We had pleasure to participate on two day design thinking (DT) study module. These days were full of innovative thinking instructed by two lovely ladies from Portugal; Dr. Katja Tschimmel (Design Professor, ESAD Portugal, developer of DT model EVOLUTION 6² ) and Mariana Valenca (Lecturer in Design thinking, ESAD Portugal). They started with introducing some of the most popular design thinking modules. (Presented below)
We got to know their company Mindshake (http://mindshake.pt/design_thinking) and the Design Model that they have developed, called EVOLUTION 6². We got to do some hands-on training as Mariana Valenca kindly familiarized us through their DT model step by step. This was very interesting, challenging and made our minds more innovative. We work in groups leading by Mariana and here are few pictures from those days and what we made.
EVOLUTION 6² –Mindshake Design Thinking model
Phases: Emergence, Emphathy, Experimentation, Elaboration, Exposition, Extension
First phase Emergence we experienced the model by doing ‘intent statement’ and ‘opportunity mind map’. In this first phase the goal is to identificate of an opportunity.
On Experimentation phase we had a lot of fun with legos! In this phase you generate ideas and develop concepts.
On Elaboration phase we worked with ‘service blueprint’. Phases meaning is to work on material and semantic solutions.
On Exposition phase we made ‘a visual business model’. Meaning of this phase is communicating the new concept and solutions.
Design Thinking Models
Here are briefly presented few of the most applied Design Thinking tools that are created. These model are presented widely on Katja Tschimmels research article. (Tschimmel, K. (2012). Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation)
IDEO’s 3 I model (Created in 2001)
At this phase designers needs to identificate context by observing and completing design research.
Phases meaning is to brainstorming process and encourage visual concepts so that complex ideas could be understood.
The core of this stage is prototyping. After creating the final product/service there is a need to develop a communication strategy to help communication inside and outside the organization.
IDEO has also launched HCD model which has double meaning as:
Human Centered Design
Design team will collect data from people and prepare and conduct field research.
Thinking change from concrete to more abstract identifying themes and opportunities and then back to concrete thinking with solutions and prototypes.
Realize the solutions and launch them in to the world.
Hasso-Plattner Institutes Design Thinking model:
This model is based on IDEO’s process experience and part of it is very similar with IDEO’s 3 I model
The DT process is visualized in six steps, connected by curved lines indicating that each step is performed in iterative loops. First phase Understand is about gathering information through secondary research. Second phase Observe includes collecting insights about the users’ needs. The insights are shared and synthesized visually in the third, Point of view, phase. Fourth phase, Ideate corresponds with IDEO 3 I stage ideation (picture 1). Last two phases, Prototype and Test contains same frames as IDEOs 3 I stage implementation (picture 1).
British Council has developed a design process model in 2005 called The 4 D or Double Diamond.
On discover phase designer searches new insights and opportunities. The second phase, define, works as a filter for the first phase where insights are selected and discarded. In third, develop,stage designed solutions are developed and tested using Design Thinking tools, like brainstorming, sketches and prototypes. In the last, deliver, stage the final concept undergo final testing, producing and finally launching.
Katja Tschimmel writes in her ‘Design Thinking as an Effective Toolkit for Innovation’ research article that there is not exactly best DT process model, innovation managers should choose their model depending their disciplinary background and their personal taste. In this same research article Katja Tschimmel finds that IDEO’s 3 I model (picture 1) would exclude essential moments of the design process, even though it is easy memorable name and the first model on the market. Double diamond model (picture 4) is the most complete one and reason for that could be that it is designed for designers’ use. Other models which are presented here are produced for business and management in focus.
This research article is very important from my point of view. It tells us main points of the most important DT models and a bit of history of developing these models. This kind of information in a nutshell brings us closer to understand how new models are build up and how important these phases for example in EVOLUTION 6² model are. In my opinion Katja Tschimmel writes about design thinking in the way that we all could develop our creative processes trough DT model.
Design Thinking by Nigel Cross
I can recommend Nigel Cross’ book Design Thinking (2011). Book includes a lot of examples how designers works in different fields. Trough researches we can familiarize ourselves in designers way of thinking and their motivation for design work. Cross has taken designers interviews part of his research. One main relevance arising from interviews among designers is that successful designers are sensitive to nuances in their environments and their awareness is higher than average people have.
Cross writes about different case studies from teamwork and what kind of possibilities and problems arises from it comparing to work independently. With these case studies reader can really understand designers way of thinking and working. Cross gives examples between novice and expert designer and more importantly how we all can improve our creativity.
To all of us, remember Design thinking is a mindset which can be developed.
Written by Pinja Suonpää