Design Thinking in a nutshell

some thoughts and pictures from the world of design thinking

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artwork by Arty Crafty Kids

What is design thinking?

design thinking is a human-centred approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.

— TIM BROWN, EXECUTIVE CHAIR OF IDEO

The People

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R Buckminster Fuller — Image pbs.org

R Buckminster Fuller (1895 –1983) was an American architect, designer and futurist who over the course of a generation espoused a confidence that design could positively impact humanity. Although Fuller would have been more familiar with the term ‘Design Science’, his creativity was a spark that ignited many of the design thinking innovations that businesses today are beginning to embrace.

David Kelley entrepreneur, designer, engineer, and teacher Kelley played a founding role in the birth of the Stanford University d-school, creators of a well-known design thinking process (illustrated later in this article), and IDEO, a global design company credited with coining and popularizing the phrase ‘Design Thinking’. Many design thinking concepts like the Desirable | Feasible | Viable model illustrated below bear the fingerprints of David Kelley and IDEO

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David Kelley Founder of IDEO and Stanford University’s d-school
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the sweet spot of design thinking. Source: IDEO
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The embracing of Design Thinking by tech giant Google has further brought design thinking into the business and technology mainstream. Google Ventures have themselves contributed significantly to the Design Thinking body of knowledge with the release of Jake Knapp’s Sprint

For a fuller history of design thinking, as well as some great imagery have a read of this blog post

The principles

  • Focus on users’ experiences, especially their emotional ones.
  • Create models to examine complex problems.
  • Use prototypes to explore potential solutions.
  • Tolerate failure.
  • Exhibit thoughtful restraint.

The Process

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Image credit: stanford university d-school

The Practices

Empathy Mapping

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Image Nielsen Norman Group

Customer Journey Mapping

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Image Nielsen Norman Group

Design Sprint

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Image Credit: Google Ventures

Written by

Agile coach. Ways of Working researcher. I live in beautiful New Zealand and work for Fraedom — part of Visa. I am also the founder of a start up — voyzu.com

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