Tag Archive | Evolution 6²

Design Thinking- an evolutionary process

I had the opportunity to attend the intensive masters class course ‘Practical Design Thinking’ offered by Laurea University of Applied Sciences. The course was taught by the energetic guest professor, Katja Tschimmel from Portugal. 

This blog provides insights about my learning during these days and my thoughts about the related material.

Design thinking is described “as a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity” (Brown 2008, P86). 

Fig: The Cubists

During these two days, I learned how the creative mechanisms of design thinking work and how we can use design thinking approach for problem solving. Out of all the methods under the design thinking umbrella, we learned the “Evolution 6^2” model, the Innovation and Design Thinking Model by Katja Tschimmel, which elaborates on the different set of tools needed for design thinking approach. We were divided into different groups and worked together through the different phases of this model to come up with an innovative solution for Laurea. Our group, ‘The Cubists‘ worked on a solution to connect design talent.

Fig: Evolution 6^2” model by Katja Tschimmel

In the first step, Emergence, we identify the opportunity by creating an Opportunity Mind Map and Intent Statement. The key here is fluency. You should mark down all the possible opportunities you can think of, without caring how absurd they are. As a group, we visualised our ideas in mindmap and marked down the opportunity in the intent statement.

Fig: Opportunity Mind Map

Step 2 is Empathy. It focuses on the external factors affecting design thinking and getting to know your users and context. The tools we learnt include Stakeholder map, Field Observation, Interview and Insight Map. Since design thinking follows the human centred approach, empathy with the end users becomes the most essential step (Kelley & Kelley 2013).

The Experimentation phase focuses on generating ideas and concept with tools including brain writing, idea clustering and idea hit list.  In idea clustering, we cluster our ideas from the mind map together, where as, in the idea hit list, we filter out the top ones. In their book “Creative Confidence” Tom and David Kelley (2013) state, “ The best kinds of failures are quick, cheap, and early, leaving you plenty of time and resources to learn from the experiment and iterate your ideas”. During this phase, we refine our thoughts and ideas and give them a meaningful direction. Any possible failures and restrictions are also detected in this phase and can be worked upon.

The next step, Elaboration is in which we create rapid prototype. The idea here is to create a minimum viable product or MVP—representing the least amount of effort needed to run an experiment and get feedback (Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup). During our course, we used Legos to demonstrate our idea and jotted down important feedback from other groups during the concept test phase.

Exposition provides tools to communicate our idea/solution to the wider audience. Our group visualised the business model and created a story board. In the end, we gave the elevator pitch for our solution to resolve the issue of connecting design talents to co-create service innovation in Laurea. 

Fig: Story Board

In my opinion, design thinking is an iterative learning process where you learn from every opportunity, experience and failure. Like a muscle, your creative abilities will grow and strengthen with practice. However, a lot of people lacks the courage and confidence to experiment something new.

Written by Naufal Khalid

References:

Brown, T. 2008. Design Thinking. Harvard Business Review, pp. 84-92. 

Kelley, D. & Kelley, T. 2013. Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All. Crown Business.

Tschimmel, K. 2019. Design Thinking. [lectures]. Held on 6-7 September. Laurea University of Applied Sciences.

From Chaos to Clarity: This is Design Thinking

“Design thinking is a human centered, creative, iterative and practical approach for coming up with new ideas and solutions” (Brown, 2008).

The approach can seem chaotic at first as the process doesn’t follow a linear path. The above picture by Tim Brennan of Apple’s Creative Services illustrates this well (Liedtka and Ogilvie, 2011).

The Different Stages of Design Thinking

There are several models that can be used to implement design thinking. For example at IDEO the design projects go through three, what they call, “spaces”: inspiration, ideation and implementation. The projects go back and forth through these three spaces in order to refine the idea and find new directions (Brown, 2008). Alternatively, the Portuguese company Mindshake follows the innovation process EVOLUTION 6². In this approach there are six steps: emergence, empathy, experimentation, elaboration, exposition and extension. It starts from identifying an opportunity and ends at looking at ways how to implement the solution. In the end, it doesn’t matter which model you use to implement design thinking as all the models use similar tools to move through the different stages.

EVOLUTION 6²

Divergent and Convergent Thinking

At the beginning of each stage, designers seek to look broadly at the problem, so they don’t get fixed on the most obvious first set of solutions. Designers refer to this as divergent thinking (Liedtka and Ogilvie, 2011). A good example of this is brainwriting, where participants write on post-it notes all the ideas that come to their mind. The more extreme the better. After having come up with new solutions, the designers need to start narrowing them down to the most promising ones. In this case to idea clusters, where similar ideas are stuck together on the wall (see below picture). This is referred to as convergent thinking.

Idea clustering
Brainwriting

Tools

There are plenty of tools to help designers to widen and narrow the set of questions in the different stages of the design thinking process. According to Liedtka and Ogilvie (2011): “Visualization is the “mother of all design tools”.” It is used in every step of the design thinking process. It helps to decrease the risk of wrong assumptions and one doesn’t have to be an artist to do it. Simplicity is key and just drawing stick figures is usually enough (Liedtka and Ogilvie, 2011). An equally popular tool is prototyping which is an easy and inexpensive way to quickly collect feedback on an idea before investing more time and resources on it (Brown, 2008). See below the example of the prototype of the Green Laurea concept which we created in class. The prototype was made by using only Legos and pieces of paper to simulate the ways in which the students and staff could collect green points, for example by biking to school.

Prototype made out of Legos

Design Thinking is for Everyone

In this blog I talked about designers going through the different stages of Design Thinking. However, you don’t have to be a designer to implement the above learnings in your organization. You can be an accountant or a buyer and still do all the above. Design thinking is really meant to be used by anyone in any industry. You can start by using one of the tools or go through the whole process. And don’t let the word design thinking intimidate you, just think of it as trying a new way of working in your organization.

Written by Lyydia Pertovaara

Links:

https://www.ideo.com/eu

https://www.mindshake.pt/

References:

Brown, Tim 2008. Design Thinking. Harvard Business Review, June, 84-95. http://www.ideo.com/images/uploads/thoughts/IDEO_HBR_Design_Thinking.pdf   

Liedtka, Jeanne & Ogilvie, Tim 2011. Designing for growth: a design thinking tool kit for managers, New York: Columbia University Press.

Swimming in a Sea of Possibilities – Design Thinking and the Beauty of Teamwork

A two-day course in design thinking taught me that a team is more than a group of people and that in our aim to reach our goals, failure can be a positive thing.

Katja Tschimmel

Katja Tschimmel introducing Laurea students to the fascinating world of design thinking.
Image: Suvi Seikkula.

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Learning the essence of Design Thinking process

“There is no universal best DT process model, the choice innovation managers make depends on their disciplinary background and their personal taste.” says Katja Tschimmel in her article about Design Thinking process models and tools (Tschimmel 2012, 11). And this is also what she tells us listeners during our first hours of Design Thinking course (Design Thinking 2017). The decision of choosing of an appropriate Design Thinking model is influenced, among others, the characteristics of the task in question, its context, the composition of the team and its dynamics, the number of designers involved, and the time available for the process (Tschimmel 2012).

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Collectively ‘Thinking Design’

..my experience..
Starting studies after a decade…years of work life and now back again to a student life!

Was not sure what to expect and get from the SID master’s program starting on the morning of 4th September 2015 with ‘Design Thinking’

A very exciting day to begin, students around full of inspiration, motivated, energized and from various backgrounds. Getting to know and learn from each other all about the concept of Design Thinking was the essence of the two-day workshop held by guest lecturers Katja Tschimmel and Mariana Valença.

An interesting ice breaker for the team was the ‘mind shake warm-up’ and ‘who is who’ activities. Learnt a lot of new things not only on the subject but also about other students as well as myself! That’s when I realized that it is going to be an exciting learning journey ahead!

 Mind Shake game

Ice breaker – Mind Shake game

 who is who

Group exercise – who is who

..my knowledge..
Why design thinking?

Design Thinking is a way of thinking which leads to transformation, evolution and innovation. Tschimmel, K. (2012) it is human-centric approach which starts with observing people in their natural surroundings, helps to understand customer’s actual needs and create business that taps into their existing behavior. This way customers are much more likely to relate to the new business.

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