Point of View

Our experts do a lot of thinking. Here's the latest to unlock your potential.
12 Article Lee Books2020
Must-reads for innovation
Being home more in 2020 meant a little more down time, including more time for books and audio books.
Delve Inspiration Index Logo
Inspiration Index 9-25-20
Since Covid, "water cooler" chats at Delve's three offices are now largely happening on Microsoft Teams, where we're sharing what we're reading and listening to with each other. We're compiling some of the best nuggets into what we're calling an "Inspiration Index," that we'll share on a bi-weekly basis. We hope you discover something that will inspire - or at least intrigue - you.
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Top 5 lessons from Badger Shield project
Badger Shield gave me the opportunity to collaborate with an amazing group of men and women this year – designers, suppliers, manufacturers, and customers. I expect to have built lifelong collaborators and friends through this trial by virus. (For background, read the article in Wired).
12 Article Amy Feedback
The gift that keeps on giving
I had a manager who gave me the book “Feedback is a Gift.” At the time, it didn’t feel like much of a gift – mostly because her method for feedback was, well, constant. But her heart was in the right place.
12 Article Dave GF
Reflecting on my privilege
As my beloved country seethes in turmoil over the horrible and unjust killing of George Floyd, I - like everyone I know - have struggled to make sense of a senseless situation, and formulate some sort of coherent comments.
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Bend, don’t break
(Any Day But) Tuesday… If it was Tuesday, you could guarantee there was no electricity. You couldn’t iron your clothes, watch TV or turn on the lights. You’d do anything to have a portable fan blast air on your face on a crushing summer afternoon, but you couldn’t.
12 Article Amy Hero
Homework with Amy Lee
While we're all working in our homes, we thought it would be fun to check in with our team members to see how they're doing and what their new offices and co-workers look like.
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Open thoughts on open source
I have been spending a fair amount of time thinking about the spectrum of successes and failures related to the open-source maker movement and its contributions to addressing the COVID crisis.
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Homework with Corin Frost
While we're all working in our homes, we thought it would be fun to check in with our team members to see how they're doing and what their new offices and co-workers look like.
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How you can help design succeed
Over the years, there have been designers still young in their careers that have come to me looking for advice and ideas of what to do next. They’ve all told me their tales of woe about how design is just not respected or understood where they work. And this, of course, coincides with their (and design’s) struggle to find a solid footing within the organization.
12 Article Dave Onyourown
You’re on your own
All right, who do I blame for this?
2019 12 30 Article Franchino Year In Review Trends
Dave’s 2019 Year in Review
As 2019 winds to a close it’s time to make my annual appraisal of some of the more noteworthy products and events shaping world of design and Innovation. And the last year certainly saw its fair share of significant steps and missteps. So, let’s wade in with a few things I’ll remember that helped define 2019 for me.
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From the eyes of an intern
Two separate semesters, two office locations, and two roles later, my experiences at Delve could not have been more diverse or outstanding.
12 Article Amy Lee 2019 Year in Review
Service design hits and misses
As I started to think about writing this blog, I realized that it might come off more as an Andy Rooney rant than “Oprah’s favorite things” this year. It feels like there have been more misses than hits.
12 Article Tayler Improv3
The importance of an improvisation mindset, part 2
This article is part two of a series about the advantages of an improvisation (improv) mindset on workplace teams. Read part one here.
12 article Tayler improv2
The importance of an improvisation mindset
This article is part one of a two-part series about the advantages of an improvisation mindset on workplace teams.
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Cybertruck, schmeibertruck…
I, for one, am pretty excited that Elon Musk is bringing his 1980s sci-fi movie dreams to life.
12 Article Dave Juul
When good design goes bad
As a graduate from Stanford, I participate in a fairly active “design” email list originating from the various design programs. The email list allows fellow Stanford alum to post questions or raise topics related to the broader field of innovation and is invariably a fascinating source of trends and introspection.
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Virtual empathy
A few months back, I wrote a short blog post about the power of VR and using it within the design process.
Goodbye Industrial
Goodbye Industrial, Hello Design
I’d prefer to never say words Industrial Designer again.
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Hearts in San Francisco
We moved into our new office on 11th Street in May 2018 and although the “new car smell” may have faded, we are still enamored and eager to share it with visitors and clients. The studio has grown with the addition of Ryan Braunstein, Shiz Kobara, and Tyler Toy, a very talented triad who have infused the team with their energy and enthusiasm.
12 Article Amylee Servicedesign2018 H1B @2X
2018 Year in Review: Service Design
Here’s my list of “a few-of-the-mostly-best innovations from the last year or so.”
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SXSW Wrap-up: Moving the needle & our cheese
Looking back on our four days in Austin, we were struck by a common message spoken and implied by the many purpose-driven speakers we listened to. Here it is: Find an organizing principle for your company, your project, product or community to move the needle.
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SXSW Day Two: Place and community building in a hyper-connected global economy
Today at SXSW we dug into the concept of place. Below is a quick look into what we saw, heard and thought.
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SXSW 2019: First Impressions
Jesse Darley and I arrived Friday evening and walked the streets of Austin. We were immediately immersed in all things SXSW. There were music, crowds, exhibits, lines, homeless, clubbers, diners, all of it.
12 Article Braunstien Indecentces @2X
What's “indecent” at CES?
Let’s suppose, hypothetically speaking of course, that a product exhibited at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) could be used to cause severe bodily harm with a weapon to another human.
06 Article Franchino Rockmicroprocessor @2X
To infinity and beyond
What’s a bigger number, the total number of atoms in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s body or the total number of microprocessor clock cycles since the dawn of time?
06 Article Hammond Service @2X
[Design] community service
As we find ourselves in the middle of the holiday season, we join with our friends and family in celebrating what we have and share the joy with others by giving.
06 Article Erik Plane H1
Small solutions but bigger problems
I’m one of those designers who is always searching for the latest technology or process to help trigger new ideas or new ways of doing things.
06 Article Eva Doors
Is this on brand?
The San Francisco team has been enthusiastically involved in the design of our new space
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Pushing each other along
Though we work in the service industry for larger corporations on a day-to-day basis, some of my favorite opportunities come in the form of community work.
06 Article Dave Tesla Frontend H1
Front ends, air flow, boats and aesthetics
So I promised our marketing department I’d do a blog on our recent adoption of a telemedicine benefit for our employees.
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Expectations vs. Reality
I am both inspired and annoyed by the innovation stories that regularly come out of Silicon Valley.
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#InstantGratification
“Wait. Is that it? Did the needle already go in? I can’t believe it!”
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The foreign language of sewing
One of the special skill sets I love being able to utilize at Design Concepts and for projects at home is sewing.
06 Article Eva Sf Move H1
Our SF design office is moving! What a long, strange trip it’s been
Being a professional who has managed complex projects while simultaneously raising a family and attending graduate school, I felt I was more than prepared for my latest project – finding a new home for our San Francisco team.
06 Article Dave Stef Tribes H1
Confessions of a (former) tribal warrior
I have a confession to make. My co-worker Stefanie used to drive me nuts.
06 Article Michael Dome H1
I say “Dome of Awesome” and you say…
When I’ve said “dome of awesome” to people, they generally respond with something like, “What is it? I want it. I want to be in the dome of awesome!”
06 Article Norvaisas Empathy Design
What does equity design mean?
Our world is in flux. We are all aware of this. As designers, it’s helpful to step back and consider our role in shaping our rapidly emerging future.
06 Article Joan Whiteboard H1
What's in a whiteboard? More than you might think
There are very few things I miss about our former home at Buttonwood Drive in Madison ... except for the employees-only bathroom.
12 Article Franchino Trend Review2017
From rockets to fidget spinning: 2017 year in review
The end of a culturally and socially tumultuous 2017 and this year’s Consumer Electronics Show provides a great reason to take stock of the previous year in the world of design.
06 Article Joan Neeno User Centered H1
User-centered design is on the menu
What does it take to run a restaurant?
06 Article Ami Verhalen Human Centered H1
Human-centered design ... but even more human.
Now more than ever, society is hungry for simplicity and human connection.
06 Article Jesse Were The H1
Were the Wright Brothers wrong?
Many of our clients, from startups to multi-national medical device manufacturers, pursue patents on the products and services we help them design.
06 Article Casey Barbarino Dodgeball H1
Of design and dodgeball
What can you learn from dodgeball, you ask?
06 Article Eva Startup Week H1
Startup Week: Developing an MVP with a capital “P”
As I was hurtling back to San Francisco across the Rockies, the backbone of our country, after spending a couple days at the Colorado Springs Startup Week, I was struck by the changes in my profession.
12 Article Amy Lee Yoga H1
Design research lessons from the yoga mat
I’ve been spending a lot of the time on the mat lately – the yoga mat that is – and have been finding some valuable parallels between what my yoga teachers guide me to do and how to approach a good design research practice.
12  Article  Ritzenthaler  Change Management
Change is hard, especially when someone moves your cheese
Operation Butter, our code-name for building and moving to our new offices in downtown Madison, began with an announcement from our owners about a year and a half ago.
12 Article Lee Podcast Wizard H1
Podcast Wizard
People who know me well know that I am bit of a podcast junkie.
12 Article Franchino Big Move H1
Big ideas. Big move.
It sounds like a cliché, but a reality of our business is that our people are our most valuable asset.
12 Article Chad H1
Technology vs. Prediction
I recently read a Pew report on the future of the Internet of Things, full of opinions on how people may choose to adopt or reject IoT products and services based on security, convenience and richness of experience, among others.
12 Article Harris Design Camp H1
Poetry in motion
A huge part of a designer’s job is to translate abstract qualities into defining physical attributes and product feature sets.
06 News Building Update May H1
We're packing the boxes ...
It wasn't too long ago that the Lyric building was some columns and elevator shafts.
12 Article Norvaisas Sx Sw Biden
SXSW: Collaboration, hope, urgency and cultural change
It can feel like the world is changing at lightning speed and at the same time it can feel like nothing has changed.
12 Article Kent Staying Power H1
Staying power ...
We undoubtedly live in a time where change is constant.
12 Article Marlissa Trip Hero H1
Leading when you are lost
I recently returned to Design Concepts after a deeply meaningful six-month world trip with my husband and elementary school-aged daughters.
12 Article Franchino Mgb H1
Of MGBs and multidisciplinary machines
I was given a personal example of the power of a multidisciplinary approach to innovation a few weekends back when I found myself coincidentally working on very similar parts of cars built in two very different eras.
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12 ideas to make calling customer service less hellish
Two weeks ago, I had to do something that I don't really enjoy. No, not a visit to the dentist or cleaning the basement. I had to call customer service.
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The future of engineering
Recently, I was asked by the University of Wisconsin to share my thoughts on the future of engineering education as the keynote speaker at their 2016 Engineering Innovation Showcase.
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Three essential ingredients for tidying up insights
Thanks to author Marie Kondo, many are on a “life-changing” mission to tidy up our homes and lives.
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Man and machine
The recent tragedies of workers killed at factories in Germany and India may seem like new phenomena to some because robotic arms were involved, but they’re not.
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Suck up ... tear down
A neighbor of mine left this stunning post-war (~1950) Electrolux XXX at their curb. I snatched it, immediately hoping to convert it to a table lamp. I was blown away by the industrial design and the workmanship.
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Uncertainty changes expectations
Earlier this year, I was on an amazing project that took me to both India and China to visit hospitals and clinics of all sizes and types.
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Interaction design beyond the screen
Connected devices blur some of the boundaries between hardware and software.
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Writing an ebook is e-xciting
At Design Concepts, we live and breathe innovation every day. It's our job and our passion.
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When better isn’t good enough
I’ve spent the week breaking in a spiffy new Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone. Meh. It’s … fine.
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How to draw out a group's creativity
One of my favorite skills acquired while working at Delve is Graphic Recording and Facilitation.
Target practice
I’ve played squash since I was a teenager.
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Combine, separate or connect?
A camera phone walks into a bar. The bartender says, “What is this, a joke?”
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What's in a name?
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
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The Internet of (Disconnected) Things
Want to experience connected Zen? Grab a Lyft, the ride sharing service fueled by digital transactions.
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Can't we all just get along?
Picture this ... You arrive at a business meeting, introduce yourself, sit down, pull out your pen to take some notes, and all of a sudden multiple people in the room start to mock you and make fun of your pen.
12-Article-Kantarski-Relationships-H1
Something you can't Tweet in 140 words ... personal connection
There’s a strategic initiative going on at Design Concepts: “Thought Leaders.” Write something. Post something. Tweet something. I’m not much for 144 character blurbs: #whydofolksavoidpersonalinteraction
12-Article-Nett Super Bowl-H1
Super Bowl 2015 ads reflect our conflicted era
Last year, I wrote a blog post about my impressions of the collective body of Super Bowl ads and what it might tell us about consumer trends.
12-Article-Lee Gaming-H1
How many people does it take to turn on a light bulb?
My job takes me on the road a lot. That means I get to see a lot of cool places and meet tons of people but it also means that I have a lot of airport and airplane downtime.
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Wearables at CES 2015: Enough with the activity trackers!
CES 2015 (Consumer Electronics Show) wasn’t a year for big unveils and shifts in conversation. Everything was smart, everything had an app, and the Internet of Everything was still an overarching promise for the future.
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Game on: The best of the boards
What can I say; I’m a bit of nerd when it comes to board games.
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Dishing it out
I grew up in the 1970s when family dinner was all about conveniences like microwaves, canned food, frozen entrees and instant mashed potatoes. Taste … not so much.
Embracing the Old School
I love to BBQ! I’m not talking a Sunday afternoon burgers on the grill. I’m talking pork shoulder, ribs and brisket. The kind of food you have to cook low and slow for hours over smoke-infused fire.
12-Article-Kopenski Girls-H1
What eight little girls re-taught me about design thinking
My six-year-old daughter wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up. Given the way she can rock a Sophia the First t-shirt and disco ball silver leggings, she may have an actual shot.
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Aging in Place
“Was it you?!?” Al points at the fake political sign stuck in his garden celebrating his 89th birthday. He can’t decide if he’s annoyed or amused. Al hates birthdays and that’s too bad because he’s had a ton of them.
12-Article Gennrich Dave-Introversion Brainstorming-Hero-1186x667
Developing an introvert’s superpower
Do you know someone who can absorb a vast amount of complex information about a problem and combine it into a cohesive, elegant solution?
12-Article Lee Amy-Procrastination-Hero-1186x667
Active procrastination and passive thinking
I’m not going to beat around the bush — I’ve known I was on the docket for months now and assumed that some flash of genius worthy of a blog would present itself. But life got busy going into the field for a project, attending a destination wedding in California, and starting my MBA. So instead of a nice story that reads like your favorite episode of This American Life, here’s a few thoughts on “things I’ve noticed” over the last couple months. (And if you are a TAL fan imagine Ira Glass is reading this and it will totally redeem itself!)
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Experience design and healthcare: Wicked problem and inspiring challenge
Medical diagnostics is where the often unwieldy, slow-moving beast of healthcare collides with mind-blowing, quickly changing advances in technology. It is the behind-the-scenes intersection where healthcare workers interact with equipment, day in and day out, in hospitals, clinics, laboratories and universities. This is where fast and accurate results may mean the difference between someone getting the correct diagnosis and treatment in time and, well, not.
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Designing for the Apocalypse
Here at Design Concepts, you’ll sometimes hear the term “co-creation” used on a project. Typically it’s used to refer to a kind of brainstorming activity we undertake with design research participants where we brainstorm together with them, our “users,” to co-create solutions for their needs.
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Wowhunting
A couple of weeks back I had one of those great experiences that makes this job absolutely unbeatable. We had the chance to visit a client who is wrapping up final testing on the prototype of a product on which we collaborated. Unfortunately, confidentiality still reigns on this project so I need to keep the exact client and project under wraps. But it looks like they’re pretty close to springing it on the market – and we’re pretty sure it’s going make a huge impact. It doesn’t just look and work great — it completely rethinks the industry. In short, it’s a wow.
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BioReactor could have big impact on saving small hearts
We recently heard from a valued client of ours and learned some great news. Using the BioReactor we helped design and manufacture, Dr. Richard Hopkins and his team at Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, have been able to reach a major milestone in their development of a process for replacing heart valves in children.
12-Article Harris-MMoCA Hero 1
Introducing HACME Corporation: Solving problems you didn't know you had
“Dori-toes snack foot!” design strategist Dan Sarbacker announced proudly holding a half-sheet sharpie sketch.