Improving childhood nutrition in rural Vietnam. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ouicoude divergentIn 1990, to tackle malnutrition in rural Vietnam a team created a childhood nutrition programthat was inspired by spending time with Vietnamese families with abnormally healthy childrenand observing their diet and food habits. Source:http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/design_thinking_for_social_innovation/
divergentIn 2011 in an effort to preserve and revitalize endangered languages, a team created anonline learning system and put a rough early prototype online inviting potential users to try itout and give feedback.What do these two projects have in common? They’re both examples of Design Thinking inaction. And that’s what I’m going to talk about for the next few minutes.
desirable feasible viable Inspired by: http://dschool.stanford.edu/our-point-of-view/#design-thinking divergentBut what is design thinking?Essentially it is a methodology for innovation and change.Design thinking is a way to create innovations that are desirable for people, viable forbusiness and practically feasible.It draws on mindsets and methods from art, social sciences, business and engineering andcovers the full scope of innovation activity from research, planning, development,implementation and evaluation.
Collaboration Iteration Prototyping Action-oriented Human-centered Inspired by: http://dschool.stanford.edu/ divergentBefore we understand what DT means in practice we need to appreciate the big ideas behindit.The house of DT has 5 key foundation stones.It is fundamentally human-centered - focusing on understanding and designing for humanneeds and experiences.DT is driven by collaboration; multi-disciplinary teams, deep stakeholder and userinvolvement. In DT innovation is a group activity.DT relies on iterative development - repeated cycles of making and testing, making andtesting.Connected with iterative development, is the extensive use of prototyping to learn quicklyabout the strengthes and weaknesses of solution ideas.Despite the name, DT is an action-oriented methodology. It favours practicalexperimentation, doing over talking, and making over theorizing.
"For judgment thinking, the desired output is truth.... For design thinking, the output is value. For logical thinking, certainty is essential. For design thinking, possibility is essential. ” Edward De Bono, from http://www.cognitivedesignsolutions.com/DesignProcess/ DesignThinking.htm Image source: http://www.ﬂickr.com/people/40773692@N06 divergentSo what is DT like in practice? I’m going to cover three aspects - how you think, what you doand what you say.Firstly and most fundamentally DT is a way of thinking, a mindset. And this mindset can bequite different to how we’re traditionally taught to think in our schools and quite different tohow we tend to think in business.Edward de Bono articulates this difference beautifully when he says “For judgment thinking,the desired output is truth. For design thinking the output is value. For logical thinking,certainty is essential. For design thinking, possibility is essential.”
Critical thinking Creative thinking analytical generative Design Thinking convergent divergent vertical lateral probability possibility judgement suspension focused diffuse objective subjective the answer an answer left brain right brain verbal visual linear associative reasoning richness yes but yes and Adapted from - http://www.cognitivedesignsolutions.com/DesignProcess/DesignThinking.htm divergentTraditional critical thinking emphasises convergence, probability and logic. DT leans ondivergence, possibility and insight.Though DT leans more towards creative thinking, in reality it is a blend of both critical andcreative thinking, utilising different thinking styles at different points in the design process.
divergentPerhaps the key behaviour of DT is qualitative research to uncover authentic insights intohuman behaviour that can be used to inspire innovation. This research usually sees designersgoing out into the places where people live their lives and seeking to understand peoples’experiences from their point of view. Designers pay great attention to context and areinterested in not only what people say but what they do, what they use and the environmentsthe do it all in. DT favours this kind of research for it’s authenticity and ability to uncoverunarticulated needs. DT goes beyond surveys, questionnaires and focus groups and usesethnography-style research to gain a rich empathy for the reality of peoples’ lives and inspireinnovation.
divergentAnother key behavoiur in DT is prototyping.DT uses prototyping to quickly learn about the strengthes and weaknesses of an idea bymaking it tangible and experiential and putting it back into the hands of potential users.DT favours quick and dirty prototyping rather than high-ﬁdelity. This enables us to balanceinvestment with insight. In DT anything can be prototyped, from physical spaces, to events,to services to strategies.
Let’s prototype this what if? Yes and... let’s just explore this for a minute? how might we? how about we look at it another way? there must be a better way! divergentAnother key practical aspect of DT is language: what you say during the innovation process.Like any discipline DT has a language of it’s own. Yep there is a bit of jargon to get used tobut some of the most important phrases in the DT lexicon feature very ordinary words yethave extraordinary power when it comes to enabling innovation.Phrases like “how might we?” encourage exploration of possibilities. Phrases like “yes and,”allow designers to build on the ideas of others and synthesise divergent ideas and insights.Language is a key part of the practice of DT as it sets the stage and gives permission forpeople to be creative and innovative.
improve evolve invent transform Source: Cheskin Ltd. divergentWhat can Design Thinking practically help you with?DT can help across the full spectrum of business innovation from: improving efficiencies,evolving core offerings, inventing new value and transforming relationships betweenbusinesses and their customers.
products strategies customer-facing change services businesses processes internal change movements policies experiences plans events systems divergentDT can be used to innovate all sorts of things. DT is context and output agnostic. It worksequally well for small organisations and large ones, for the private sector and the public.From products to services, from business models to goverment policies, DT can be used tocreate change that is more human-centered and therefore more likely to deliver the intendedvalue.
divergentA typical design project looks a bit like this. It loops back on itself at a couple of points,explores divergent paths that can become dead ends but follows a steady trajectory frominception to innovation. DT projects can look and feel chaotic but it’s the openness topossibilities, the willingness to explore and reframe that makes it such a good methodologyfor innovation.forming the brief and project planputting together a teamuser-research - going into the wildreframing the problem/opportunity based on user needsgenerating a wide range of solution ideasprototyping to learn fasttesting with usersReﬁning ideasImplementing to market
a methodlogy for innovation and change human-centered, highly collaborative, iterative development, prototyping and action-oriented a mindset emphasising creative thinking over critical heavily reliant on ethnography-style research for understanding peoples’ needs framed by language that encourages creativity, permits wild ideas and supports synthesis drive change right across the innovation spectrum: improvements - transformational change context and output agnostic divergentTo summarise...- a methodlogy for innovation and change- human-centered, highly collaborative, iterative development, prototyping and action-oriented- a mindset emphasising creative thinking over critical- heavily reliant on ethnography-style research for understanding peoples’ needs- supported by language that encourages creativity, permits wild ideas and supportssynthesis- drive change right across the innovation spectrum and context and output agnosticSo why should you care about all this?From a business perspective, design thinking is about innovation, about creating things thatmeet the needs of your customers therefore helping you to stay ahead of the competition andsurvive in a complex and rapidly changing world.As members of the digital industry forum, you are all agents of change and designers of a keypart of the Waikato’s future. I think DT has a lot to offer you in that endeavour, so I want toﬁnishby leaving you with a big question to ponder - how do you think DT help to grow theWaikato’s digital industry?
How might design thinking help to growthe Waikato’s digital industry? divergent