How to Use Industrial Design to Develop Software - Jon Kolko

In Chapter 8 of 17 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, designer and educator Jon Kolko shares how he has applied industrial design to develop software products. He finds many top interaction designers have backgrounds in either architecture or product design. Kolko notes the problem solving process - ethnographic research, synthesis, ideation, form giving, and evaluation - developing enterprise software and industrial products is nearly identical. The difference occurs not in the process but the the artifact complexity. Kolko is the executive director of design strategy at venture accelerator, Thinktiv ( He is the founder and director of the Austin School for Design ( Previously, he worked at frog design and was a professor of Interactive and Industrial Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He has authored multiple books on design. Kolko earned his Masters in Human Computer Interaction (MHI) and BFA in Design from Carnegie Mellon University.