other people can understand and support a new idea. Skills Developed Product insight identification.  Successful product ideas come from an understanding of human needs and desires, and meaningful empathy with the people being served. Participants will learn to develop product insights based on a process of qualitative research, translation, and synthesis.  Product brainstorming.  At the heart of a product is a story – an optimistic view of how the future will be different if a particular product exists. Participants will learn how to create multiple visions of the future through forced provocation, in order to support an emergent story of value. Product roadmapping. Creating a product is a long and winding road, and development pacing is always resource constrained. A product roadmap describes how features and value will be added incrementally in order to build to a cohesive and larger whole. Participants will learn how to develop a cohesive product roadmap. Downselection and positioning. Developing a new product requires understanding the context in which that product will be considered. Positioning methods, like a 2x2 and a Box on the Shelf are used to evaluate the relative context of a product against other ideas. Participants will learn how to leverage a 2x2 as a filter for ideas, and a Box on the Shelf exercise to develop the externally facing positioning statements for the product.
View course $45