Tag Archive | visualization

Design Thinking: how can visualization help companies innovate and develop

New time requires new ways to manage, and design thinking can provide managers human-centeric tools to participate all stakeholders in finding opportunities.

Visualizing divergent ideas for a holistic view

Creating innovative solutions to business challenges requires companies to see the big picture: what players affect the market or industry outside of it through technical possibilities or how the way people use and want to use products and services changes. Design thinking can be described as a way of combining rational, data-based thinking with intuitive knowledge to form insight into business opportunities. It is also a way of analyzing business models, networks, behavior, emotions and peoples’ interaction with each other and the product or service company provides. (Mootee. 2013, 39.) Design thinking tools can help think more broadly and come up with divergent ideas.

Example of opportunity mindmap to find opportunities and see connections.

Mindshake’s Evolution 6^2 method proposes tools like mindmap to detect opportunities (Tschimmel. 2019, 50.). In our classroom exercise at Design Thinking course we tried opportunity mindmap and it revealed that as the branches of mindmap grew longer, more novel possibilities started to emerge. Links between different aspects were easy to spot from the canvas.

Visual design thinking tools for testing and sharing concepts

Rapid prototype of collaboration tool to connect student, Laurea and companies made of legos.

Rapid prototyping is a tool to try the solution fast, with materials at hand (Tschimmel. 2019, 71, 76). The purpose of the prototype is to find out the pros and cons of the idea and see if there are new paths the new versions could take (Brown. 2008, 87.). In businesses, innovation teams should be encourage to create a prototype withing a week of starting the project (Brown. 2008, 90.). We used Lego to visualize the different stakeholders, processes and behaviors needed in the solution. Mootee (2013, 184) states that “Spreadsheets won’t provide users the ability to see the entire supply and demand relationship and it is the reason why so many new business models fail, even though they look robust on a spreadsheet and in PowerPoint.”

When prototyping we found many new aspects and problems in the model we had been designing: there were dots that needed connecting, stakeholders totally missing from where they obviously were needed. Prototype was then used for desktop walkthrough where we presented the solution to our fellow students: excellent way to use both storytelling and visualization to communicate complex system. This type of role play or storytelling makes it easier to understand how things are connected and what type of behavior and processes are needed to get from the challenge to the solution (Mootee. 2013, 90.).

Example of visual business model.

Visual business model includes the elements of traditional business model using only drawing and no text (Tschimmel. 2019, 76). In the beginning of creating business model it was apparent, that because our shared understanding of the concept was still too vague, it was also impossible to draw all resources and revenue streams. I think this is also the reason why it is sometimes hard for management to get whole organization to commit to new vision, plan or concept: strategies are often so intangible, that it is impossible to understand what one is supposed to do.

Example of visual storyboard used to present a concept.

Storytelling is one tool for communicating new strategy.(Mootee. 2013, 87.) Visual storyboarding tells the story of how the new concept works from visualizing customer’s current unmet need, the solution and end-result of this new concept from customer’s perspective (Tschimmel. 2019, 15.).

Visualizing new ideas helps to innovate

It is relevant to combine unexpected ideas and branch out to do big changes and create innovation that leads to innovation majorly impacting the bottom line as well as sales and profits. Brown (2008, 91) suggest that to succeed in innovation, businesses need to mix incremental innovation more typical to business units and disruptive innovations starting from top management initiative. Using design thinking tools to visualize new concepts provides a great opportunity for any type of business, and helps managers collaborate with all stakeholders in an interesting, tangible way. Mindshake’s Evolution 6^2 tools can be found online. I encourage you to try these!

Written by Eeva Honkala, Service Innovation and Design Master degree programme student.


Design Thinking big bang!

“Here was a curious thing. My friend’s instinct told him the North End was a good place, and his social statistics confirmed it. But everything he had learned as a physical planner about what is good for people and good for cities neighbourhoods, everything that made him an expert, told him the North End had to be a bad place.” Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

Change by Design [1]

In the very first masterclasses about Design Thinking running by Katja Tschimmel and Marina Valenca we, toddlers in the field and students in Service Innovation and Design Programme, went into renaissance era of the design which now is perceived and used as a perfectly crafted methodology by a wider audience including business itself. Big Bang of Design Thinking which – as we were assured – Comes of Age! [2] As lectures went fast with a short history of design and presented different approaches to the design process to smoothly show us their own – well equipped with a whole range of precisely picked tools [3]; like many others, I was waiting for practical part of the meeting. For doing stuff not learning about it, to experience it, to feel it in my heart and to answer fundamental questions: what is, what if, what wows and what works [4]. After all, I took home some thoughts which I present below.

Omnipresent visualisation

If you were asked to describe DT you probably would start drawing something, using Post-its notes, prototyping anything but not words themselves. Visualisation played a priority during our jam session. There is no way to disagree with Liedtka & Ogilvie that “Visualisation make ideas tangible and concrete. […] make them human and real.” [4] It also allows us to avoid misunderstanding and misinterpretation. After that few hours together it is hard to polemise with Katja while saying that “designers analyse and understand problems of the artificial world.” in the meaning that every tangible aspect of the performance was before the creation of intangible thoughts, ideas, notions, and intuition. From this perspective visualisation lets us grab our unrevealed ideas, bring them to the surface and make them enough concrete to evaluate. It also put individual and collective intuition before learning and maybe this is what I the most love about it.

A stream of consciousness. 

If I were asked to show the greatest values of Design Thinking process, I would say that its collaborative, multidisciplinary and co – creative aspects are the most precious one. I enjoyed brain-writing part of our session vastly. But, we always put a human in the heart of all “doing”. In Virginia Woolf’s book the different aspects of Ms. Dalloway; her needs, feelings, context, and experiences are constantly subjected to individual and collective influence and turn from intentions into reality. In DT process it all above makes possible to arise great and innovative idea anchored in the essence of an end user of the service or offering.

Secret Ingredient

Nevertheless to make it happen, I learned that we need to listen to others with engagement on every possible step. In my opinion, like visualisation is the tool of understanding and expressing all ideas and thoughts as listening is the value without which no meaningful idea can authentically bloom. I like how about listening speaks Otto Scharmer and I leave you with his short video to contemplate where innovation and tipping point in any sector starts. Enjoy!

Marta Kuroszczyk

1. “Change by design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation.” Tim Brown

2. “Design Thinking Comes to Age”, Jan Kolko Harvard Bussiness Review, https://hbr.org/2015/09/design-thinking-comes-of-age

3. “Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation.”, Katja Tschimmel http://www.academia.edu/1906407/Design_Thinking_as_an_effective_Toolkit_for_Innovation

4. “Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers.”, Liedtka & Ogilvie

Facilitating an awesome ideation workshop

Service Design Workshop“Service design cannot be learnt by reading, but through practice” described Marc Stickdorn, co-author of the black book “This is Service Design: Basics, Tools Cases” (2011).

Marc Stickdorn held three days intensive service design workshop for Laurea SID Master of Business Administration students. Workshop focused on how to facilitate service design ideation workshops. This blog post focuses on insights learned during 7th to 9th of February 2013.

Facilitating is

Continue reading