Creating solutions with Design Thinking

Today customers are expecting solutions from businesses and we have to be able to provide those to them, not just by guessing and assuming what they would like to have but to creating those with them.

With our visitor lecturers, founder of FORTH innovation method Gijs van Wulfen and Design Professor and Entrepreneur in Creative Industries Prof. Katja Tschimmel, we learned about Design Thinking and design thinking tools in very practical way. On our Master class on 13-14th of September with our first study unit “Design thinking” we did with them an innovation assignment which was to create new products or services for Laurea Leppävaara campus to make it a better place to be, learn and live.

At first Katja introduced couple new ways to get know each other better in our new group. Gijs tells about the perfect innovation team in his book “The innovation expedition, a visual toolkit to start innovation” and that was very interesting. I think it’s very important to get right people to get new ideas because if you gather every time the same group of specialists in to the same innovation assignment, you will easily end up with the same ideas every time.

We startMind Maped our assignment in small groups after we got some theoretical information about design thinking tools and Gijs van Wulfen’s FORTH innovation method. First we did mind mapping for finding opportunities, but I think most of us were heading straight to finding solutions for the problems what we discovered.  After that we did photo safari for observing our opportunities and visual research from internet and we put it together for a mood board.

Then it was time to raise ideas using brain writing. At this point we needed to be very open minded and think out of the box to create some real innovations. We put our ideas to the wall in turns and when we were lacking of new ideas we started to combine different pictures from the mood board to get new ideas.  Finally we selected our ideas in silence by putting best ideas nearer to our target and I found this way was very good to find out what the group’s joint vision is with regards to new business concept.

 KotaDesign Thinking enables us to get fast feedback and lets us to fail in our creative process, because we can and we should improve our innovation on the way. At class we tested our concepts with storytelling and introducing our prototypes to our test audience and we got very important feedback from other group. We did improvements after that and at the end of the day it was time for homecoming with business model canvas presentation for the customer.

In Katja Tschimmels article “Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation,” Katja says that “Today, Design Thinking is understood as a way of thinking which leads to transformation, evolution and innovation, to new forms of living and to new ways of managing business.” Very important part of Design Thinking for me is that we should change our way from creating for the customers and end users to creating with the customers and the end users and how we can do that. At the same time we cannot forget our businesses’ needs and targets, so we need to take in to account different kind of aspects to make innovations for every stakeholder.

Written by SID student Minna Myyryläinen.

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