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Design Thinking Informational Report

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Letter of Transmittal
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From: 	Peter Guth
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	 College graduates
Re: 	 Transmittal of design ...
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2DESIGN THINKING
What is Design Thinking?
Pe...
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Abstract
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Humans have the innate desire to be different and many want to change the world,
but how ...
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Design Thinking Informational Report

  1. 1. Letter of Transmittal ! ! From: Peter Guth To: Aspiring entrepreneurs, College graduates Re: Transmittal of design thinking informational report ! Attached to this letter is my informational report regarding the topic of Design Thinking. I chose the topic of Design Thinking because it interested me as an aspiring engineer and problem solver. I wrote this report primarily to educate myself and educate others on the specifics of Design Thinking and why it is important for society. This assignment was assigned at the beginning of the semester and is due on December 19, at 5:30 pm. This report was completed on December 19, at 12:30. ! ! This report serves as an overview for how and why Design Thinking should be implemented as a process for solving problems of any nature. My primary purpose is to persuade my audience that Design Thinking is the best problem solving method in existence today. It has many positive implications that not only help to solve the problem at hand, but also have secondary affects that could completely change the way we think as humans. ! ! I would recommend this report for anyone who calls themselves an entrepreneur, or is aspiring to be one, as well as recent or soon to be college graduates. I believe this process for solving problems is relevant in any career path throughout all of life. In any sect of society there are problems that need solving and Design Thinking can be applied to find effective solutions. ! ! If you fall into any one of the categories targeted by this report, or you are simply interested in the topic, I urge you to read on with an open mind.! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1DESIGN THINKING
  2. 2. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 2DESIGN THINKING What is Design Thinking? Peter Guth | WRD 204
  3. 3. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Abstract ! Humans have the innate desire to be different and many want to change the world, but how will this be accomplished? With so many people on this Earth and everyone wanting to achieve success, why will I be any different? We need find a way to harness those traits that makes us unique and use them to make a difference. Design Thinking is a problem solving process that is proven to be successful and prides itself in revealing the creative nature within us all. Through embracing creative confidence and empathizing with other people, Design Thinking will let those attributes that make you unique out of the box. Design Thinking will give you the tools you need to be an effective problem solver and allow you to take full advantage of the qualities that make you unique so that you can make a difference in the world. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 3DESIGN THINKING
  4. 4. Introduction ! Problems exist everywhere. This has always been true. As a result, solutions have to be generated in order to eradicate these problems. Many problem solving methods have been tried and tested and have achieved varying levels of success. The solution to a specific problem may or may not be effective due to one or several factors that go into problem solving. Design Thinking is a problem solving method that strives to eliminate any possibility of unintentionally generating an ineffective solution. ! ! My interest in this subject was initially stimulated by a passionate friend. The topic came up naturally in conversation and he began to give a simple explanation of what it was and the ramifications if it were to have more prevalence in society. After this introduction to the subject, I was immediately interested in discovering everything about Design Thinking and what exactly makes it better than other problem solving methods or ways of thinking. As a soon-to-be engineering degree holder, I will be solving problems for a living. This might be through directly holding an engineering position or being involved in a business start-up. I have been recently interested in the possibility of starting a company and the Design Thinking process would be an excellent way to not only build the company upon but also to create effective products and services for clients. ! ! Information on this topic is very prevalent and widespread on the internet. Opinions and definitions of what Design Thinking is and how it can be applied are few and far between. From my own research, I have come to the conclusion that the driving force of Design Thinking that makes it so effective is empathy  . There are a lot of components1 in the process of design thinking and many steps that work together to make it work, but the ability to effectively understand and share the feelings of the subjects of a solution or design is of the utmost importance. ! ! In this informational report I will flesh out exactly what Design Thinking is and what it means for those of us who solve problems for a living. I will also elaborate on why Design Thinking is a superior alternative to other methods of problem solving and design in business and innovation.! ! ! ! ! 4DESIGN THINKING
  5. 5. Review of Literature ! METHODS OF RESEARCH ! The research conducted for this topic was primary secondary through scholarly sources on the web. There was a plethora of information on this subject and I figured I could get all of the information I would need though internet research. One informal interview was conducted to get a better picture of how Design Thinking can be applied and to get advice on what to focus on for my research. ! ! EMPATHY ! A common misconception is that in order to be a great designer, you need to possess certain qualities such as great aesthetic sensibility or be good at thinking outside the box. In an interview on “60 Minutes,” David Kelley, member of IDEO, states that the most important characteristic to have as a designer is empathy  . The2 ability to listen and relate to others is critical in the design process in order for a product or service to be successful. ! ! A simple search for “design thinking empathy” on Google returns over 2 million results. Empathy is clearly a synonymous term with Design Thinking. Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, believes that design is a pointless task if there is a lack of understanding of what others see, feel and experience  . If design is based solely on3 whether we can or should apart from desirability, then there is no guarantee of success. ! ! CREATIVITY ! “I am not a creative person.” ! ! This is a common and widely believed phrase and is entirely incorrect. As humans, we are born with creativity flowing through us and this is easily seen in any child given crayons or paint to play with. Sometime between childhood and adulthood people lose their confidence in their creativity. We become embarrassed and fearful of exposing our creative nature. When we regain this confidence in our creative ability, it completely changes our outlook  . Our creative nature is what allows us to4 harness our full problem solving potential. It allows to think outside the box and 5DESIGN THINKING
  6. 6. look for unorthodox solutions that are not on the surface. This is where Design Thinking thrives.! ! WAYS OF THINKING ! Design Thinking follows several steps to create a cohesive, logical order that gives structure to the chaos involved in the process. Each step can be classified as either divergent or convergent thinking and are applied sequentially throughout the process:! ! • Divergent thinking is thinking that encourages ideas that deviate from the origin and often involves starting at a single defined point and branching out. Creation of choices. This can also be called flaring.! • Convergent thinking is the very opposite. It takes several seemingly unrelated ideas or pieces of data and compresses everything into one cohesively defined idea. Making choices from what has been created. Another word for the this is focus  .!5 ! Divergent thinking is the type of thinking that fosters creativity and is very important to implement correctly. Having said this, divergent thinking will not get you anywhere without convergence. The process works best when both are present and are working together in the correct order through defined stages but not simultaneously. It is important to define what stage you are in and limit yourself 6DESIGN THINKING
  7. 7. that type of thinking during that stage. If the two are applied at the same time then thoughts and ideas can get very muddy  . !6 ! Initially, divergent thinking is used to generate ideas for exactly what a problem might be based on the initial knowledge that a problem exists. This is followed by convergent thinking to take all of these generated ideas and condense them down into a well defined problem statement. Divergent thinking is again used after the problem is defined to generate possible ideas for solutions. Convergent thinking is, once again, applied to mold these possible solutions into something that is tangible. This is, generally, how they should be applied. They follow a specific and clear order. When used correctly, these ways of thinking are a powerful tool to harness during the design thinking process.! ! ! ! ! ! ! 7DESIGN THINKING
  8. 8. Findings ! WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING? ! ! A structured, multi-step way of thinking and designing products, services, and solutions to complex problems through creativity and empathy towards the client.! ! ! Design Thinking as actually a slight misnomer to what it actually accomplishes. While this process can be applied to the design process for products and services, the word design in the title actually describes the way you think. You are using design concepts to reconstruct the way you think and synthesize solutions. Empathy comes into this process because it is counterintuitive to our natural tendency to want to solve problems based on our own experiences and assumptions  . !7 ! THE PROCESS ! Design Thinking has several stages that work together to make it work. These stages generally follow a chronological order but there are times when backtracking is needed if solutions do not seem to have the intended effect. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 8DESIGN THINKING
  9. 9. ! EMPATHIZE ! This step is what lays the foundation for Design Thinking. This is a form of divergent thinking. We are taking a single idea and branching out to discover and create new ideas to better understand the problem. The goal of this stage is to gather as much data as possible. ! ! To empathize effectively we observe, engage and immerse ourselves into the lives of users whom we are trying to help and solve problems for. We put ourselves in their shoes so we can understand their perspective. We ask questions through interviews and informal conversation. It is important to note that observation can reveal information that can be hidden when asking questions. Someone might try to answer a question as honestly as they can but from observation, we see that they behave differently. Engaging people directly through observation and interaction can also reveal a tremendous amount of information about the way users think and what they value. Good solutions are built on a solid understanding of these values.! ! In addition to directly observing users, it is also important to have your own experiences in the particular design space that you are working within. This helps when attempting to empathize with others. It forces you out of your comfort zone and into the place you need to be when creating solutions. This is what sets Design Thinking apart. Other forms of problem solving usually involve us staying where we feel the most comfortable. World changing solutions to real-life problems do not happen within our comfort zone. ! ! DEFINE ! This is where convergent thinking is applied. We want to focus multiple ideas into one cohesive idea. Once the information has been collected in the empathize stage, we need to use this data to define our problem in a single, concise manner. Concise is the key word here. It might be easier to come up with a large paragraph that lays out the problem from all of the data collected but resist the temptation. Keep it simple. The problem statement needs to be clear. ! ! ! ! ! 9DESIGN THINKING
  10. 10. IDEATE ! Generate ideas. Lots of them. Quantity over quality. This is a flaring stage again. Think outside the box and synthesize ways to solve the problem, both tangible and impossible. Look for simplicity as well as complexity. Diversify your ideas and defer judgement. This is where a lot of “non-creative” people get hung up. They’re afraid of being judged for what is inside their head. We all have crazy imaginations and this is where we get to use them. Unleash your creative potential. Everyone is creative to varying degrees. Step beyond the obvious solutions and harness the strengths of people on your team. ! ! Another important step in this stage is to verbalize your assumptions to the problem at hand and remove them from your thought process. Write down the preconceived notions and straight-forward solutions that come to your mind and never get close to them when brainstorming solutions.! ! PROTOTYPE ! This is a continuation of the ideate stage, but here, we start to focus our thoughts. Ideas go from being only in our head, to being tangible, observable entities. This could be an object, a space, a role-playing activity, or take some other form. These prototypes are most effective when team members and subjects can interact with them. This ties back into the use of empathy. The more feedback we get during this stage, the better. If done correctly, this stage will continue to deepen our understanding of the subject and how they interact with and respond to their environment. ! ! It is important to prototype several ideas generated in the Ideate stage and not just one or two. Some ideas might not seem as attractive in our heads or on paper, but when demonstrated or built in the physical form, they might take on a whole new meaning.! ! Failure is another important theme in this stage. Nobody wants to fail, but it is important to realize that it is okay to fail. When creating prototypes, fail quickly and cheaply. Don’t spend too much time or money on prototypes. If something is not working, accept failure and move on. Failure is an inevitable part of Design Thinking and it is imperative to understand that. ! ! 10DESIGN THINKING
  11. 11. TEST ! This stage goes hand-in-hand with prototyping. Testing is what we do with our prototypes once they have been refined. Try them out with the subject. See how well a particular prototype solves the problem. This is the stage where we might realize that we defined something incorrectly or we were going in the wrong direction. Returning to an earlier stage might be necessary to recollect our thoughts and begin generating more ideas. This reiterates the importance of speed in the prototype process. ! ! Testing will yield unexpected insights and allow us to continue to empathize with the subject. Testing might not only reveal that the solution was incorrect, but maybe we framed the problem incorrectly. This is a very critical step in finalizing a solution  . !8 ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 11DESIGN THINKING
  12. 12. WHY DESIGN THINKING? ! This process seems long and arduous; why would I ever want to use this? This might be what you are thinking right now. Design Thinking is a very involved process that requires quite a bit of cognitive skill and creative confidence. It is not easy to pick up and do right away. ! ! Technology has advanced so far in our society that the average citizen has the ability to do what could only have been done by a select few in the past. Printing used to be limited to the large companies that had the resources and money for it. Good photographs could only be achieved if you had the fortune it cost to buy such a camera and the time to educate yourself on how to do it. 3D printing has advanced to the point where the possibility of printing an iPhone might actually be possible in the near future. Technology is equalizing everything. It is leveling the playing field. ! ! The one thing that will never be equal and makes us all unique is our creativity and imagination. When it comes to problem solving, it is no longer enough to just keep on pushing out new and improved products without setting them apart. Design Thinking strives to bring out the hidden, unique creativity within us all and do something with it. In our pursuit to empathize with other people, it will bring us closer together and unite us in our desire to solve each other’s problems  .!9 ! When looking for a job, it is no longer enough to only have an education. Real- world experience helps, but internships - paid and unpaid - are also becoming more common. ! ! We need to change the way we think. ! ! We need to stop thinking selfishly and harness an others-centered perspective on solving problems. This is why Design Thinking needs to be the new normal.! ! 12DESIGN THINKING
  13. 13. Conclusion ! With over seven billion people in existence on Earth today it is so easy to simply blend in. We want to be unique and different, but are we? If we are so unique, what makes us unique? We have a hard time believing that we are so different because the majority of us are unintentionally taught by society to box up our creativity. We keep our ideas hidden for fear of judgment and rejection. In school we are subconsciously taught to not raise our hands because if we say a wrong answer, the whole class immediately puts you in the dumb category. We have learned to not share unique and interesting answers to solutions because it might mean being rejected by society. ! ! I believe that we are all different despite the hard truth that we are one in seven billion. What makes us different is our creative nature. The one thing that we are taught to hide is what makes us different. We do not feel unique because we are hiding the one trait that makes us unique. ! ! Design Thinking is what could solve this worldwide pandemic. This process is designed to solve specific problems but in doing so, it changes the way we think and begins to solve a much larger problem. Not only will it unleash our creativity and reveal our true personalities, but it will also bring everyone together through the emphasis on empathy. ! ! Two of the main problems in society are that our pursuits and tendencies are blending together and we are ironically becoming more and more self-indulgent. Through embracing creativity and encouraging empathy, Design Thinking can change this. Design Thinking is not only a problem solving method with a proven formula, but also has the capability to revamp society. Design Thinking could change the world. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 13DESIGN THINKING
  14. 14. References 14DESIGN THINKING Ben Weinlick, December 12, 2012, “Empathy in Creativity and Design Thinking,” The Creativity1 Post, from http://www.creativitypost.com/philosophy/empathy_in_creativity_and_design_thinking Kate Torgovnick May, January 6, 2013, "David Kelley of IDEO talks "design thinking" on 602 Minutes," TED Blog, from http://blog.ted.com/2013/01/06/david-kelley-of-ideo-talks-design- thinking-on-60-minutes/ Tim Brown, March 13, 2013, "A Lesson in Empathy," Design Thinking; Thoughts by Tim Brown,3 from http://designthinking.ideo.com/?p=1008 Dan Schawbel, October 15, 2013, "David and Tom Kelley: How To Gain Creative Confidence4 At Work," Forbes, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2013/10/15/david-and-tom- kelley-how-to-gain-creative-confidence-at-work/ Tim Brown, September 7, 2008, "What Does Design Thinking Feel Like," Design Thinking;5 Thoughts by Tim Brown, from http://designthinking.ideo.com/?p=51 Paul Sloane, October 24, 2012, "Divergent and Convergent Thinking," Innovation Excellence,6 from http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2012/10/24/divergent-and-convergent-thinking/ Fast Company Staff, March 20, 2006, “Design Thinking…What is That,” Fast Company, from7 http://www.fastcompany.com/919258/design-thinking-what Helen Walters, December 14, 2009, “Inside the Design Thinking Process,” Bloomberg8 Business Week: Business & Innovation, from http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/ dec2009/id20091214_823878.htm Sarah Soule, October 30, 2013, “Why Design Thinking Is an Effective Tool for Social9 Entrepreneurs,” Stanford Graduate School of Business, from http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/ headlines/sarah-soule-why-design-thinking-effective-tool-social-entrepreneurs

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