Diving Into the World of Design Thinking

“Now I want you all to introduce yourselves, but this time you will do it differently.” – this is how our Design Thinking course started and little did we know what will follow afterwards. To present ourselves we were divided into groups, where each of us had to first, speak about her/himself, second, count one minute, third, draw the speaker and fourth, listen. What a mindshake on a Friday morning! 

In this blog we will tell you what else we did during our workshop. But first, let’s focus on the definition and purpose of Design Thinking.

Our Portraits Created by Our Teammates in Miro

What is Design Thinking?

Historically design has not been a key step in the developing process. Designers came along at the very end of the process to make the product look aesthetically desirable or have a nice package. Due to the shift from industrial manufacturing to knowledge work and service delivery, the objectives of innovation are no longer physical products, but they can be services, processes or applications.  (Brown 2008)

Design Thinking today is understood as an effective method with a toolkit for innovation processes in multidisciplinary teams in any kind of organization (Tschimmel 2021). User-centric perspective and empathy for gaining a deeper understanding of the user’s needs is essential in the design thinking process (Kouprie & Sleeswijk 2009). 

Motee (2013) emphasizes the role of business leaders in creating a design thinking culture within a company. In his opinion, future business leaders should practice disciplined imagination to formulate problems and generate alternative outcomes, look beyond the limits and enable collaboration in the company.

Mindshake E6² Model in Practice

Professor Katja Tschimmel introduced us to the Mindshake Evolution 6² model, which we will describe below and explain how we used it in the workshop.

To begin with, we were given a topic of “Inclusion at work”. We started by identifying challenges and opportunities of the issue. At this stage, we created an Opportunity map and formulated an Intent statement (Emergence). 

We planned and conducted short Interviews in order to gain Empathy with the target group and filled the results into the Insight map.  

In the Experimentation stage, we used Brainwriting for ideation and learned to come up with as many ideas as possible since the first ideas are always the obvious ones. 

The purpose of the Elaboration is to figure out how to transform an idea into a tangible concept. We utilized Rapid Prototyping to visualize our concept. 

Collaborating in Miro / SID Design Thinking Master Class Autumn 2021. 

In the Exposition stage, we created a Storyboard of our concept for presenting the key results of our innovation process and the benefits of the new vision.

At the Extension stage, we collected feedback from our classmates to potentially develop our idea-solution. Normally, at this stage, the team has to think how to implement the solution in practice. Because of the time and resources frames we couldn’t fully experience the Extension stage, however, we went through the whole cycle of the Innovation process and understood the main principles. 

The Key Points Learned of the DT Process

  • Human-Centeredness and Empathy  – We need to step into the user’s shoes.
  • Co-creation and Collaboration – Include as many stakeholders as possible throughout the process.
  • Creativity – Every idea is welcome.
  • Creativity can be developed through practice.
  • Visualizations help to communicate ideas with others.
  • Experimentation – Playful thinking and making mistakes are an important part of every creative process.

Written by Sari Eskelinen & Lada Stukolkina SID MBA Students at Laurea University of Applied Sciences

Brown, Tim (2008) Design Thinking. Harvard Business Review, June, 84-95. 

Courtney, Jonathan (2020). What Is Design Thinking? An Overview. YouTube Video.

Kouprie, M & Sleeswijk Visser, F. (2009) A framework for empathy in design: stepping into and out of the user’s life (Links to an external site.) in Journal of Engineering Design Vol. 20, No. 5, October 2009, 437–448 

Mootee, Idris (2013) Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation: What They Can’t Teach You at Business or Design School. Wiley. 

Tschimmel, Katja (2021): Creativity, Design and Design Thinking – A Human-Centred ménage à trois for Innovation. In Perspectives on Design II. Ed. Springer “Serie in Design and Innovation”. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-79879-6.

Tschimmel, Katja (2021). Design Thinking course lectures, September 3–4 2021. Laurea University of Applied Sciences.

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5 thoughts on “Diving Into the World of Design Thinking

  1. This was very nice summary of our master class with Katja Tschimmel, I’m even inclined to compliment my notes with this blog!
    With such a clear structure and content the text would serve as an easy-to-read introduction to design thinking.

  2. I agree with Toni, you have formed a very clear and appealing post about the design thinking concept, history and the key takeaways from the Master’s class in DT. You have well combined the course readings, the model by Katja Tschimmel presented during the two course days as well as your personal experiences from the course exercises. There is also another blog with the same title “Diving Into the World of Design Thinking” but I think yours was first and you can take merit from the title as well. All in all great work!

  3. First of all, thank you for sharing the video link, that explained so clearly the Design Thinking cycle and philosophy. It gave a great review about the subject and I really enjoyed watching it.
    Secondly, your explanation about Mindshake Evolution 6² model summarized perfectly what we did and learned during the master class of Design Thinking. And even though I did make the connection between the process of our workshop with the MIndshake model, your explanation clarified this connection for me. You managed to explain all the steps of the process combined with the model in a very clear way. I think I will do like Toni and complement my notes with your text!

  4. Thank your for providing a comprehensive post on Design thinking concept. It is very structured and easy to understand. Design thinking concepts is based on multidisciplinary approach and therefore we have various ways to define it. It is very popular in modern world and world’s leading brands such as Apple, Google and facebook are actively utilizing it.
    Before our Master class of DT, i have entirely different approach to look at this concept but Mindshake Evolution model was an excellent eye-opener for me- I really enjoyed to learn and apply it through out our 2-day contact sessions.

    I totally agree with Toni that your post would be a great compliment to anyone’s notes about Design thinking concept.

  5. Actually this is exactly what a person who is not very much familiar about “Design Thinking” would need as a starter package. I must say that you have given the summary of whole design thinking process in a well-presented and precise way, and have highlighted the main steps involved in the desigh thinking process. The flow of the text is excellent, and it was pretty easy for me to follow and understand, because I have seen that often authors make simple things difficult while expressing themselves, whereas, in this blog post its otherway around. I can definitely recommed this blog to my friends who don’t have any background.

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