Exposing the Magic of Design

A Practitioner's Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis

What is this book about?

This book is about “Design synthesis”. It is a way of thinking about complicated, multifaceted problems of this scale with a repeatable degree of success. Jon is sure, that“Designsynthesis” methods can be applied everywhere. In case of business, where the main goal is producing new and compelling products and services, or in case government’s deals, where the goal is change culture and make society better. So, in both contexts, there is a need for speed and aggressive action. And this text is immediately relevant, because we acknowledge a feeling of an impending and massive change. In other words, this text is intended to act as a practitioner’s guide to exposethe magic of design.

Who is it useful for?

“Structured in three logical parts-theory, business value, and practical guidelines-Kolko’s book is a must-read for those looking for a clear explanation of how to move from design research to design solutions.”–MarkVanderbeeken, Senior Partner, Experientia

This practical guideline is must read for those looking for a clear and simple explanation of how to move from design research to design solutions. Just in three parts-theory!

Who is the author?

Jon Kolko

Jon Kolko is the Founder and Director of Austin Center for Design, a progressive educational institution teaching interaction design and social entrepreneurship. He has held positions of Executive Director of Design Strategy at Thinktiv, a venture accelerator in Austin, Texas, and both Principal Designer and Associate Creative Director roles at frog design, a global innovation firm. He was also a Professor of Interaction and Industrial Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design.


"Exposing the Magic of Design fits perfectly into a long-empty slot on the bookshelves of practitioners and students. His theory of synthesis will engage your brain six ways from Sunday, while the practical, actionable methods will change your process immediately. We have needed this book!"

Steve Portigal
Principal, Portigal Consulting

" students, practitioners of design in all disciplines dealing with product development, and business owners have much to gain from reading this volume."


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Built by Eulerr with love. Software Development and Design as a Service Platform

The Scrum Field Guide
Mitch Lacey
Intercom on Product Management
Exposing the Magic of Design
Jon Kolko
Nir Eyal
The Inmates Are Running the Asylum
Alan Cooper
The Design Process
Karl Aspelund
SAFe 4.0 Distilled
Richard Knaster, Dean Leffingwell
Creative Confidence
Tom & David Kelley
Make Space
Scott Doorley, Scott Witthoft
Extreme Programming Explained
Kent Beck
Work Rules!
Laszlo Bock
Jesse Fewell
Design Thinking
Nigel Cross
Org Design for Design Orgs
Peter Merholz
Service Design for Business
Ben Reason
Zero to One
Peter Thiel
Insight Out
Tina Seelig
The Lean Startup
Eric Ries
Jake Knapp
Change by Design
Tim Brown