I recorded a UXDesignCast podcast episode on Friday with David Hill who is VP of Brand Management and Design at Lenovo. The podcast
is available on iTunes, Zune, and via the podcast show notes site. We discussed David's background, Lenovo's approach to design, the skills of the design staff, and a number of other topics. The one thing that stood out for me was David's use of blogging to get design input from customers. While a reluctant blogger at first, he now blogs regularly and uses blogging as a way of having conversations with a large number of customers at the same time to ask about design choices to be made, preferences, and the like. Make sure to check out David's blog. Designers at IBM also make good use of blogging for getting design input from customers. Among the many who do, Mary Beth Raven is among the most avid design bloggers. Have a look at Mary Beth's blog too. I tend to use Twitter to ask questions and to point to quick polls to gather input on specific issues or topics.
Of course, we balance the use of blogging and other social networking approaches with other design methods as well including user research site visits, surveys, asynchronous large sample user studies, in the lab usability studies, longitudinal design and evaluation collaborations with customers, and many more. However, it is important to point out the significant change that has happened in the augmentation of more traditional methods by using techniques like blogging. It is a convenient, asynchronous method of having a design conversation with thousands of users to get rapid input in a relatively natural manner.