Redesigning an Industry (inspired by Jamie Oliver)

Watching Jamie Oliver’s, Food Revolution reminds me that there are many industries, or products that I would love the opportunity to help change through design.

What Oliver is doing is pretty awesome. He’s using, effectively, a hands-on design approach to redesigning cafeterias in a school system. I would love the chance to do something like this.

Another one that has always been in my head is the Maternity Ward. Considering virtually every single one of us has passed through one at one point…via birth or as a parent…it is a HORRIBLE system. At least in the hospital my kids were born in (Vancouver Children’s Hospital) which is considered one of the best hospitals around.

What product, or system, or industry would you love to sink your teeth into?

I also really enjoyed Jamie Oliver’s food revolution, and it reminded me of “Big Chef takes on little Chef” on the BBC(played here on Planet Green). A popular English chef works to redesign Little Chef an english food chain (think Waffel House) that has let the quality slip over the years and the company is dieing. Treehugger | Sustainability for All

I would like to take on SEARS, a classic american company that had failed to find it’s place in the modern world.

The whole health care system in the USA is pretty messy and inefficient.

I tend to find that messy and inefficient isn’t cornered by the USA. I actually picked out the Maternity ward because I tend to think that trying to take on the WHOLE system is destined for failure. It needs to be cut into smaller, more manageable chunks…“don’t try to eat the elephant in one bite”.

I’m also totally in like with that Jamie Oliver show, I think he should get invited to a TED conference or something. I remember being in school, and my parents would go on these crusades about the food or books or music and arts. Lately they have gotten older and don’t seem to have the same ideas about what should be happening with my little brother who is still in school, and I’m sort of concerned. Maybe i have continued getting more and more liberal, caring about various causes and social issues, while they have become old and conservative, cynical and thinking things are just fine the way they are and not wanting to do anything new.

Watch this video about the healthcare thing, it’s pretty interesting:
Eric Dishman

I would also love to work with Sears on their ridiculous brand disaster, though I don’t have a specific plan at the moment.

Sears should brand themselves the offical store of the Tea Party movement. They should air commercials with Sarah Palin saying that only real americans shop at sears. Glen Beck could draw on his chalk board showing ties between communist China and all the other stores (Target, Walmart, Penney’s, Kohl’s) and draw an american flag aroudn SEARS. Millions of people will go because they refuse to think for themselves and realize Sears is still Sears, nothing has changed, and its not as good as the others. By the way, I am not trying to intertwine how I feel about the tea party people and sears. (Where is that sarcasm button?)

I just had an idea, the Glen Beck Chalkboard app for ipad.

You’re talking about Design Thinking and Hospitals? Much discussion on this already starting with Tim Brown.


Jamie Oliver at TED

Can someone give me the link to the whole of jamie olivers program?

He ran something similar in the uk, in rotherham, one of the poorest areas here where people’s food education was lackluster.

He turned it around, got parliamentary support for larger budgets for kids food at school and taught mums and dads how to cook. This thing brings communities together :slight_smile:

There has only been one episode so far.

Did you see that “Daily Show” episode where Jon Stewart does the chalk board thing? so good.

The Daily Show is a good example of redesigning an industry. The news industry. It’s funny, informative and calls out all the B.S. in politics. The news is horrible these days. I know Fox news is biased despite their claim that they are fair and balanced, everyone does. I know MSNBC is biased to the left. CNN tries to be both and fails.
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I’m curious. Where are you looking for improvement, on a user experience level or a patient safety level? And if it is patient safety, are you looking at one particular psi or are you looking to tackle all 4?

[quote=“bobcat”]You’re talking about Design Thinking and Hospitals? Much discussion on this already starting with Tim Brown.

Actually, no…I’m not talking about Design Thinking. I am talking about actually wanting to do something, not just talk about “it” or the theory of doing “it”. I would love to raise the money and open a fully redesigned Maternity.

Besides, as I understand it…“Design Thinking” is a term that has been coined by IDEO…a company that has produced some amazing products, but when it comes down to it, IDEO is a master of self-promotion and the idea that everyone and their dog has taken on the idea that “Design Thinking” is wonderful primarily helps IDEO an secondarily helps the rest of the design community.

All of the above. I found that the hospital that both my kids were born in still maintained a dated process. Hospitals, in particular modern Maternity Wards, were created back in the 50s (ish) and that was when the mother was dropped off at the hospital, dad waited in the waiting room, pacing axiously with cigar box in hand. Once baby was delivered Mom and baby stayed in a room, Dad and family visited, but went home afterwards and slept in their comfy bed.

Mondern families…in particularly modern fathers…are far more hands on. The rooms did not accomodate a mother, father and baby comfortably. You are effectively trapped in a ward where walls are paper thin…so every baby crying throughout the ward can be heard. Keeping tired Moms and Dads awake…and even worse…waking new baby preventing any kind of peace and civility. There was little to no education. Especially for first time parents. About the only education of what to expect over the next couple of days was how to properly strap our baby into a car seat. And, it doesn’t help that that education is founded solely in the idea that by teaching me how to buckle in my baby absolves them of any insurance problems. It feels far too insincere.

What I envision is an environment that is far less institutional. Far more friendly to the new family, and less focused on the insurance, and the stupidity that makes up the system.

Awesome. If you ever get into this, get a hold of me. I’d love to be involved in any way shape or form. When my son was born, not even 2 years ago, this was the case. The hospital was updated but, just in a fresh coat of paint, throw some LCD tvs on the wall sort of thing that made you feel warm and cozy when you toured the place. As far as education, a nurse dropped by, gave us a sheet of “talking points” for questions we may have that we were supposed to check off. Did the requisite car seat check, and made us watch a series of videos on why not to shake your child, as if I needed to be shown that graphic imagery after witnessing a birth hours earlier.

I’m especially concerned now as I’m expecting a second child in the Fall. But, this time I’ll be armed with the previous knowledge. But why should that be the case? Shouldn’t new parents who are terrified of what lay ahead have a better experience?

Well, if I ever figure out how to turn an idea like this into a reality I will be happy to call you :slight_smile:

Until then…what do you see around you that needs fixing?

So far, we have:

Maternity Ward
The entire US health system
and Sears.

How about newspapers? Will the ipad and future tablets save newspapers? Would you subscribe to a digital form of a newspaper?
Will we even call it newspapers anymore?

Your description of one of the “best” hospitals around is frightening. I have never encountered anything like what you described from a full range of hospitals – from small community hospitals to large teaching hospitals. One place called their service “the pampered pregnancy”. Birthing rooms were more like suites as were recovery rooms. Dads were given roll-away beds and moms would get a mani-pedi. Most places offer education before, during and after the hospital stay.

One of the latest crazes in hospitals is positive deviance. It is just a fancy word for benchmarking but it is a part of their lingo and would make them comfortable using their language if you approach hospitals with any ideas. If you want acceptance of your ideas, you will have to find a champion somewhere in the hospital. This will be someone who wants to improve the system like yourself and will go to battle with your ideas. You cannot go it alone, no one will listen to an outsider.

There is not of pressure on hospitals to increase their user experience, they are just trying to keep their patients alive and not wind up in a sea of red ink. Mayo has some deep pockets and does spend money on UX. First it was called the SPARC lab and now it is called the Center for Innovation and Health Care Transformation. Fancy, huh? You could contact them to see if they have done any work in obstetrics.

If you want to focus on patient safety, AHRQ is the place to start. They have 4 patient safety indicators for obstetrics alone. They are:

• Birth trauma – injury to neonate (PSI 17)
• Obstetric trauma – vaginal delivery with instrument (PSI 18)
• Obstetric trauma – vaginal delivery without instrument (PSI 19)
• Obstetric trauma – cesarean delivery (PSI 20)

Again, using a good design process would find improvements to patient safety in no time. In fact there is a new book out called “Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals: How One Doctor’s Checklist Can Help Us Change Health Care from the Inside Out,” by Dr. Peter Provonost. He used a good design process to improve patient safety. And to show how sad the healthcare industry is, his process is lauded as a great innovation, like it is something “new”. I’m just happy to see other areas adopting our methodology.

I mention the book though because if you are serious about making a change to the maternity ward, the book describes what you will need to do. You can come up with the world’s greatest ideas, but you will have to prove it, with real quantitative results. And even with your peer-reviewed research in hand, you will face a wall of skepticism. A lot of time and energy will be needed on your part, but the satisfaction of doing something important is immeasurable. Good luck.

As for you list, how about cable/satellite TV? Why do I pay for channels I don’t want to watch? I don’t need or want 200 channels, I want the 20 I watch and don’t want to pay for the other 180.

Funny you should mention Mayo, they were just looking for an interaction/experience designer for that very program in the last month or so. You would need a master’s, and some experience designing experiences.

This brings up a bigger problem and that is the whole cable system. I think it could run more like a web browser or computer where it’s much more interactive. Did anyone watch the NCAA tournament on You could pull up the game stats and other scores right on the screen while still watching the game(the game was in the background). All of cable should be more like this. Sports especially because you could have your own replays, read player bio’s and stats… This would also bring up new forms of advertising. Watching a commercial and see something you like? Click for more information or to buy right away.