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IBM’s Head Honchos Recall The Company’s Rocky Design Journey In Documentary

By Mikelle Leow, 15 Nov 2017


Video screenshot via InVision

InVision has produced an in-depth mini documentary exploring IBM’s extensive journey that led the company into becoming one of the world’s greatest design thinkers.

At its beginnings, IBM had a strong foothold over the industry, thanks to pioneers like Eliot Noyes, who was notably responsible for the design of the ‘Selectric’ typewriter.

“IBM really sort of set the movement for what it meant to have a modern corporate design program,” describes Distinguished Designer Adam Cutler. “The constellation that Eliot Noyes has put together of these amazing designers, to this day, [is] unmatched… all of these wonderful designers thinking about what it meant to fuse humanity and technology….”

There was a brief window, following Noyes’ passing, that the company started to waver. “I remember this announcement that there was a new General Manager of Design, [Phil Gilbert,] and I kind of remember rolling my eyes a little bit and saying, ‘Well, here we go again,’” adds Cutler.

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Luckily, IBM’s design quarters turned around under the direction of Gilbert, who believed the key to bringing the company back to its prime wasn’t about “evangelizing” design thinking as an extraordinary notion—he felt clients wouldn’t be too obsessed with the processes. Rather, he focused on “evangelizing outcomes” for these partners.

You can watch the full 22-minute documentary, titled THE LOOP, over at InVision.

THE LOOP: a documentary on IBM design thinking

"We're living in a continuous delivery world now. Our users and our clients, they're not going to sit around and wait for IBM to release a new product or service 6 months down the line-they've got needs right now. We have to be responsive to that.





Video screenshot via InVision


Video screenshot via InVision


[via InVision]
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