- To define design thinking in the context of today's business world, it's a making-based approach to problem solving that's rooted in human empathy and done in collaborative multidisciplinary teams. So let's break that definition down. In teams with a strong design thinking approach, you'll see people making ideas tangible. It might be exploring a complex ecosystem on the whiteboard, or it might be in a customer journey map that shows how people experience a service over time.
It could be in a rough prototype made to explore how a product works so it can be evolved and improved, and sometimes it's even a performance of what it will be like to experience the solution. Making ideas tangible allows them to be experienced by the team, by the people who might use it, and stakeholders. It helps you synthesize the key elements of what's important and communicate them more clearly, and iterate upon them and quickly change them with what you're learning.
In the best teams, these tangible expressions outweigh spreadsheets and presentation decks as the primary form of communication. And a team that proudly shares their failures, including the ideas and the failures, is far more likely an effective design thinking team than one that doesn't. Design thinking approaches are best for solving those hard, complex human problems that don't have a linear solution that just needs to get done.
And by solving I mean the end goal is to bring something to life, to bring it to market, to people, to a community. Design thinking is very focused on making things real. It's not an academic exercise. Great teams find ways to include the people who will use the product or service in the problem-solving process and integrate their needs and wants into every aspect of the work. This human empathy extends far beyond a user insights report to impact how the team thinks about the work, how they talk about it, how they communicate with the larger organization and how they evaluate ideas.
And by human, it's not just the people who'll use your product or service when it comes to market, often called the end user or the consumer. In most problems today, the people you solve for include people within the business or in other businesses that are delivering the service as much as the end user. So just as the folks in this room have thought about how you'll experience this course, they've thought about me as a person experiencing the creation of this course and if this is a good, meaningful experience for all of us, they've probably done a good job.
So at Frog, we represent kind of a microcosm of the teams you tend to find on today's complex problems. We have strategists, technologists, researches, designers, and engineers. The kinds of problems we're often asked to solve involve all of those skills sets. For example, whether it's GE seeking to bring a human-centered design capability into their organization, or Nike looking to empower impoverished girls all over the world.
Problems like this require a team able to humanize the problem with deep empathy and understanding, make models that unpack the complexity of the problem, and explore the solution with tangible prototypes, and a team that's able to bring many perspectives to tackling the idea. So, design thinking can sound simple. Have empathy, make models to unpack complexity, explore solutions with prototypes and engage a team in the approach.
It isn't. You'll find that the nonlinearity of the approach, the level of ambiguity that's introduced, and the openness to input and feedback on very rough ideas can be stressful to both the team and the organization. But it's okay. What you'll learn in this course will help you be more successful in employing a design thinking approach to create great solutions.
The course opens with a definition of design thinking, including the roles and spaces required for success. You will then learn how to be a good design thinking leader, with specific advice on topics from setting goals to engaging the different skill sets and personalities in the room (introverts and extroverts alike). Next, Turi dives into creative collaboration: the heart of design thinking. She covers planning, research, and concept creation, and explains how to create a "service blueprint" that will help make the design a reality. Chapter 4 introduces prototyping techniques to advance the design.
Design thinking is all about collaboration so we've integrated a LinkedIn Group called "Design Thinking: frog + Lynda.com course." Throughout the course, the author will suggest opportunities for you to share what you're learning. You'll be able to participate in course-related discussions through your web browser at https://linkedin.com/groups/7022790 or via the LinkedIn Groups app, which is available for most smartphones. This is a great way to expand your learning and get additional insights from other members taking the course.
- Defining design thinking
- Implementing a design thinking mindset and approach
- Leading design thinking
- Aligning the design team
- Managing creative flow
- Guiding collaboration
- Generating hypothesis
- Prototyping fast and often
- Making a culture change