Elizabeth Kiehner : An Interview

Elizabeth Kiehner is a Global Leader and design principal at IBM. She sat down with me and talked about augmented intelligence and data in design. 

Here's a modified transcription of the interview

Who are you and what do you do?

Elizabeth Kiehner

Elizabeth Kiehner

Elizabeth Kiehner, Global Leader and design principal at IBM

How did you end up working at IBM?

I owned my our design company for 8 years and IBM was a client of mine. After doing 4 or 5 projects with them I decided that is what I wanted to be doing. The company achieved 9,043 patents last year and has the opportunity to genuinely transform the way the world works.

What do you love about design and technology integrating together?

Today we live at the intersection of two trends, the expanding influence of design within society and the increasing role of technology within design. All technology should be responding to a human need making it intentional, purposeful and designed. Many team rush into technical solutions and architecture before that express their north star strategy and vision on a sheet of paper. Design and technology go hand in hand. The best team bring a cross-disciplinary approach. Designers need technical literacy and tech teams need visual literacy. Waterfall methods of chucking work over the fence simply do not work.

What is your leadership style like when running a team?

I believe in servant leadership and designing an experience for the workplace and personal growth. I bring passion and soul to how I lead; it is a matter of the head, heart, and gut combined.

What has been one challenge that you have solved at IBM lately?

Tennis season is back. Wimbledon and IBM will put AI to work to change the way fans experience and enjoy the game. By delivering unique and authentic content, at the moment, we helped reveal new insights into what it takes to deliver the supreme feats of athleticism. We’ll do this again at the US Open.

Wimbledon and IBM collaboration : Courtesy of Elizabeth Kiehner

Wimbledon and IBM collaboration : Courtesy of Elizabeth Kiehner

What are a few things you love about working at IBM?

Today we are moving from a history of programmable computing to one in which machines begin to understand, reason, & learn…where our devices have domain knowledge and interact with humans using natural language. Going forward, the enhanced capabilities of pervasive, interconnected technology will help to improve the safety, security, and sustainability of the planet...and will boost productivity and improve lives. This is why I love IBM.

Wimbledon and IBM collaboration : Courtesy of Elizabeth Kiehner

Wimbledon and IBM collaboration : Courtesy of Elizabeth Kiehner

Why is designing with data so important?

Designing with data makes data more democratic and accessible. This is important as we battle the vast amount of misinformation and fake news that is in the world today.

Some great data vis examples can be found here You can even submit your own work.

How would you define "design thinking”?

Design Thinking is a holistic problem-solving framework, which is not limited to consumer facing, design or UI/UX-related solutions. It can help envision the future for virtually any problem a business or a brand maybe facing both internal and external.