Mobile World Congress (MWC) sketch

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Mobile World Congress (MWC) takes place February 24-27, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. Some companies put huge design flavor into their booths to successfully attract attention from visitors and press (see pictures and articles on the Arts Technica by Ron Amadeo). Here are a few more pictures sent from one attendee. They are Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, SK Telecom and its TV services, Sony and its gadgets, and Huawei (from the top left corner).

Microsoft Store vs. Apple Store

I recently visited a MicroSoft Store in a shopping mall in Toronto. My first impression was that it looks highly similar to the Apple Store. For instance, the MS Store places a simple logo outside, displays a wide variety of working devices on the tables, and has many assistants wearing blue (!) T-shirts. However, many visitors in the MS Store spent their time on playing gesture-recognition X-BOX video games. Only few paid attention to the physical devices and virtually none of them had any conversation with the MS assistants.

DesignMarketingLab

DesignMarketingLab

Different from the MS Store, the Apple Store in the same shopping mall had more visitors who played with the working device on the tables or who had a conversation with the assistants. At the surface level, the visitors and the assistants in the MS store “played together” whereas, in the Apple store, they “communicated each other.” However, more importantly, the MS Store needs something unique rather than copying its competitor. Otherwise, it might follow what Sony showed after it opened Sony Stores. 

DesignMarketingLab

DesignMarketingLab

Design Thinking: David Kelley + Roger Martin

David Kelley, the president of the IDEO, visited Toronto and talked with Roger Martin, the former dean of Rotman School of Management, under the title of unleashing the creative potential within us all.

He started his speech saying that his life long question is how to innovate routinely. He suggests we need three things: creative confidence, guided mastery, and design thinking. First, creative confidence (or self efficacy proposed by Bandura) helps us to go beyond inside-the-box thinking. Next, guided mastery (or a series of small successes) is needed for generated wild ideas not to lose their flames. Finally, design thinking (or mindful or open-mind attitude) enables us to try something new, in particular when we work with others.

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DesignMarketingLab

He also emphasized the importance of empathic observation by presenting a few real projects that his employees/students conducted. For example, his team investigated how to help K-12 students in California eat more healthy food. The most important finding was that lunch is not just about food but more like a social activity for kids. Therefore, his team proposed games so that kids play together, come back to the table and sit down together, and then eat vegetables together. This activity led kids to eat more vegetables.

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