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About the Author

Jon Kolko is Vice President of Consumer Design at Blackboard Inc. He joined Blackboard with the acquisition of MyEdu, a start-up focused on helping students succeed in college and get jobs. Jon is also the founder and Director of Austin Center for Design. His work focuses on bringing the power of design to social enterprises. He has worked extensively with both start-ups and Fortune 500 clients, and he's most interested in humanizing educational technology. Jon previously held the roles of both Principal Designer and Associate Creative Director at frog design and was also a Professor of Interaction Design and Industrial Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design.


"Top 11 Books to Watch for Q4." -- 250 Words ( A "Best Book of the year" pick." ... worthy reading for anyone looking to launch a new product or tweak an existing one." -- SUCCESS magazine "... a welcome reminder that respecting customers' emotional needs should be your top product-development priority--no matter what you're designing." -- Inc. "If consumers engage with a product to the point of modifying their own behavior--hello iPad!--the marketing is a done deal. It's all about identifying the opportunities then designing products that connect." -- Qantas - The Australia Way "Well-Designed provides a refreshing approach to the way we view successful services, policies, strategies and business models." -- Engineering and Technology Magazine, The Institution of Engineering and Technology ADVANCE PRAISE for Well-Designed: Richard Florida, professor, University of Toronto and New York University; author, The Rise of the Creative Class-- "Steve Jobs's creativity as a designer was the key to his entrepreneurial genius. But can Jobs's style of 'design thinking' be scaled? Jon Kolko shows that it can be--step by step, through a set of processes that are iterative, collaborative, and, best of all, easily learned. Well-Designed is bracingly practical and deeply inspiring." John Maeda, design partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; author, The Laws of Simplicity and Redesigning Leadership-- "Great companies are made through great products, and increasingly, great products are made through design. Kolko demonstrates that product managers must learn to think like designers; they need to embrace intuition, emotion, and most importantly, empathy. This insightful book is a must-read." Ric Grefe, Executive Director, AIGA, the professional association for design-- "Jon Kolko illuminates the intuitive skills of the designer with such clarity, truly describing 'how' instead of just 'what.' Two millennia ago, Vitruvius's manifesto on great design exhorted, 'utilitas, firmitas, e venustas.' Well-Designed expands on this: make things useful, usable, and delightful--and here's how." Liz Danzico, cofounder and Chair, MFA Interaction Design Program, School of Visual Arts; Creative Director, NPR-- "There are books about design, and there are books about leadership. By uniting practical processes and insightful ideas and interviews, Jon Kolko gives us both: an essential playbook comprising advice, research, and methods for engaged product design leadership." Robert Fabricant, cofounder and Principal, Design Impact Group, Dalberg Global Development Advisors-- "Product managers are the most important link between great ideas and great products. Jon Kolko speaks directly to this critical audience, providing the practical know-how to make design fit within their day-to-day decision making. Well-Designed is the essential guide to design that all product managers will learn from and love." Don Norman, Director, Design Lab, University of California, San Diego; author, Design of Everyday Things-- "Well-Designed presents a unique, powerful, human-centered way to design a product and then, how to master the important and oft-neglected task of guiding it through the complexities of development and delivery. This unique, easy to read, and powerful book is essential for anyone involved with product management."

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