Archive by Author | shuamikk

The power of design thinking

We are honored to have contact lessons with Dr. Katja Tschimmel, Design Professor at ESAD Portugal, and Gijs van Wulfen, Innovation Consultant about design thinking. I work in a design organization surrounded by designers; I always wanted to know how design thinking can be used by anyone as a toolkit. This course gives me the absolutely fantastic opportunity to learn to think like designer.

After the course, I feel am fulfilled with power which will help me to continue with my rest of SID programs. I can’t wait to learn more.  Now, let me share with you essential personal takeaways from the course.

1. The power of “Visual”

During the course I remember all the time Katja and Gijs have been talking about “Visual”, I believe that is the most important aspect which makes design thinking standing out. We tried mind mapping, foto safari, image interview, moodboard, brain writing, sketching and desktop walk through (Katja Tschimmel’s research paper Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation (2012) in step 1 (Full Steam Ahead) and 2 (Observe and Learn) of FORTH method ( by Gijs van Wulfen. The commonality of all of these tools above is all of them are very visual.

The power of visual is obvious. Research paper shows that people remember 80% of what they see and do (Figure 1 below). That is why if you really want what you said to be remembered, you must use visual tools.


(Figure 1: Resource:

I totally felt thrilled by how much more effectively I remembered our course by using sketching, mood-board, mind-mapping and desktop walkthrough. It is also very interesting to me that many times when we discuss with team members, I thought we were on same page already but not until we draw our ideas on paper or write them down, we realized that we actually didn’t understand each other fully. I learned so much by doing the exercises given by Katja and Gijs.

Right after the course, I started applying visual communication immediately into my current work. Below is an example of fast drawings to illustrate focus areas in our operational development projects portfolio (Experience Innovation collaboration and Product Execution (Figure 2)).


(Figure 2: example of using visual tool in my own work after the course)

It is also important to remember that it doesn’t matter if the drawings are not beautiful. Don’t be shy to try it out, like Katja and Gijs said, you need not to be designer to think or work like designer. Having said that, I believe the more you practice the better you will become. The key is to start using the visual tool and do it more often. This will help you to become a natural design thinker.

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