A.Weiss et al. (2016) ‘What Ideality Tool’ (WIT) for Product Design Brief Fusion and Confluence in Design Management. International Conference NordDesign16, NTNU University Trondheim, Norway.
This article presents the key advantages of using an innovative automated Design Thinking Tool for enhancing the value of sustainable design management. The tool is intended for product designers (PDs) who seek to foster sustainability in the ideation and formulation stage of product design brief. WIT was developed to comply with PDs’ needs and new role definition, targeting to bridge existing gaps between sustainability and the traditional business approach. It assists in current design challenges within the limitations of traditional briefs, establishing a shared lexicon and offering a solution for tackling “design fixation” and overcoming the “Design Paradox”, wherein the more experience a designer has, the less ideation flow there is and the less flexible his or her design approach becomes. Due to designers’ tendency to skip the stage of idea expansion (the “WHAT”) and rush into a specific design solution (the “HOW”), the author offers a solution for focusing on the “WHAT” analysis level in order to enhance the “HOW”. The WIT is based on the TRIZ ideality concept designed according to nature’s Ideal strategies and it serves as a method for creating a more extensive pool of sustainable concepts. This article presents practical contributions through qualitative research evaluation, conducted with experienced PDs as subjects.