design thinking is about starting with empathy, designing collaboratively, and failing faster, to create innovative end to end experiences.
While we use a design thinking mindset & tools in all our jobs, we use this three workshop process for significant learning & performance projects that lend themselves to complex blends, campaigns, or ecosystems.
If the embedded link below doesn’t work try viewing the presentation here.
1. Involve your audience early and often
Don’t work off assumptions or second-hand information. Instead, go to your target audience to observe, interview, and empathise with them. The best technique I’ve found for this is to include them in a co-design workshop and charge that group to interview their peers for further qualitative data.
2. Dig deeper with ‘whys’
The interview process, of asking why multiple times, has been a simple yet powerful change to gaining understanding. For both peer interviews and ones that our team conducts, it’s allowed us to go beyond the obvious pain point and uncover underlying needs
3. Collaborate by being visual
The cliche design thinking workshops involve countless sticky notes and cards up on walls. This is more than a gimmick; it’s an efficient way to sort, theme, and share information collectively.
4. Use personas
5. Incorporate Action Mapping.
Identifying performance gaps in terms of Knowledge, Skills, Motivation/Mindset or Environment can help inform the latter stages of ideation. Cathy Moore’s action mapping
6. ‘Orphan your ideas’
Similarly, people need to separate themselves from their ideas. Some ideas will get shot down in an instant, others will evolve and end up being stars, but they are not us, and the quicker we orphan them, and allow them to go their own way, the faster we can create better ones.
7. Everyone can prototype
8. Field testing should focus on empathy, not validation
9. The final journey map should include fail points and dependables
The culmination for the more complex jobs we work on has been a wall to wall journey map. A key swim lane in such a journey map is to consider other touch points and people.
10. Draw on resources & tools
Sites like Stanford’s dschool and Ideo, while not learning specific, are incredibly generous, with fantastic tools and resources you can download right now.
11. Start small, iterate, and learn
It can be intimidating to get started, so be sure to take things a step at a time. You can begin by making sure you talk directly to learners, involve them in the process, and have the means to quickly test half-baked ideas before investing much into them. Be compassionate with yourself as you make mistakes, learn, and improve.