In Encode Alves defends that Designers are not be responsible by the outcome itself, but by the system that conceives it. This process should be able to provide the project with a sense of purpose and authenticity regarding the true nature of the Design Challenge by bringing the spotlight upon people and their needs, instead of having a cold approach to the problem. But what is this system? How to achieve empathy, in first place? How to keep everyone involved happy and productive? How to transform insights into alternatives? How to be both empathetic to people and their needs and strategic in the choice of solutions?
There is a fundamental difference between simply trying to solve a problem previously framed and taking a step back and defining it. When the Designer simply answers to a previous question made by someone else, he is assuming a product-oriented process since he will only be responding to a framed stimulus brought to him by a client or an intermediate part. When an interdisciplinary team joins forces alongside the client with the necessary openness of mind in order to find what the real needs are before trying to find a solution, the focus shifts to a process-orientated project. Only then the “whys” become bigger than what is the “solution” yet to be defined.
In volume 2 of the book, Alves offers a “toolkit”, a step-by-step outline explaining just how to engage in this seemingly simple but actually quite complex process. Encode reveals itself as a methodology created based on both his career experiences and deep research on vanguard companies and important thinkers. The goal is to provide creative professionals with a valuable tools to achieve Empathy and enhance the quality of solutions through the exploration of Co-design and Strategic thinking.