Entando Team's Reaction to Design Thinking Summer Course
Our recent posts have talked about Design Thinking; this post is about our experience during a summer course called "Design Thinking," held on June 26 and 27 and hosted by CreaUniCa in Cagliari, Italy.
The course was managed by Neil Maiden, Professor of Digital Creativity from the Faculty of Management at the Cass Business School and co-founder of the Centre for Creativity in Professional Practice at City University London.
Entando’s team of UX designers was really enthusiastic to take part in the two training days. The aim was learn new design practices and models, plus improve the ones that we are already implementing daily at Entando.
The aim of the course was to train a team of professional tutors, coming from all over Europe, to offer support and mentorship to the startups that will be born in the Contamination Lab (CLab) of CREA UniCa. For this reason, we at Entando are pleased to collaborate in this process of entrepreneurial training involving our UX Design Team with mentorship sessions during the year between June 2018 and June 2019.
Dr. Maiden managed the two days with interesting topics. He focused on the definition of "good design" by proposing some examples of Italian and international products and services. These examples and the theoretical aspects connected to them have allowed us to introduce a series of useful techniques to stimulate design thinking process. On the second day, all participants were involved to design a service to improve the experience of Italian post offices.
Good design must be
- Long lasting
- Aesthetically pleasing
Moreover, it must also go deep into detail, so it must reduce as much as possible by eliminating the superfluous items.
To do this, we must work creatively within certain parameters:
- Use different techniques and tools for different situations
- Be critical
- Look for different solutions not intuitively applicable to the context
- Prototype and test
Creativity is the result of a continuous compromise with the constraints of the project. This compromise is at the same time a challenge to improving the creative activity of finding solutions for each case.
Dr. Maiden had therefore suggested us that we follow the seven key principles of creativity through which to focus attention. From his slides:
- Provide services: a worthwhile service provides value for our users' work. Service is understanding the business you are in, and what your users will want
- Give information and choices: Your customers already have a lot of information and expect more. Give customers access to your company's information. Ask yourself the question "What do our customers want to know?"
- Offer participation: people want to do more and more work alone, for example review a book purchased online or pay for the shopping in the automatic checkouts of supermarkets. The question must therefore be asked: “How can my users participate with my activity (product or service)?”
- Create connections: We love being connected. Our customers will remain "ours" if we keep them connected. For example, loyalty cards and rewards systems are connections. The question is: How can I keep users connected?
- Demonstrate trust: Your customers must trust you. Invent a better way to let your users know that they can trust you or your system.
- Be convenient: Your users want the perception of convenience. What can you do for your users to make their lives more convenient? Remove a passage. Do something yourself instead of asking your user to do it.
- Go green: People want to be more environmentally friendly. Which solutions can offer more green solutions? Or the perception of being greener?
Among the various tools to stimulate the approach of Design Thinking and creativity, we can mention:
- Stakeholder Maps from which to derive interests and motivations of the project and therefore of the product that is being designed.
- Expectations Maps to realize rapid sketches to immediately represent the emotional Customer Journey of the end users.
- Desktop Walkthrough to build scenarios of a product or service. In this case it was interesting to approach the Lego Serious Play Design methodology.
- Service Role Play to involve all stakeholders to help improve a service. In this case, all participants act out an improvised scene to describe a service or product and how to use it.
- Storyboard as a classic tool to tell a usage scenario.
The tools described here are useful to guide the approach of Design Thinking by encouraging designers and all stakeholders to get out of the frame of the problem and to observe it from a different point of view.
For this we may want to mention one of the principles of Marianella Sclavi: "What you are seeing depends on your point of view. In order to see your point of view, you have to change it." We could adopt the same approach to solve a problem.
To solve a problem we must remove the limits, we must ignore them and revise them. Only in this way can we see the problem in another way and find a solution that would not have been thought otherwise. The Entando UX Designer team is ready to do this!