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Presumptive Design - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128030868, 9780128030875

Presumptive Design

1st Edition

Design Provocations for Innovation

Authors: Leo Frishberg Charles Lambdin
eBook ISBN: 9780128030875
Paperback ISBN: 9780128030868
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 10th September 2015
Page Count: 448
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Everything you know about the future is wrong. Presumptive Design: Design Provocations for Innovation is for people “inventing” the future: future products, services, companies, strategies and policies. It introduces a design-research method that shortens time to insights from months to days. Presumptive Design is a fundamentally agile approach to identifying your audiences’ key needs. Offering rapidly crafted artifacts, your teams collaborate with your customers to identify preferred and profitable elements of your desired outcome. Presumptive Design focuses on your users’ problem space, informing your business strategy, your project’s early stage definition, and your innovation pipeline. Comprising discussions of design theory with case studies and how-to’s, the book offers business leadership, management and innovators the benefits of design thinking and user experience in the context of early stage problem definition. Presumptive Design is an advanced technique and quick to use: within days of reading this book, your research and design teams can apply the approach to capture a risk-reduced view of your future.

Key Features

  • Provides actionable approaches to inform strategy and problem definition through design thinking
  • Offers a design-based research method to complement existing market, ethnographic and customer research methods
  • Demonstrates a powerful technique for identifying disruptive innovation early in the innovation pipeline by putting customers first
  • Presents each concept with case studies and exploration of risk factors involved including warnings for situations in which the technique can be misapplied


Experienced designers, developers, analysts, managers, and business leaders

Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Part 1: Context
    • Introduction
      • Chapter 1: Introducing Presumptive Design
        • Abstract
        • Overview
        • This Book’s Value Proposition
        • The Five Principles of Presumptive Design
        • So, Why Bother?
      • Chapter 2: PrD and Design Thinking
        • Abstract
        • Overview
        • Design Thinking
        • PrD and Sato’s Design Thinking Model
        • How PrD Accelerates Learning
        • Summary
      • Chapter 3: PrD and an Agile Way of Business
        • Abstract
        • Overview
        • The Changing Nature of Business Strategy
        • Disruptive Innovation and PrD
        • PrD in a Culture of Agility
        • PrD, Design Thinking, and Business Value
        • Summary
    • Part 2: Principles and Risks
      • Introduction
        • Chapter 4: Design to Fail
          • Abstract
          • Overview
          • We’re Going to Fail—It’s a Question of When and by How Much
          • Designing the Right Thing
          • There’s Nothing Wrong About Being Wrong
          • We Seek Intelligent Failures
          • Risk Factors
          • Conclusion
          • Summary
        • Chapter 5: Create, Discover, Analyze
          • Abstract
          • Overview
          • Begin at the End
          • The Artifact Provokes Discovery
          • Analyze What They Mean, Not Just What We Heard
          • Taking the Low Road
          • Risk Factors
          • Summary
        • Chapter 6: Make Assumptions Explicit
          • Abstract
          • Overview
          • Revealing Assumptions Isn’t Easy
          • Ass.U.Me—Implicit Assumptions Make Us All Look Stupid
          • Risk Factors
          • Summary
        • Chapter 7: Iterate, Iterate, Iterate!
          • Abstract
          • Overview
          • Iterating Is Not Wasted Effort
          • Iteration Begins Day One
          • Iterating is a Risk Reduction Strategy
          • Risk Factors
          • Summary
        • Chapter 8: The Faster We Go The Sooner We Know
          • Abstract
          • Overview
          • Just Get Started
          • The Future Wasn’t Built to Last
          • Maximize Insight, Minimize Investment
          • Moving Fast While Staying Real
          • Risk Factors
          • Summary
        • Chapter 9: The Perils of PrD
          • Abstract
          • Overview
          • Is It the Right Problem?
          • PrD Needs Two Things
          • Additional Ways PrD Can Fail
          • Summary
        • Chapter 10: Lack of Diversity
          • Abstract
          • Overview
          • The Hazards of Homogeneity
          • Diversity of Reasoning
          • Where Things Go Wrong
          • Summary
        • Chapter 11: Believing Our Own Stories
          • Abstract
          • Overview
          • Increasing Investment Increases Belief
          • The Three Traps
          • Confirmation Bias
          • Been There, Done That
          • Summary
        • Chapter 12: Unclear Objectives
          • Abstract
          • Overview
          • Explicit and Implicit Objectives
          • It Takes a Village …
          • Structural Failures
          • The Artifact Serves the Objectives
          • The Objectives Frame the Report
          • Summary
        • Chapter 13: Losing Our Audience
          • Abstract
          • Overview
          • Users Catch on Rough Edges
          • When Confusion is a Distraction Versus Branch Point
          • Difficult Conversations (Uncooperative Stakeholders)
          • The Discussion Strays from the Objectives
          • Summary
      • Part 3: How-To Manual and Recipes
        • Introduction
          • Chapter 14: Master Facilitation
            • Abstract
            • Overview
            • Fundamental Facilitation Techniques
            • Facilitation Unique to PrD
            • Summary
          • Chapter 15: The Creation Session
            • Abstract
            • Overview
            • How Big, How Complicated?
            • Staffing
            • Budget
            • Prepping for the Session
            • Running a Creation Session
            • Summary
          • Chapter 16: The Engagement Session
            • Abstract
            • Overview
            • Prepping for the Engagement Session
            • Running the Engagement Session
            • After the Engagement Session
            • Summary
        • Appendix A: The Cases
        • Appendix B: The Art of Box Breaking
        • Contributor Biographies
        • List of Figure Credits
        • References
        • Index


        No. of pages:
        © Morgan Kaufmann 2015
        10th September 2015
        Morgan Kaufmann
        eBook ISBN:
        Paperback ISBN:

        About the Authors

        Leo Frishberg

        Leo Frishberg

        Leo Frishberg is Principal of Phase II, a Portland, OR based User Experience (UX) and Product strategy consultancy. His UX leadership extends back 30+ years. As Product Design Manager at Intel, he led multiple enterprise UX teams; as Principal UX Architect at Tektronix he established UX as a strategic component of the business. Most recently he authored Presumptive Design, a leading-edge design research method.

        Affiliations and Expertise

        Principal of Phase II, a Portland, OR based User Experience (UX) and Product strategy consultancy, Portland, Oregon, USA

        Charles Lambdin

        Charles Lambdin

        Charles Lambdin is a User Experience Researcher and Designer at Intel Corporation. He has a Master’s in experimental psychology and a PhD in human factors. Most of his publications are in the area of research methodology and statistics.

        Affiliations and Expertise

        User Experience Researcher and Designer, Intel Corporation, Portland, Oregon, USA


        "...persuasive in documenting how this new method can be a universal source of inspiration...I would recommend it to more seasoned practitioners and likely those in corporate settings; but those working in agencies would benefit from its ability to let one do quick deep dives into a new domain." --User Experience Magazine

        "Frishberg and Lambdin have discovered the magic glue that binds design thinking to agile. In Presumptive Design, they boil down the essence of both, mix it all together, and package it up with a bow. The result is a clear, powerful, and brilliantly practical process. Product teams who struggle to balance human-centricity with speed will love this book." - Leah Buley, Author, A UX Team of One

        "This book lays out a passionate, compelling case about a crucial yet under-recognized truth in human-centered work: the acts of "design" and "research" are inextricable. Thanks to this book's ample theoretical frameworks and practical guidelines we can revel in that entanglement, to the benefit of our products, our designs and our users." - Steve Portigal, Author, Interviewing Users: How To Uncover Compelling Insights

        "A handbook for design paratroopers who want to move fast and learn even faster." - Dave Gray, Author, Gamestorming

        "Presumptive Design is a powerful approach that has fundamentally changed my perspective on design research. This is a thoughtful and readable book—a comprehensive resource for practitioners, backed by a wealth of relevant research. Overcome project start inertia, embrace failure, and reach consensus quicker with PrD." - Jim Kalbach, Author, Mapping Experiences and Designing Web Navigation

        Ratings and Reviews