My study journey in Laurea’s SID programme started with insecurity. After the introduction round I was sure someone had made a mistake by accepting me into this group. All my classmates seemed to be already professionals in service design, concept design, product design and every-possible-design. I was professional in totally different field that had a very little to do with design. After the first contact sessions in Laurea Leppävaara, and after inhaling and exhaling few times, I was ready for the challenge. Damn right I can be an expert in Design thinking even though I don’t have design background! And what could be the better opportunity to learn than being surrounded by a group of people who are experts in so many different fields.
I got morale back-up after I familiarized myself with some Design Thinking theories, both Katja Tschimmel in “Design Thinking as an Effective Toolkit for Innovation” (2012) and Tim Brown in “Change By Design” (2009) point out that the academic background does not define design thinker. Design Thinking is more of a way of thinking and understanding the process of innovation. During our Design Thinking contact session Katja said something that stuck in my mind: “Try to get the maximum experience”. She was of course talking about the world experiences in general but I decided to utilise this word of wisdom with this certain assignment. I decided to practice Design Thinking tools in designing this particular blog post.
First phase in my process was Emergency phase as visualized in Evolution 6² model. All in all there are several different Design Thinking models available (IDEO’s 3 I model, The 4D/Double Diamond Model The British Council, The Model of the Hasso-Plattner Institute), all of the models are visualizing the Design Thinking process. My process started with Media Research where I got myself familiar with the concept of professional blog; what are the elements of a good blog, who are the readers etc. In this divergent phase I collected material to create choices.
In the Experimentation phase (Evolution 6² model) I decided to make a Mind Map (Buzan & Buzan,1993) where I structured my ideas. The structured map creates the content of the blog post. In the Mind Map I also used sketching, which helps my brain to think and makes the outcome more legible.
The next phase in my Design Thinking process was Elaboration phase (Evolution 6² model) where I created a Rapid Prototype of a blog post. Prototyping is a quick way to visualize the blog post – what are the elements, is it readable etc. Prototyping is a great tool to “Think with hands” and it creates an opportunity for early failure. In Desing Thinking the early failure is seen as a positive thing for the process. The earlier you fail, the sooner you can succeed. It can also save a lot of money.
In optimal circumstances my blog post prototype would be have been tested by the users so that it could be refined and improved. Customer-centric approach, all in all, is the key element in Design Thinking. Services are designed with the help of and together with consumers to gain real insights. In Design Thinking the customer is the expert and should be included in the process early on.
The next phase on my blog posting process is Exposition and hopefully later on Extension. Now you have read my blog post (it can be taken as a test or a mock-up), please feel free to leave a comment and give feedback. Hopefully, taking under the consideration all the feedback, I will be able to develop the blog post (or the next one) in the direction that serves the readers even better.
Service Innovation and Design MBA Student
Brown, Tim (2009) Change by design: how design thinking can transform organizations and inspire innovation. New York: HarperCollinsPublishers
Tschimmel, Katja (2012). Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation. In: Proceedings of the XXIII ISPIM Conference: Action for Innovation: Innovating from Experience. Barcelona.