You are previewing Presumptive Design.
O'Reilly logo
Presumptive Design

Book Description

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.



  • 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

Table of Contents

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