Design Thinking for Nonprofits


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Workshop facilitated by Dana Mitroff Silvers (@dmitroff) and Betty Ray (@EdutopiaBetty) at the 2013 Nonprofit Technology Conference in Minneapolis, MN

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  • Whydo this? Tool for managing chaosTool to tackle messy challengesScalableAbout the session This is whirlwind, just a taste of the design thinking process. This is experiential learningReally should be called Design DOING, not Design ThinkingThe focus will be on the process, not on the contentThere are many different ways of practicing DT, this workshop is based on the methods and strategies developed at the HassoPlattner Institute of Design at Stanford, also knows as “the d.school”
  • Our design challenge today is to design a product or service to improve the morning experience We all have our morning routines – here’s your chance to take a look at yours and design something to improve it. Open your handouts to the first page where it says describe/sketch your idea below. Grab a sharpie and go! 3 minutes
  • You just experienced a common problem-solving approach. That is the way we often set ourselves up to solve problems and to innovate in most organizations:AloneBlank slateOk, go!How many of us have been asked to solve a meaty problem at work by sitting alone at your desk, facing a blank page?Not the best way to innovate!
  • DT is a human-centered process for innovationIt’s both a mindset and a methodology
  • Todayyou will experience a rapid-fire trip through the full DT cycleA five-stage processTad misleading, as stages can be repeatedNot always linearIt’s iterative process
  • Design thinking methods are being increasingly adopted in the private sector by organizations that rely on innovation to succeedRanging from technology startups to large corporations like Intuit and Target. Nonprofits-- like SFMOMA and Edutopia-- are also starting to integrate DT methodsIt is our hope that today’s session will help spread the mindset and tools of DT to the nonprofit sector
  • For some people the morning routine might feel like this
  • DanaFor others it might feel like this
  • The DT process starts with empathyOne of the most effective ways to gain we are going to interview your partnerYou are going to have a conversation with your partner about his/her morning experienceYou will be designing for your partnerSo yourgoal is to learn as much as you can about your partner’s experiences from your interviewYou might want to kick off your conversation with open-endedquestions like these:
  • Before we get started, a few quick guidelines for interviewing:For example, instead of “Tell me about a typical morning,” you might say, “Tell me about your Monday morning this week.”For example, instead of “Don’t you hate driving to work?” you might say “Tell me about your commute?Other ways to ask why:“Tell me more.”“Why is that?”“How come?”
  • Now return to your worksheet and turn the next page, step 1 “Interview”You each have 3 minutes to interview your partner and take notes. Remember you are asking your partner about his/her morning experience.Listen carefully to what you partner tells you and take notes because you will be designing for your partner today
  • Step 2 on your handoutFind out what’s really going on. You are looking for the underlying feelings. “Tell me more about that…” “Tell me the story of the time..” “Why?” Remember: you are not solving anything right now. Just really get to know them and their morning experience.
  • You just got a wealth of information about your partner. Are you seeing any patterns? You can begin to infer insight—connect the dots. Now we’re going to define a problem OR OPPORTUNITY statementThis is when you look for the insights and surprises that set you up to solve the right challenge
  • This is step 3 in your handoutThis is known as a Problem Statement or a Point of View StatementThis is when you define your user and his/her needs. This is the statement you’re going to address with your design – a meaningful challenge you’re going to take on.It should feel like a problem worth solving. Make sure it’s juicy and actionableuserA real personneedA need, not a solutioninsightWhat he/she didn’t realizeEXAMPLE:Sasha, a struggling and perfectionistic first year elementary school teacherNeeds a way to balance her desire to get ahead of the day with her need for a moment of calm and nourishmentbecause she has no time to plan -- and if her morning is scattered, the whole day can go down hill
  • So you’ve just synthesized what you’ve learned from your partner and defined a meaningful challenge you’re going to take on.You are now going to generate ideas for solutions to the challenge you have identified.This is the brainstorming phase, in which we want to generate lots of ideas. This phase is meant to be expansive, opening up the possibilities. It’s also the fun phase when you can go crazy with your ideas
  • You will be going step 4 on your worksheetYou will have 4 minutes on your ownYou are going to quickly sketch out at least 5 radical ways to meet your partner’s needsTry to use pictures as much as possible -- you can use stick figures and squiggly linesIf you have more than 5 ideas, use the back of the worksheet! Go for volume!Your ideas can be as wild as you want, go crazy! Don’t worry about how feasible or realistic your ideas are.
  • This is step 5 on your handoutThis is a chance to get feedbackSee what resonates and what doesn’tYou don’t have to defend your ideasThis is not about validationFeedback is a gift! This is an opportunity to learn more about your partners’ feelings and motivationsDon’t sell your ideas, use it as a chance to get deeper EMPATHY
  • The next phase is PROTOTYPEForsome of you this will be the fun part. You’ve noticed the construction materials on your tables.You’re going to use these to build a prototype so your partner can EXPERIENCE the innovation you have created for them.
  • This is step 6 on your worksheet, but you won’t be using your worksheetPrototyping materials on your tables. Something tangible that your partner can engage with. If you are designing a service – like a waiter that delivers hot coffee – you can make a little hat with tray and cup. You will be able to walk them through it, so don’t get too focused on making it perfect. This will go quickly, so focus on what’s important. We’ll give you warnings at the halfway and 1 minute mark. And you only have 8 minutes, so get to work!
  • You’ve just spent 8 minutes making an quick and scrappy prototype for your partnerNow you get instant feedback because you are going to share it with your partner!
  • The goal of this phase is to see how your partner interacts with and uses what you createJust like with your sketches, don’t sell. Adopt the attitude of an anthropologist, not a sales person.YOU’VE GOTTA PUT IT IN THEIR HANDS, LET THEM EXPERIENCE ITYou can take notes in step 7 on your handout – don’t’ worry about filling out all the cellsGoal is to take in and capture your user’s reactions to the prototypeYou will have 2 sessions at 4 minutes each.
  • Share prototypes with others at your table. Place all prototypes on your table and behold how awesome they are! Anyone want to brag about your partner and the prototype they made for you? Anyone see a prototype that you are dying to know about?You will have 10 minutes
  • Please remember to take a moment to evaluate this sessionIn the spirit of DT, we WANT to hear from you, our usersWe will iterate this workshop the next time we teach it based on what we hear from you
  • Transcript of "Design Thinking for Nonprofits"

    1. 1. Design Thinking for Nonprofits #13NTCdtDana Mitroff SilversBetty Ray 1
    2. 2. Who We Are @EdutopiaBetty @dmitroff Slide 2
    3. 3. Goals for todayHands-onexperience withthe full designcycleTools to apply toyour workHave fun! 3
    4. 4. your challenge: Design a product orservice to improve the morning experience 4
    5. 5. OK, go!Right now, on your own, design aproduct or service to improve themorning experience. Use theworksheet.You’ve got 3 minutes. 5
    6. 6. That was a problem-solving approach… Photo by x.JasonRogersx’s http://www.flickr.com/photos/restlessglobetrotter/498649407/ 6
    7. 7. Now a design thinking approach Photo by the d.school http://www.flickr.com/photos/cba- dschool/7586567060/ 7
    8. 8. Design thinking process 8
    9. 9. Design thinking in organizations Photo by LindsayKinkade http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindsaykinkade/7100872965// 9
    10. 10. Warm up! Photo by Nancy White http://www.flickr.com/photos/choconancy/8017360279// 10
    11. 11. Find a partner Photo by the d.school http://www.flickr.com/photos/cba- dschool/7586547294/ 11
    12. 12. Redesign the morning experience— for your partner 12
    13. 13. Photo by Anirudh Raohttp://www.flickr.com/photos/rao_anirudh/8230269857 13 /
    14. 14. Photo by glenmcbethlawhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/glenpooh/3147042293/ 14
    15. 15. 15
    16. 16. Start by gaining empathyAsk your partnerabout his/hermorning experience:“Tell me about thismorning…”“Tell me about yourmost memorablemorning… Photo by the d.school http://www.flickr.com/photos/cba- dschool/7586541558/ 16
    17. 17. Interview tips Avoid “usually” and “always” –go for specifics! Avoid binary or leading questions. Ask short questions. Always ask why. 17
    18. 18. Interview Photo by the d.school http://www.flickr.com/photos/cba- dschool/7586544914/2 sessions x 3 minutes each 18
    19. 19. Dig deeper“Tell me more aboutthat...”“Tell me the story ofthe time…”“Why?”2 sessions x 3 minutes each Photo by the d.school http://www.flickr.com/photos/cba- dschool/7143429069/ 19
    20. 20. 20
    21. 21. Define problem statement3 minutes on your own 21
    22. 22. 22
    23. 23. Sketch 5 ways to meet user’s needs4 minutes on your own 23
    24. 24. Share your solutions & capture feedback2 sessions x 3 minutes each 24
    25. 25. 25
    26. 26. Build your solution8 minutes on your own 26
    27. 27. 27
    28. 28. Test your solution & get feedback2 sessions x 4 minutes each 28
    29. 29. Share prototypes Photo by the d.school 10 minutes http://www.flickr.com/photos/cba- dschool/7586550552/ 29
    30. 30. Wrapping up #13NTCdt Photo by the d.school http://www.flickr.com/photos/cba- dschool/6757751253/ 30
    31. 31. Resources & Contact infohttp://bit.ly/dt-resourcesdana@dmitroff.comwww.dmitroff.com@dmitroffbetty.ray@edutopia.orgwww.edutopia.org@EdutopiaBetty 31
    32. 32. Evaluate This Session!Each entry is a chance to win an NTEN engraved iPad! or Online using #13NTCdt at www.nten.org/ntc/eval 32
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