Design Thinking: Beyond the Bounds of Your Own Head
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Design Thinking: Beyond the Bounds of Your Own Head

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This talk was co-written by Will Evans and myself. It covers some basics of Design Thinking as it pertains to externalization of ideas through empathy, problem framing, ideation, and prototyping.

This talk was co-written by Will Evans and myself. It covers some basics of Design Thinking as it pertains to externalization of ideas through empathy, problem framing, ideation, and prototyping.

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Design Thinking: Beyond the Bounds of Your Own Head Design Thinking: Beyond the Bounds of Your Own Head Presentation Transcript

  • WHO ARE WE? THOMAS WENDT WILL EVANS UX Strategist Managing Director Surrounding Signifiers TLC Labs thomas@srsg.co @thomas_wendt will@tlclabs.co @semanticwill #NYinnovates
  • LET’S START WITH AN EXERCISE
  • WHICH IS TIMEBOXED View slide
  • CHARACTER SKETCH View slide
  • What is Design Thinking?
  • “Everyone can – and does – design. We all design when we plan for something new to happen, whether that might be a new version of a recipe, a new arrangement of the living room furniture, or a new layout of a personal web page. The evidence from different cultures around the world, and from designs created by children as well as by adults, suggests that everyone is capable of designing. So design thinking is something inherent within human cognition; it is a key part of what makes us human.” Nigel Cross
  • “Design is now too important to be left to designers.” Tim Brown
  • ANOTHER DEFINITION An approach to solving problems by understanding people’s needs and synthesizing insights to solve those needs – in context.
  • DESIGN THINKING PREMISE Only through contact, observation, and empathy with customers can you hope to design solutions to fit their needs.
  • AS OPPOSED TO? •  We have this problem, lets jump in and brainstorm a solution •  We have a new technology, what can we possibly use it for? •  Our competitors just launched X; how quickly can we also do X?
  • THREE OVERLAPPING CONSTRAINTS
  • WHERE IS DESIGN INNOVATION?
  • IDEO’S DESIGN PROCESS
  • Insight about customer behavior and work patterns were never discovered sitting at your desk.     *
  • Research, when done well, creates a deep sense of empathy for others.     *
  • Understanding context involves being-there.     *
  • You are not the user.     *
  • 4 ELEMENTS OF DESIGN THINKING We have this problem, lets jump in and brainstorm a solution We have a new technology, what can we possibly use it for? Our competitors just launched X; how quickly can we also do X? •  •  •  •  Empathy through research Framing the problem Generative ideation Prototyping & validation
  • 4 ELEMENTS OF DESIGN THINKING We have this problem, lets jump in and brainstorm a solution We have a new technology, what can we possibly use it for? Our competitors just launched X; how quickly can we also do X? •  •  •  •  Empathy through research Framing the problem Generative ideation Prototyping & validation
  • BASICS OF CUSTOMER RESEARCH
  • THEORY AND PRACTICE Theory Practice Thought Disengaged Frivolous Virtual Action Invested Productive Real
  • THEORY AND PRACTICE Praxis Process by which theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, practiced, embodied, or realized.
  • THEORY AND PRACTICE “Apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.” Paulo Freire
  • SYMPATHY syn - together pathos - feeling 1. harmony of or agreement in feeling, as between persons or on the part of one person with respect to another. 2. the harmony of feeling naturally existing between persons of like tastes or opinion or of congenial dispositions. 3. the fact or power of sharing the feelings of another, especially in sorrow or trouble; fellow feeling, compassion, or commiseration.
  • EMPATHY en - in pathos - feeling 1. the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.
  • In the absence of direct experience, vicarious identification becomes our substitute.
  • “Our real goal, then, is not so much fulfilling manifest needs by creating a speedier printer or a more ergonomic keyboard; that’s the job of designers. It is helping people to articulate the latent needs they may not even know they have, and this is the challenge of design thinkers.” Tim Brown
  • “To understand a hammer, for example, does not mean to know that hammers have such and such properties and that they are used for certain purposes—or that in order to hammer one follows a certain procedure, i.e., understanding a hammer at its most primordial sense means knowing how to hammer.” Hubert Dreyfus
  • Customer Research HOW MUCH RESEARCH? People   Insights   Lot s  
  • A RESEARCH HEURISTIC 12   People   Insights   Lot s  
  • UX RESEARCH/EMOTION CURVE
  • Malkovich Bias The tendency to believe that everyone uses technology the same way you do. - Andres Glusman
  • ETHNOGRAPHY Literally “writing culture” Ethnography is: 1.  The process of “deep hanging out.” 2.  The richest research method we have. 3.  Something you should be doing all the time.
  • Ethnography Allows Us To
  • 1. Discover the semantics of living
  • 2. Decode signifiers of cultural practice
  • 3. Understand the language people use.
  • CONTEXT
  • Keys To Good Ethnography
  • Delve deeply into the context, lives, cultures, and rituals of a few people rather than study a large number of people superficially. This isn’t about booty calls, this is about relationships.
  • Holistically study people’s behaviors and experiences in daily life. You won’t find this in a lab, focus group, or 5 minute interview on the street.
  • Learn to ask probing, open questions, gathering as much data as possible to inform your understanding.
  • Practice “active seeing,” and “active listening.” Record every minutiae of daily existence, and encode on post-its.
  • Use collaborative sense-making activities like cynefin and affinity diagramming to understand and formulate a narrative of experience.
  • Map the stories and insights back to the original customer hypothesis and problem hypothesis. Did it validate or invalidate your hypotheses?
  • 4 ELEMENTS OF DESIGN THINKING We have this problem, lets jump in and brainstorm a solution We have a new technology, what can we possibly use it for? Our competitors just launched X; how quickly can we also do X? •  •  •  •  Empathy through research Framing the problem Generative ideation Prototyping & validation
  • How do we make sense of the world so that we can act in it? FRAMING AND SENSEMAKING
  • ON FRAMING “A frame is, simplistically, a point of view; often, and particularly in technical situations, this point of view is deemed “irrelevant” or “biasing” because it implicitly references a non-objective way of considering a situation or idea. But a frame – while certainly subjective and often biasing – is of critical use to the designer, as it is something that is shaped over the long-term aggregation of thoughts and experiences.” Jon Kolko
  • FRAMING THROUGH VISUALIZATION “By taking the data out of the cognitive realm (the head), removing it from the digital realm (the computer), and making it tangible in the physical realm in one cohesive visual structure (the wall), the designer is freed of the natural memory limitations of the brain and the artificial organizational limitations of technology.” Jon Kolko
  • SENSEMAKING The act of assigning meaning to experience. Extraction of meaning out of a situation. Sometimes purposeful, sometimes not. Micro and macro.
  • CYNEFIN The place of your multiple affiliations or belongings.
  • 4 ELEMENTS OF DESIGN THINKING We have this problem, lets jump in and brainstorm a solution We have a new technology, what can we possibly use it for? Our competitors just launched X; how quickly can we also do X? •  •  •  •  Empathy through research Framing the problem Generative ideation Prototyping & validation
  • GENERATIVE IDEATION
  • DESIGN EPISTEMOLOGY Deduction Induction Abduction What logically is. What likely is. What could be.
  • DESIGN EPISTEMOLOGY Deduction Induction Abduction Absolute Truth Science Design
  • DESIGN EPISTEMOLOGY
  • Ideation Process
  • KNOWLEDGE FUNNEL
  • CREATE PITCH CRITIQUE
  • DESIGN STUDIO Generate lots of design concepts (options*) Present concept as stories Check stories for coherence Integrate (steal) & Iterate Critique using Ritual Dissent Converge around testable solution hypotheses *See Chris Matts Real Options Theory
  • 4 ELEMENTS OF DESIGN THINKING We have this problem, lets jump in and brainstorm a solution We have a new technology, what can we possibly use it for? Our competitors just launched X; how quickly can we also do X? •  •  •  •  Empathy through research Framing the problem Generative ideation Prototyping & validation
  • PROTOTYPES AND VALIDATION
  • WHY PROTOTYPE? •  Explore • Quickly create testable solution options • Identifies problems before they’re coded • Reflection-in-action* •  Experiment • Early frequent feedback from customers • Low opportunity cost •  Evolve understanding of customer behaviors * “Theory in Practice,” Chris Argyris & Donald Schön
  • GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD
  • WHAT FIDELITY? •  Low fidelity • Paper •  Medium fidelity • Axure • Omnigraffle • Indigo Studio • Clickable Wireframes •  High Fidelity • Twitter Bootstrap • jQueryUI • Zurb Foundation Beware of “endowment effect,” also called the divestiture aversion. Once people invest time/effort “sketching with code,” its very difficult to throw the concept away and explore new options.” Identify what you want to learn, pick the least effort to go through Build > Measure > Learn
  • MAXIMIZE OPTIONALITY From insights, you can create multiple problem & solution hypotheses sets. It's not about designing the one right solution and refining. It's about testing many solutions to multiple problem hypotheses. It's about many small bets.
  • Conclusions
  • 4 ELEMENTS OF DESIGN THINKING We have this problem, lets jump in and brainstorm a solution We have a new technology, what can we possibly use it for? Our competitors just launched X; how quickly can we also do X? •  •  •  •  Empathy through research Framing the problem Generative Ideation Prototyping & validation
  • 4 ELEMENTS OF DESIGN THINKING We have this problem, lets jump in and brainstorm a solution We have a new technology, what can we possibly use it for? Our competitors just launched X; how quickly can we also do X? •  •  •  •  Empathy through research Framing the problem Generative Ideation Prototyping & validation
  • 4 ELEMENTS OF DESIGN THINKING We have this problem, lets jump in and brainstorm a solution We have a new technology, what can we possibly use it for? Our competitors just launched X; how quickly can we also do X? •  •  •  •  Empathy through research Framing the problem Generative Ideation Prototyping & validation
  • 4 ELEMENTS OF DESIGN THINKING We have this problem, lets jump in and brainstorm a solution We have a new technology, what can we possibly use it for? Our competitors just launched X; how quickly can we also do X? •  •  •  •  Empathy through research Framing the problem Generative Ideation Prototyping & validation
  • DESIGNER’S MANTRA We cannot think about solutions until we understand the problem.
  • DESIGNER’S PARADOX We cannot think about solutions until we understand the problem. AND We cannot understand a problem until we think about solutions.
  •    
  • THOMAS WENDT WILL EVANS @thomas_wendt thomas@srsg.co @semanticwill will@tlclabs.co Thanks!