Summary of Hidden in Plain Sight

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Hidden in Plain Sight book summary


7 Overall

8 Applicability

6 Innovation

7 Style


Design expert Jan Chipchase travels the world and lives among different kinds of people to acquire a rich understanding of what makes them tick. His journey takes you through streets, cafés, barbershops and bus terminals from Kyoto to Kabul and from Shanghai to San Francisco to observe inhabitants’ everyday behaviors. He explains that this research is crucial to the creative process of designing products and services that people will use today, and that it is the only way to anticipate what they’ll need tomorrow. While Chipchase’s philosophy, stories and anecdotes are informative and amusing, and will add greatly to the layperson’s understanding, those seeking a field research model to emulate still will need to refer to the professional literature. getAbstract believes general readers, product designers and strategists will appreciate Chipchase’s conversational writing style and his insightful trip around the world.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What the benefits of product-related field research are,
  • What the best methods for conducting ethnographic research are and
  • How designers use this information to inform their creative process.

About the Authors

Jan Chipchase is the executive creative director of Global Insights at Frog Design. Fortune magazine named him “one of the 50 smartest people in tech.” Simon Steinhardt is an author and the associate creative director at JESS3.



“Hidden in Plain Sight”
Designers set out to create solutions to problems in transportation, communication, transactions, education and other areas. However, your success as a designer depends on understanding the habits, constraints and lifestyles of the people for whom you are designing...

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