Tag Archive | design process

Design Process Three Ways

By Salla Kuuluvainen

I participated in Dash Design – an event that was preparation for Europe’s largest hackathon DASH.
In Dash Design we heard from three companies and their take on design process: Smartly.io, Pentagon Design and Iittala.

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What became quite clear at the event was that the design process can look very different and still be creative, effective and produce great results. At Smartly.io, the process is very well defined and clear structures exist. Same could be said about Pentagon Design, who brought an example of rebranding licorice for Fazer. At Iittala, there was no structured process, instead the new designs were created with a much looser approach of experimentation.

Designing with Clear Roadmaps at Smartly

Smartly.io helps companies with automatized online marketing solutions. It’s a fast paced tech company that prides in innovating fast. Smartly has a very clearly defined roadmap for product development, with a clever side process for more experimental innovation. All solutions are created close to the customer and tested internally and externally.

3 takeaways from Smartly

• Everyone at the company is involved in the design process, not just designers.
• Rapid prototyping and early release of new features is crucial.
• It’s important to work very close to the customer.

Deep Diving with Pentagon Design

Pentagon Design is a consultancy that helped a very well known, old Finnish company Fazer in rebranding some of their most classic licorice products very successfully towards a more premium category product. Pentagon Design used a very thought through approach that was based on the Double Diamond and included lots of testing with customers and feedback, and for example a process called Deep Dive that investigated the environments and user and even employee perspectives of the products in thorough manner.

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An example of Pentagon Design’s analytical approach to design process

3 takeaways from Pentagon Design

• For a design agency, it’s good to have a strong, tried out framework for the design process, which can even be adapted to the client company’s own processes.
• It’s important to let the customers in the design process from early phases to get the right feedback.
• The design team should have the right mixture of competences.

Experimenting at Iittala

Iittala is known for every Finn, it is a very traditional interior design brand. Jeremiah Teslin from Iittala talked about the different approaches he had used when rebranding and redesigning some of Iittala’s established product categories.

Personally for me it was interesting how much Teslin talked about needing to convince the organization to support the new designs, and how he used visual rebranding, creation of attractive images of the new products and setting up spaces to showcase the products as well as organized different kinds of internal innovation events to create engagement in the company for the new products. So in a way the design process for him was much more about change management than just about coming up with new products.

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An example of visualization of products

3 takeaways from Iittala

• Work with the right people.
• Make the ideas visible and tangible for the whole company.
• Facilitate behavior change with design: We don’t need new mugs, instead we need better coffee moments.

Generally what all of these three companies had was passion and awareness for the process of design, even if they worked in quite different areas and with different kinds of tools and methods. That enthusiasm is also my main takeaway from the event!

DASH Boom Bang!

“You gotta get stuff done.” – Jeremiah Tesolin, Iittala.

Event: DASH – Design Process

Time: 13.9.2018 17.00 – 19.00

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Host presenting DASH – Design Hackathon

Place: Clarion Hotel Helsinki (Tyynenmerenkatu 2, 00220 Helsinki)

 

”Interested to discover new design processes and learn different approaches to design? DASH – Design Process gathers three companies from different fields to uncover their design process.

Using different design processes help you to work more efficiently and to break down a large project into manageable chunks. Architects, engineers, scientists, and other thinkers use design processes frequently to solve a variety of problems.”

 

 

 

 

Keynote1: Roman Musatkin, Product Designer at Smartly.io

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Roman Musatkin


What defines design process?

  1. Maximizing Pruduct Development speed
  2. Building the product with the most advanced customers
  3. Everyone does customer support
  4. Everyone is involved in the design process

At Smartly.io product building is fast: plan – design – release a feature the same week. Customers give instant feedback about user experience issues or bugs in the system. They use whiteboards, sketching and Invision to keep the process agile and not too complex.

 

 

 

Keynote 2: Virva Haltsonen, Senior Strategist at Pentagon Design

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Virva Haltsonen

 

 

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Fazer Lakritsi new release, had try it after Dash 🙂

Virva presented Fazer Lakritsi concept project as a case design process. Together they built a portfolio that is turning settings around in liquerice business.  Pentagon design uses double diamond as the basic design process, normally the prosess is divided in five phases each with own meaning in the iterative project. Their long-lasting design thinking agency relies in simple formula in success: empathy + creativity + rationality = user
needs + business success. Pentagon designs attributes their success in ”Rational passion” combining rigorous procesess and creativity. Virva emphasised that it is important to learn quite quickly. Find answers to questions like ”How do we know that we are onto something interesting?” ”Who should be involved?”

 

 

 

Keynote 3: Jeremiah Tesolin, Creative Director at Iittala

Jeremiah Tesolin explained design process more through guidelines about how to develop a company:

  • Making it relevant
  • Working with what the company is really good at
  • Doing something a bit wild
  • Working with the right people
  • Familiar yet surprisingly new
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Jeremiah Tesolin

 

It was very interesting to hear three keynotes about the same topic with three quite different companies. They all had a lot in common in their design processes though. The dominant theme seemed to be doing things. Doing things fast. It of course fits well to the hachathon theme coming up, but also about being efficient is important in modern world today. Being agile in development process and maximizing product development speed keep you at an advantage point when comparing to competitors. Rapid prototyping and other methods are important, because you need to learn quite quickly about what to do with your next move. Doing things from scratch ’till release fast gives you opportunity to also grow fast if you do your process right.

In order of doing design process right, all three companies have another thing completely the same: getting customers involved. Having customers involved in the design process helps you to understand the users needs and get genuine feedback. Some build the product together with the most advanced customers, others are making things relevant by understanding the context of use. As Jeremiah Tesolin said: “You own the vase, but you bring the flowers into your life.”

Just as building services with clients/customers/users, you also need to involve everyone in the company in the design process. Sharing the knowledge in “Friday demos” or talking to people stimulates your brain to new ideas. Working with the right people creates objects and services people love. A lot of the times sharing and learning is done by tools such as whiteboard, InVision, Slack, Pinterest, photographing and other things that help you visualize things.

One has to make exceptions to the system and create change towards collaboration and new contexts for services and designs. New moments, new experiences, new uses, new behaviours, new relationships, new degrees of funcion.

 

”Dash is organized by Aalto Entrepreneurship Society, the largest and most developed student entrepreneurship community in Europe. Aaltoes organizes various events and programs to promote entrepreneurship and help early-stage startups to start their ventures. Aaltoes is behind events and programs such as Kiuas, early-stage startup incubator, and FallUp, Europe’s entrepreneurship event for students.”

 

The author Siru Sirén is MBA student in Futures Studies and Customer-Oriented Services in Laurea UAS// Licenced social service professional

 

More info and ideas:

https://www.dash.design

https://www.smartly.io

http://www.pentagondesign.fi/fi

https://www.iittala.com/fi/fi/tarinamme

https://www.fazer.fi/tuotteet-ja-asiakaspalvelu/tuotemerkit/fazer-lakritsi

https://www.invisionapp.com

https://slack.com

https://www.nordicchoicehotels.fi/hotellit/suomi/helsinki/clarion-hotel-helsinki/

https://www.helsinkidesignweek.com

*Article-photo taken as a screenshot from Dash website

Design when everybody designs

When, a couple of years ago, I announced I was going to quit my job to attend the HPI School of Design Thinking, most of my family and friends thought I was about to neglect the business path I had been following to find my true self in sketching trees on a notebook. (Which, by the way, is a back thought I never really excluded).

Later on, when sitting next to a scientist, a film producer, a psychologist and a dancer, all aiming to become design thinkers, I wondered what would bring us all together.

Once clarified that our goal was not to become excellent drawers, what does design mean to us? And if background is not a differentiator, what’s that make us feel in the right place?

Tim Brown (2008) lists a number of characteristics shaping the profile of a design thinker:

  • Empathy, as in the ability to observe situation from multiple perspectives
  • Integrative thinking, as in approaching a problem holistically
  • Optimism, as in having trust in finding a solution that fits, no matter how blurry the process is
  • Experimentalism, as in curiosity and resilience to failure
  • Collaboration, as in a natural tendency to work in teams

groupwork

This last point is further explained, again by Tim Brown in his book “Change by design”, where he summarizes the profile of  design thinker as a “T-shaped” person, meaning someone with a deep expertise that can clearly contribute to the outcome, but also with a certain capacity and disposition for collaboration across disciplines.

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I’m Developer, I’m not Creative?

I have always thought that since I’m ex-developer, I’m not creative. Developers only need to follow programming logic and mathematics rules to develop from business requirements. Then I found myself from Katja Tschimmel’s course on Design Thinking at Laurea and very quickly realized that I need to be very creative for next two days.

We started Design Thinking course with different exercises for being creative and some instructions how to be even more creative. We got some advice and ideas how to move ahead when you have total block.

Katja

Then Katja Tschimmel started to tell us about different kind of models of the design thinking process. Great, this would be easy after all, all developers love processes.

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Design Thinking –and quite a lot of doing

Throw-back Saturday. Sitting by my lap-top trying to find ways and words to describe my thoughts on last weekends’ Design Thinking -course. What are main learnings I took home from the weekend and what are the ideas I still carry with me after getting familiar with the recommended literature* on the topic? I grouped the outcome into three main themes; Group dynamics, Design processes and various models, Characteristics of a designer.

Outcome grouped

GROUP DYNAMICS
The two-day intensive course started off as it was to continue,
fast and intensive. 20170916_135752Right after the opening words, we were to get to know one another through inspiring bingo-game to find a person with the right feature. I got pretty close…
Another fun exercise was to play with the Mindshake Design Thinking cards to identify, pair and cluster the design techniques with the corresponding design actions. It was interesting to notice how quickly the groups started to work on the task productively without really knowing one another. Here’s a mini video-clip I took from my team in action. 😊


At least to me, these exercises managed to proof the importance of team-work (you could’ve not managed to fill in the paper without getting and giving help), point out the heterogeneous nature of our group (diversity is a strong asset in a design team), and strengthen our group dynamics from the very beginning.

DESIGN PROCESS AND MODELS
All these warming up tasks prepared us for the bigger teamwork that was to follow. We were given a design case to work on by following the Evolution62 -model, which at times turned out to be not so clear. However, after refining our concept for several times we finally managed to come up with a brilliant idea and an applicable concept I still am proud of today. To get an idea on our design process journey, check the evidence. 😉 Continue reading

Educating the Design Thinkers of Tomorrow

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First day at school

My Daughter

My first-born started her school journey this autumn. It’s the same school that I attended 30 years ago, a respected and multicultural school, back then quite a traditional one – discipline based, classroom centric, the teacher standing in front of the class, the pupils listening. It still is a good school, but I already have come to notice some important changes.

The first graders’ theme for the first weeks has been their hometown Helsinki. They have already made many excursions (e.g. Children’s town at the City Museum), spent time outside of school moving and observing their environment (e.g. how many cyclists use helmets) and learnt through their own experience (e.g. mapping how they travel to school). Currently, they are building in teams a city block, which involves planning, discussing different alternatives, making decisions together and executing their plans. The number one hit has been the intelligent carpet, a huge iPad as my daughter says, for doing math exercises, memory games and other cool stuff with your feet. A big thank you goes out to the progressive thinking and creativity of the class teacher. She acts rather as a facilitator and coach in the knowledge creation process than as the knowledge provider, like in the traditional teaching approach.

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The “Intelligent Carpet” in action!

 

Whether the school’s management and teachers are talking about Design Thinking when planning the curriculum or teaching methods is secondary. Most important is what they are doing and how they are doing it. The fact is that the school’s teaching approach celebrates the ideology and values of Design Thinking, such as human-centricity, empathy, multidisciplinary thinking, holistic approach, creativity, collaboration, playfulness and visualization of thoughts. Also the phases and methods are similar to those used in Design Thinking, such as the design process introduced by IDEO for educators: discovery, interpretation, ideation, experimentation and evolution. Most importantly, the pupils are taught to think on their own and exercise analytical thinking, mixing facts and rational thinking with feelings and emotions. I truly hope they also learn to tolerate uncertainty and risk-taking and accept that doing mistakes and failures is an important part of the process. This wasn’t self-evident when I went to school.

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Design Thinking: The Journey of Group 5

Design is a central feature of our everyday life. But what is it? How do you define a good design solution?  Is it about aesthetics, quality or functionality? How do you develop the creative process and when can you consider yourself a designer?

The discussions, lectures and exercises during the Design Thinking course were aimed at helping us answer all these questions. We were provided with different tools and methods to develop ourselves as designers and contribute to creation of new services.


Researching for inspiration & Benchmarking

The first group exercise started during the first contact session. The theme selected by our group was “Services for Museums” and we had to identify the problems of the current service offering and design new solutions. In groups of 5-6 people, we brainstormed on problems and possible solutions during the first contact day. As our first course assignment, we were asked to research the services that exist on the market, how they are represented in Finland and abroad, and how the services or lack of them affect potential consumers’ daily life.

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