One method for design thinking

Posted on ma 15 lokakuu 2018 in Articles

So, here is a method to invent new products from the experiences of one ( random ) person, in this case based on their day.

This specific method was introduced to me at Aalto Design factory in their 10 year anniversary event. Many similar methods can be found but this one had decent template for fast track designing.

Most people use methods like these without even realising it whenever they try to create solutions. It is really human to naturally do this sort of process if needed. But sometimes you either are stuck or want to include other ( inexperienced ) people with designing, it is useful to pay more attention to the method to help you to reach the goal. Also practising/training with different methods makes them be more natural part of your own process: you can adapt to each challenge and use the best sides of each methid when needed.

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1.1 Create user journey

Visualise user's experiences. In this specific case, examine how user's day has been so far: from the moment they woke up to the current moment. Focus on whether the experiences they have had so far have been negative or positive? Record also what events.

Draw their experiences into form like this:


For example: designthining

Keep your mind open, and just listen what the user wants to say. This is only recording their experiences, not interpretting them.

1.2 Dig deeper

Record what emotions they had in their user journey. Then note down reasons for the emotions and any interesting insights that come up.



2.1 Identify problem

One can identfy the issue person was having but the more important thing is to understand what is the real problem behind it. For example person maybe grumpy in the morning but reason for it is lack of sleep. Meaning real problem is lack of sleep, not being grumpy. ( Obviously some people are grumpy in morning because of other reasons, so it is not some universal problem statement but specified with one's case :P )

Choose one problem they had to focus on, note it down: designthining

State the problem behind the experienced issue: designthining

2.2 Define point of view

It helps one's thinking if there is quite specified scenario describing the problem. It gives limits to the issue, so one does not need to think every person on the planet which normally just means too much thinking and focusing on unimportant things.


2.3 Write design challenge


2.4 Reframe the design challenge

First attempt to describe the design challenge hardly is too great, so rewrite it. So, what is the actual issue, do you really understand it? Make it human-centered, broad and vague enough to leave room for imagination and outside box ideas but also narrow enough that it is easy to start inventing with it. You don't want to suffocate creativity and lock yourself to specific solutions but too wide challenge causes often sort of writer's block where starting seems impossible.



3.1 Sketch crazy ideas

Don't limit yourself but write down or draw even tha wackyest ideas. This is not the time to evaluate or have critisism. Invent at least 5 ideas but the more, the better.


3.2 Listen to feedback

Explain your ideas to the user and hear what they think. Don't be offended or take sides, you are here just to observe and understand the user. Be there to learn, not to validate.

What they liked, disliked, what could be better, what won't work....? Make sort of SWOT analysis about your ideas. Does any idea stand out more than others?


3.3 Conceptualise an idea

Choose one idea and make a consept of it: draw, write, detail it..... consider what the user said and what seemed valuable for them.


4 Prototype consept

Prototype is used to get more information out from the user. It is a proto: not whole fuction system and it does not have to work. Best prototype is something that explains your consept well to the user, let's them play with your idea and see how they feel, imagining actually using it.

Consider what you want ot find out with the prototype? What is easiest way to make something that gives you needed interaction with the user? What you want to test with the prototype?


5 Test the prototype

Ask from user what they like. And what they wish. That way you get both positive feedback and negative which will help you to really emphasise the good stuff and improve the not so well working parts.

I liked: designthining

I wish: designthining