Anne Lind, the head of the national agency in Denmark that evaluates the insurance claims of injured workers and decides on their compensation, had a crisis on her hands. Oddly, it emerged from a project that had seemed to be on a path to success. The project employed design thinking in an effort to improve the services delivered by her organization.
Design Thinking. Co-creation Workshops. Creative Problem Solving. Brainstorming. Gamestorming. Gamification. Agile Sprints. Storytelling. Human-Centered Design. Rapid Prototyping. Divergent Thinking. Convergent Thinking. Service Design. Lean Process. With so many process options, how should a designer solve a problem?
Our ITX design team has been facilitating and learning from Design Sprints since 2016. Our company’s culture promotes distributed team collaboration but until December of last year, most of our design sprints had been conducted in person. We noticed that this didn’t just happen with Design Sprints; whenever we conducted more in-depth workshops, we tended to host in person rather than online
In How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Design Thinking, I wrote about how I learned to value design thinking and in Five Habits of Design Thinking I explain how you can build the skill of design thinking. But I’ve noticed my students tend to use the term “design thinking” as a synonym for UX/Digital Product Design. This is a dangerous smallification of design and a source of shoddy work.
Design Thinking is a process to gather insights and turn them into innovative products.
Design Thinking is about:
- Learning by doing
- Asking questions
- Being ok with being wrong
Barriers to Design Thinking
- Fear of failure
- Fear of being wrong
- Unwillingness to share bad ideas
- Lack of social trust in the group
Benefits of Design Thinking:
Problem framing, problem solving, functionality & usability, aesthetics
Empathise, define, ideate, prototype, test.
Be flexible about the amounts of time in each part depending on the nature of the problem to be solved.
Design Thinking is good for tackling big complex, ambiguous problems.
Kaizen, on the other hand, is about incremental improvements.
Divergent thinking is open to explore and change. Convergent thinking is about having a clear path towards a clear goal.
Structure in the world offers freedom in the mind.
Design Thinking is about exploring and testing solutions to ensure they fit the problem before investing significantly.
Get better at finding problems.
Prototyping is about getting feedback and learning from users. The level of fidelity of the prototype depends on what you want to learn.
Don’t get too invested in a prototype, it might not be the right one.
Need to explore lots of different potential solutions to give confidence that the chosen one is the best.