What we're about

Portland Design Thinkers is a community of creative problem solvers advancing human-centered design literacy through high-quality events, lively conversation, and practice-based development.

We're made up of all kinds of people: professional practitioners who use human-centered design methods and mindsets every day, UX designers and researchers, service designers, design strategists, Agile scrum leaders, urban planners, and lots of newbies who've only just discovered it.

Typically, we've scheduled in-person meetups every month. With physical gatherings not possible during the Covid pandemic,, we're leaning into the current moment by moving all of our programming online -- and accelerating it with weekly events instead of monthly.

Since April 2, every Thursday evening we bring our design community together for Dial-In Design Talks: casual weekly happy-hour confabs, webinar-style presentation, and skills-based deep dives into design thinking methods. We all need more social interaction right now. Why not do it with our tribe and maybe pick up a few pro tips while we're sipping?

But we're about more than just meetup events. We also have a private Slack workspace with 340+ members. Please join us there -- it's quickly becoming a thriving online discussion space for all things design thinking. Pop over to this link and sign up: https://bit.ly/2JuQ2V6

For those newer to human-centered design, we regularly host orientations for anyone keen on enrolling in IDEO.org's free multi-week online Intros to Human-Centered Design course (offered several times each year) and help them form teams.

Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user's latent needs and desires through qualitative, ethnographic field techniques, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding. It is a way of thinking and working as well as a collection of hands-on methods. One of our favorite explanations of design thinking is one from the Interaction Design Association: "What is Design Thinking and Why is it so Popular?"
Popularized by the U.S. consulting firm IDEO and the Hasso-Plattner-Institute of Design at Stanford University in California, design thinking is quickly becoming a foundational approach for creating better user experiences, products, services, environments, facilities, business strategies, and organizational outcomes of all kinds

Upcoming events (1)

Leo Frishberg: Cracks in the Workplace

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Join Portland Design Thinkers for an evening with Leo Frishberg: Cracks in the workplace-COVID, Design Thinking, and the Future of Work.

COVID and the global pandemic’s impact on working norms continue to raise questions about the nature of work and the “new normal.”

How much time should employees be “in the office?” What is the impact of a fully remote workforce on an organization’s productivity, innovation and culture? By shifting work to our homes, how do organizations address employee safety, equity, access and privilege?

These are just some of the questions athenahealth (the second largest electronic health records company in the US) raised in its “Future of Work” strategic initiative.

In this talk, Frishberg offers a case study of athena’s design thinking and experimental approach to addressing these (and other) questions. Not limiting its lens to technological fixes, the athena Workplace Experience (athenaWE) taskforce embraced architecture, DEI, and cultural values, in addition to technology, to explore the future of work landscape of opportunity. Frishberg will share unsettling, surprising, and unconventional insights gleaned from the athenaWE taskforce’s work that likely have universal appeal.

About our speaker:

  • Leo Frishberg is the Director of User Experience at athenahealth. Leo is an active member of the User Experience community both locally and internationally. For over 20 years, he has served on the board of the Computer Human Interaction Forum of Oregon (CHIFOO, pronounced KI-foo), Portland, SW Washington’s local chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery’s special interest group for UX, and currently leads the North American chapter of Design at Business, a global non-profit dedicated to applying design thinking and innovation to address existential threats to humanity. He is also the writer of Presumptive Design with Charles Lambdin.

Past events (83)

An evening of Q & A with Kristina Halvorson

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