Wise Design Studio grew out of a research project in 2014-2015, when two design researchers, Kursat Ozenc (PhD in Design from Carnegie Mellon, experience designer at SAP Labs) and Margaret Hagan (JD & d.school/Law School lecturer from Stanford), were running classes and experiments on how to make the legal system less horrible of an experience.

They were teaching classes at Stanford d.school about bringing user experience design to law, how to make court procedures more user-friendly, and how to communicate really complex content to lay people in engaging and accessible ways. While running these experimental classes, they began to notice that there are some fundamentally core principles and patterns about making complex systems smarter, easier, and more engaging for normal people.

And they figured out that these principles and patterns are not just about the legal space, though they emerged out of our research into that one domain. The same challenges, insights, dynamics, and (hopefully) solutions pop up in analogous domains like medicine, insurance, government services, and personal finance.

Based on their workshops and research, Kursat and Margaret created this site to gather together their findings. They created a Wise Design Pattern Library to show systematically some of the best ways they’ve uncovered to help people navigate complex systems. And they posted on the blog all the interesting articles that touch on this interdisciplinary take on making complex systems more human — along with their sketches and thoughts.

At the end of 2015, the research project around Wise Design spun off a small start-up company, Wise Design Studio LLC. Margaret joined up with the software developer Metin Eskili to start building out new software tools, that anyone — tech-savvy or not — could customize to present their complex content in user-friendly ways. These software tools will be rolling out starting in late Spring 2016. You can check out our launch page over at Wisable. Wisable is the name for our platform for these many different software tools.

In the meantime, we will keep this webpage as our research hub — gathering together great interdisciplinary work, workshops, experiments, findings, and sketches about how all these complex domains can benefit from great user experience design. We hope you get some sparks about ways these bureaucracies could be better. Please drop us a line if you have any thoughts or content you’d like to share.

Thanks for visiting, and come check out Wisable!

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