Jane’s focus at IDEO is on the craft of design, design thinking, and human insight.
Jane earned degrees in psychology and then in architecture from England and Scotland respectively. In 1987 she moved from the United Kingdom to join IDEO in California and bring social science-based perspectives to design practice. Working on diverse challenges for clients in multiple industries, she pioneered human-centered approaches and fostered a collaborative community of kindred spirits, including designers, anthropologists, and other social scientists. She evolved techniques for empathic observation and experience prototyping that are now employed widely in design and innovation whether this involves products, services, environments, organizations, or strategy.
To increase the accessibility of human-centered tools, Jane co-authored and published IDEO’s Method Cards. She also created "Thoughtless Acts?" Observations on Intuitive Design (Chronicle Books, 2005), depicting the subtle and creative ways in which people interact with the world. Believing that everyone is creative and resourceful at heart, she finds great reward in nurturing that capacity.
More recently she has co-led IDEO’s global Consumer Experience practice. Now she is based in Boston, focused on the creative direction of the company. And, as designers face increasingly complex and systemic challenges, she has begun to look beyond human behaviour to explore how patterns found in nature and living systems might inform and inspire more elegant and sustainable design approaches and solutions.
Jane is a popular public speaker: she addresses design and business audiences, and lectures at Stanford University, the California College of the Arts, the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and other schools internationally. Her work has won design and research awards, including Industrial Designers Society of America and Industrie Form Europe, and she holds several patents for design innovations.