Introduction to Design Thinking: 31st January

On the 31st of January 2018, 13 students from a range of disciplines and areas of study gathered in a room in the FASS building for an exciting session, led by Amanda Brooks of the Enterprise Team. Inspired by her trip to Stanford University’s d.school and the Crash-course in Design Thinking hosted by Humera Fasihuddin from the d.school last year, Amanda was excited to lead her own Design Thinking session. The aim of the session was to help students try out a human-centred design approach to problem-solving, whilst developing their 21st century skills – creativity, innovation, collaboration and communication.

Human-centred design is a creative approach to problem solving. It’s a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions, tailor-made to suit their needs. It involves a five step process – the students worked through each stage to design a wallet for a member of another team.

 

1. Empathize. The process begins with empathy – understanding what the customer’s needs are. This was done through interviewing the customer, first on a broad level and then digging deeper to fully understand their requirements.

 

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2. Define. This stages involves making sense of what was learnt from the interview and identifying opportunities for design. Teams identified the goals and wishes of the customer and then worked to re-frame the problem into a point-of-view statement.

 

3. Ideate. This stage involved many a post-it notes and free flow of ideas relating to the design of the wallet. Following the free flow of all kinds of ideas, teams sketched out a few potential solutions.

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4. Prototype. This stage began by presenting initial designs to the customer for feedback. Then, armed with tinfoil, card, pipe cleaners, glue etc., the teams set about creating a prototype solution.

 

5. Test. Time to present the prototype to the customer and take on their feedback, has it met their needs?

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Overall, the session was very well received, some of the elements people expressed that they really enjoyed included:

“Engaging with people who share similar attitudes but have different methods of approach to ideas”

“Working with people from different backgrounds”

“Exercising creativity”

“The group discussion vibe”

“Working through a process with an end goal “

“The flow and ease of the process”

To see all of the photos, please visit our Facebook page. 

To find out more about Human Centred Design, check out this short video on IDEO’s website which gives a great overview.  The Enterprise Team are will be hosting more sessions like this in the future – so keep your eyes on our website, social media and newsletter!

Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop

Workshop: 31st January 1-4pm

As more employers call for graduates with 21st century skills like creativity, innovation, collaboration  and communication, we’re testing new ways for you to actively learn these competencies with fellow students from all disciplines.

 Design thinking is relevant to all as a life skill and is transferable potentially in all contexts, disciplines and organisations.

Human-centered design is a creative approach to problem solving. It’s a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor made to suit their needs. Human-centered design is all about building a deep empathy with the people you’re designing for; generating tons of ideas; building simple prototypes; sharing what you’ve made with the people you’re designing for; and eventually putting your innovative new solution out in the world.

Human-centered design consists of four phases. In the Empathy Phase you’ll learn directly from the people you’re designing for as you immerse yourself in their lives and come to deeply understand their needs. In the Define Phase you’ll make sense of what you learned and identify opportunities for design. In the  Ideation Phase you’ll learn to generate loads of ideas and build possible solutions in the Prototype Phase. With your prototype developed you  bring your solution to life to test in the Test Phase with real users or customers for Iteration or Launch!

Anyone can learn and apply Human Centred Design to any challenge to find innovative solutions. It’s a valuable life skill and a process for collaborative problem solving.

The Enterprise Team will be hosting a short taster session allowing you to experience the process of human centred design. For more details and to register, visit the event on Target Connect. 

You can also check out the Facebook photos from the Design Challenge we ran last academic year in collaboration with and to learn from Stanford d.School’s University Innovation Fellows Programme.

If you find you like what we do you can develop your skills beyond the session  e.g. develop your commercial awareness or develop that idea that’s been lurking in the the back of your mind, register with the Enterprise Team to hear about future sessions –  and explore our website at  www.lancaster.ac.uk/enterprisecentre