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Design Thinking

A powerful tool to tackle the unknown.

You have a fuzzy vision.  You might have some idea of what it is you need to achieve but are unsure how to make it happen. 

Maybe you need to branch out to find the next big thing. Perhaps you need to change the behaviours of a lot of people both from within & outside your organization.   

Design Thinking is a means of going on an journey, without a compass, map or destination, but with the confidence that you’ll end up somewhere great.  

It provides the mindset,  modes and methods that are conducive to optimal experience innovation.

Design Thinking Mindset   

Human Values Focus.  Empathy & user feedback is fundamental

Show & Tell.  Meaningful & impactful communication by creating experiences, visualizing and telling good stories

Vision Clarity.  Frame coherent vision from messy problems, inspiring ideation

Process Mindfulness.  Keep your eye on goals & know where you are in the design process and which methods to use.

Diverse Collaboration.  Bring together a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints to birth breakthrough insights and solutions

Do & Make.  Design Thinking is more about doing than thinking.  Bias towards action rather than thinking and meeting.   

Embrace Experimentation.  Build not only to validate, but to learn and think as an integral part of the innovation process.

Empathy Mode 

Learn from people  & find patterns.

It begins by talking with your audience,  immersing yourself by spending time where they live, work or play.   Listen to them share their motivations, habits, delights and frustrations. 

You might want to target the mainstream, but it turns out that those at the extremes are really good at giving a voice to problems that those in the middle might feel, but have a harder time putting their finger on.

Understanding the meaningful challenge to address, and leveraging insights in design work is fundamental to creating a successful solution.  Capture quotes and observations on post-it notes and lay them all out to make sense of what has been learned.  Using informed intuition,  look for patterns of insight that point to opportunities.   By synthesizing our empathy findings into compelling needs and insights, we can scope specific and meaningful challenges.

Definition Mode 

Define Design Principles

The define mode is critical to the design process because it explicitly expresses the problem you are striving to address. 

More than simply defining a problem to work on, we help define a design vision based on discoveries made during our empathy work. 

We help you to gather the stories that reveal design principles that help uncover successful concepts.  We use them to form the guideposts of experiences that you feel confident will resonate with your target audience. 

In order to be truly generative, a specific and compelling problem statement must be crafted to use as a solution-generation springboard.

Ideation mode 

Make Tangible. 

Once the vision has been defined, we use ideation methods to transition from identifying problems into exploring solutions for your users. 

We ask  “How Might We” questions to bridge the gap from design principles to specific ideas and then quickly turn the best of them into rough prototypes. 

Mocking up digital experiences with paper and pen enables quick learning.  The goal is to explore a wide solution space – both a large quantity of ideas and a diversity among those ideas. 

From this repository of ideas prototypes can be built to test with users.

 

Prototyping mode 

Make Tangible.

Prototyping is all about getting ideas and explorations out of your head and into the physical world. 

In early explorations keep your prototypes rough and rapid to allow yourself to learn quickly and investigate a lot of different possibilities. There will be time to iterate and refine low-fidelity prototypes towards higher fidelity as you test and learn.

Prototypes are most successful when people (your stakeholders, the design team, the users, and others) can experience and interact with them. 

What you learn from those interactions can help drive deeper empathy, as well as shape successful solutions.

 

Testing Mode 

Iterate Relentlessly. 

Testing gives us the chance to refine our solutions and make them better. 

The test mode is an iterative mode in which we place our prototype in the appropriate context of the user’s life, providing another opportunity to build empathy through observation and engagement. 

With each prototype, we tweak and evolve the concept.   Sometimes this means going back to the drawing board to learn more about our user.  Sometimes testing reveals that not only did we not get the solution right, but also that we have failed to frame the problem correctly. 

The concept evolves until a solution is  compelling.  We prototype as if we know we’re right, but test as if we know we’re wrong.

Design Thinking Methods