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BEN CROTHERS | ATLASSIAN | @BENCROTHERS
BRING OUT YOUR INNER DESIGN THINKER
Crafting your own
tools for change
Are these still around?
IT’S 2025…
How can we craft
tools for change 

with what’s already
around us?
We’ve got problems…
We’ve been swindled
Craftsman
Tools through the ages: Up to 18th C. - Agrarian
Mechanisation & division of labour
Toolmaker Manufacturing
Tools through the ages: 19th C. - Industrial
Rise of computers & software
Software
Services
Toolmaker Manufacturing
Tools through the ages: 20th C. - Services
Processe...
Tools through the ages: 21st C. - Experience
Toolmaker ManufacturingServicesSoftware
Cloudification of software & services
Tools through the ages: 21st C. - Experience
Services
Cloudification of software & services
Toolmaker ManufacturingSoftwar...
Tools through the ages: 21st C. - Experience
Services
The thinking that 

got us to here,

won’t get us to there
Get back that
making feeling
Change = 

Engaging the
head, heart and
hands
Helps us engage the head, the heart 

and the hands
Design thinking
Deep and holistic user understanding
Visualising, prototyping and refining
Fostering a culture to bring out ideas from
any...
The process
Prototype Test & learnIdeate
Prototyping
formats
More ideas
Prototype Test & learnIdeate
Making is as 

valuable as 

what is made
Tools for change
UN-TAPPED
Brainstorming
FIRST GEAR
Journey mapping
SECOND GEAR
Prototyping
THIRD GEAR
The ‘blank tool’ problem
?
Brainstorming
Translating
Organising
Prioritising
Deciding
Testing
Prototyping
Educating
1. Canvases
2. Scorecards
3. Posters
4. Playing cards
Example formats to help
Great for collecting all essential information
for your idea, project, target audience, product 

or service
Bake a proces...
Example - Business Model Canvas
All key
pieces of info
in one place
Atlassian Experience Canvas
Hypothesis - what we
set out to test
Minimum viable
experience (MVE)
End-to-end demo
What prob...
Making your own
1. Nominate a goal
Build a product/service
Find a business partner
Educate the organisation
2. Gather type...
Great for team-based decision-making
A set of measures to help rate the health of
projects, teams and outcomes
Use them to...
Atlassian Project Health Monitor
1 full-time owner
Balanced team
Shared understanding
Value and metrics
End-to-end demo
Co...
Atlassian Project Health Monitor
1 full-time owner
Balanced team
Shared understanding
Value and metrics
End-to-end demo
Co...
Making your own
1. Discuss with the team
What makes a project
healthy?
What’s holding us back?
2. Condense
Refine your ‘he...
Great for re-framing ideas and clarifying value
A lot of fun to create as a team
The process of making them is just as imp...
In-flight safety card
Fun format
Smart questions
Making your own
1. Define the audience
Who are you wanting to
communicate to?
What is their context?
2. Define the value
W...
Great for being a catalyst for richer
conversations and game-play
‘Mobile version’ of larger tools
Creating them from othe...
Customer benefit
cards
For brainstorming:
- what’s the most
important benefit
for this feature?
- How might we
improve thi...
Design + Agile cards
Persona cards
Communicards
Role cards

Questions about what this
role does
Persona cards

Questions about how this type
of person behaves
Using persona cards to ideate and validate
Making your own
1. Pick a function
Brainstorming?

Prioritising?

Reducing something else?
2. Explore formats
Regular play...
Making is as 

valuable as 

what is made
IF YOU TAKE AWAY ONE THING…
BEN CROTHERS | ATLASSIAN | @BENCROTHERS
THANK YOU. GO FORTH.
Make change!
Bring Out Your Inner Design Thinker: Crafting Your Own Tools for Change
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Bring Out Your Inner Design Thinker: Crafting Your Own Tools for Change

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This talk was given at Link Festival, Melbourne (2015). It explores how we can all use the lo-fi materials we have in our office stationery cupboards to make simple but innovative tools for teams to use, to help them in strategy, decision-making, prioritisation and communication. Not just for designers! But for any team.

Publicada em: Governo e ONGs
  • Hey guys! Who wants to chat with me? More photos with me here 👉 http://www.bit.ly/katekoxx
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  • Love it! Wish I was at the talk. Flight safety instructions and persona playing cards, I love that you keep on experimenting :) Completely agree that we mustn't forget about the importance of toolmaking, especially in this age where there's a great temptation for everyone to just stay on their screens and keyboards.
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Bring Out Your Inner Design Thinker: Crafting Your Own Tools for Change

  1. 1. BEN CROTHERS | ATLASSIAN | @BENCROTHERS BRING OUT YOUR INNER DESIGN THINKER Crafting your own tools for change
  2. 2. Are these still around? IT’S 2025…
  3. 3. How can we craft tools for change 
 with what’s already around us?
  4. 4. We’ve got problems…
  5. 5. We’ve been swindled
  6. 6. Craftsman Tools through the ages: Up to 18th C. - Agrarian
  7. 7. Mechanisation & division of labour Toolmaker Manufacturing Tools through the ages: 19th C. - Industrial
  8. 8. Rise of computers & software Software Services Toolmaker Manufacturing Tools through the ages: 20th C. - Services Processes Kanban Rapid prototyping
  9. 9. Tools through the ages: 21st C. - Experience Toolmaker ManufacturingServicesSoftware Cloudification of software & services
  10. 10. Tools through the ages: 21st C. - Experience Services Cloudification of software & services Toolmaker ManufacturingSoftware ?
  11. 11. Tools through the ages: 21st C. - Experience Services
  12. 12. The thinking that 
 got us to here,
 won’t get us to there
  13. 13. Get back that making feeling
  14. 14. Change = 
 Engaging the head, heart and hands
  15. 15. Helps us engage the head, the heart 
 and the hands Design thinking
  16. 16. Deep and holistic user understanding Visualising, prototyping and refining Fostering a culture to bring out ideas from anyone in an organisation Design thinking
  17. 17. The process
  18. 18. Prototype Test & learnIdeate
  19. 19. Prototyping formats More ideas Prototype Test & learnIdeate
  20. 20. Making is as 
 valuable as 
 what is made
  21. 21. Tools for change UN-TAPPED
  22. 22. Brainstorming FIRST GEAR
  23. 23. Journey mapping SECOND GEAR
  24. 24. Prototyping THIRD GEAR
  25. 25. The ‘blank tool’ problem ? Brainstorming Translating Organising Prioritising Deciding Testing Prototyping Educating
  26. 26. 1. Canvases 2. Scorecards 3. Posters 4. Playing cards Example formats to help
  27. 27. Great for collecting all essential information for your idea, project, target audience, product 
 or service Bake a process in Forcing function for clarity before moving ahead 1. Canvases
  28. 28. Example - Business Model Canvas All key pieces of info in one place
  29. 29. Atlassian Experience Canvas Hypothesis - what we set out to test Minimum viable experience (MVE) End-to-end demo What problem we’re trying to solve
  30. 30. Making your own 1. Nominate a goal Build a product/service Find a business partner Educate the organisation 2. Gather types of info To make decisions To communicate to others To let others take action 4. Fill in with your team Use the canvas to discuss and fill in answers 3. Make a canvas Arrange all the key pieces of info into boxes
  31. 31. Great for team-based decision-making A set of measures to help rate the health of projects, teams and outcomes Use them to clarify, not to police Involve the team in choosing what’s scored 2. Scorecards
  32. 32. Atlassian Project Health Monitor 1 full-time owner Balanced team Shared understanding Value and metrics End-to-end demo Consistent communication Dependencies Velocity 8 areas that indicate project health, rated as: Green - on track and all good Yellow - needs attention Red - Fix this puppy!
  33. 33. Atlassian Project Health Monitor 1 full-time owner Balanced team Shared understanding Value and metrics End-to-end demo Consistent communication Dependencies Velocity DATE 1 DATE 2 DATE 3
  34. 34. Making your own 1. Discuss with the team What makes a project healthy? What’s holding us back? 2. Condense Refine your ‘health criteria’ to just enough 4. Fill in with your team Pick a real project, fill it out Iterate and refine 3. Have a simple scale What’s your scoring scale? 1, 2, 3? Red, yellow, green?
  35. 35. Great for re-framing ideas and clarifying value A lot of fun to create as a team The process of making them is just as important as reading them 3. Posters
  36. 36. In-flight safety card Fun format Smart questions
  37. 37. Making your own 1. Define the audience Who are you wanting to communicate to? What is their context? 2. Define the value Why should your audience care? What’s the call to action? 4. Make it interactive Prototype, gauge interest How might you make people do something with it? 3. Design the poster Movie poster?
 In-flight safety card?
 In-store product?
  38. 38. Great for being a catalyst for richer conversations and game-play ‘Mobile version’ of larger tools Creating them from other assets forces you to simplify and clarify Easy and cheap to print - makeplayingcards.com 4. Playing cards
  39. 39. Customer benefit cards For brainstorming: - what’s the most important benefit for this feature? - How might we improve this feature according to these benefits?
  40. 40. Design + Agile cards Persona cards Communicards
  41. 41. Role cards
 Questions about what this role does Persona cards
 Questions about how this type of person behaves
  42. 42. Using persona cards to ideate and validate
  43. 43. Making your own 1. Pick a function Brainstorming?
 Prioritising?
 Reducing something else? 2. Explore formats Regular playing cards?
 Just words on cards?
 Drawn pictures? 4. Play with them Prototype, gauge interest Are there different ways you could use them? 3. Design the cards Is it a game, or thinking device? Do you score points?
  44. 44. Making is as 
 valuable as 
 what is made IF YOU TAKE AWAY ONE THING…
  45. 45. BEN CROTHERS | ATLASSIAN | @BENCROTHERS THANK YOU. GO FORTH. Make change!

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