Digital Media CT Blog

Beyond The Tech + IBM

“Not to hype up my own company but you can tell they put a lot of thought into it. From the initial interview, they made sure that we were continually engaged.” – Lauren Ciulla, Visual Designer at IBM

 

Asking questions about the user, empathizing with their users, and ongoing iteration = design thinking. Design thinking strives for empathy. And companies have been integrating this method into the workforce. Particularly IBM. IBM employs nearly 350,000 “IBMers” (people who work at IBM). Three of those hundred thousand employees spoke about what they do & what their company has to offer. 

Marc Winiewski, Design Producer; Martin Misiaszek, Content Designer; and Lauren Ciulla, Visual Designer, are all employed by the Chief Information office at IBM. Marc says their mission is to provide solutions and experiences for their fellow IBMers that will be used daily and decrease friction. The full interview, which took place in October 2020, is available through the Select + CT podcast, episode 10 of season one. Below is a summary of my take on the discussion.

See Also: Building CT’s Digital Media Future 

Design thinking workshops put employees in the shoes of their users to better grasp what they’re experiencing. Enabling designers, engineers, and stakeholders to rally around an idea of what they want to create to meet their users’ needs. These workshops have become popular amongst IBMers and other digital media-based companies. We even study Design Thinking at UConn Digital Media Design. A significant take away from this discussion is how Design Thinking can be applied to many fields (e.g., Animation, Web Design, Game Design, etc.). 

“Every time you design something like an interface or a physical product, someone is going to be using it to complete a goal or a task to make their lives easier,” said Lauren. She continued by explaining the onboarding process of IBM (it was excellent by all accounts), “Not to hype up my own company, but you can tell they put a lot of thought into it.”. She said they made them feel like a part of the team before they even got there.

If you’re interested in learning more about Design Thinking, check out IBM’s Enterprize Design Thinking course. This micro-credential course is available for free if you use your University account. Also, don’t forget about DMCT’s own micro-credential course (details below).

DMCT Micro-Credentials

If you are unsure how your skills connect to Connecticut’s growing Digital Media industry, I encourage you to enroll in DMCT’s first micro-credential course, The Emerging Practitioner. I am a graduate of the program and learned many things to assist my transition from University to a Career in CT and beyond!