Tag Archive | Mindshake Design Thinking Model

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.

Let´s be creative!

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The team space while we were working with Evolution 6² model.

Design Thinking

Design thinking is one of the biggest trends on service business industry and Katja Tschimmel (2012) defines it as a game changer to different industries. Tschimmel sees it as a new way of thinking which can lead to innovative new ideas.  I didn’t have any huge expectations for this course, because I wasn’t that sure how I think and feel about design thinking. After the first day, I was sure that I certainly love this! We had amazing two days led by Katja Tschimmel and Sanna Marttila. During these two days, we learnt some history and theory of design thinking but the focus was to work with Evolution 6² model invented by MINDSHAKE company.  Evolution 6² model can be for example used to different kind of project and workshop development. It consist six different phases to work with new ideas and improve them. Two days went over quite fast and left behind a mind full of creativeness and a bunch of new tools to work with design thinking.

 

I search more information about design thinking by reading the Harward Business Review article of Design thinking by Tim Brown (2008). The idea is to create something new rather than try to develop existing services or products.  Also, it doesn’t have to be expensive and difficult. Focus is to find your inner creative designer and use the tools or toys companies already have. In this review, a design thinker´s persona was defined not to a weirdo hippie but to any one of us. Design thinker needs to have empathy and think people first. Optimism helps design thinkers to stay positive and see beyond the possible problem. Then add some experimentalism to have excitement towards new things and directions. Finally, collaboration completes a design thinker by mixing and matching different levels and backgrounds. On my opinion, you can be a design thinker if you want and at least teach yourself to be creative and out of the box thinker.

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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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