For the last three days, I was on a training to become a Design Thinking Coach. To take part in this training was one of my goals for this year, when I sat down at the end of last year to think about how I can turn my life into a more positive one again. Being exposed and having the opportunity to try out different Design Thinking (from now on DT) methods made me think where and when I can use this knowledge.
Of course, this training was designed to help us applying DT at work and especially on a project with a client. Unfortunately, the use of DT is still an exception rather than the rule. Nevertheless, it is also our job to share the benefits of DT with our clients and to act as a champion. But what if even this is difficult to do? Then, I always have the chance to think about where else I can apply DT in my life.
But maybe a step back. If you are not familiar with DT, I want to give a short introduction how I see it. In our lives, everything has a design. We also design our own lives in everything we do. I start the day with meditation in order to be aware throughout the day. I design my life to be a bit more effective. DT is a creative process. It is not about creating fancy PowerPoint slides, but it is about drawing, colors, prototyping and being active. Things, we normally don’t equate with our jobs. DT consists of 6 steps. Yes, you might find different versions, but they all are likely to include:
Discover – Describe – Ideate – Prototype – Test – Implement
It is an iterative process where the steps cannot be separated. As the goal is to have a prototype or a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) quickly, you will realize that you go through the phases several times. It is always a mix of diverging and converging. And, it is a highly cooperative process. The full benefit of DT can only be realized when working in and as a team.
Still, there are elements that you can apply as an individual. The first one I want to focus on is to draw more. This is something I can apply at work. When I present an Idea, I want to use more drawing and sketches to build a story and to convey more information with less effort. Furthermore, I can and will use it for my side projects. It will help my friend and I with the question: How might we create an engaging children’s book which help children to become resilient and balanced adults? Or: How might we create a conference which helps people to better understand themselves and others? There are more than 200 methods that can be used when applying DT. I can use the Business Model Canvas to get a better understanding of the stakeholders, costs, revenues and much more. I can use Round Robin to become less attached with my idea and gather valuable feedback. I can use prototype testing and thinking aloud to get critical customer insights (whoever your customer is, it can also be your girlfriend, if your project is to improve the relationship).
The wonderful thing is that you can find a lot online. There are also countless books and videos which might help you with your own little project. It is a wonderful creative way to design our lives and I am convinced that it is a good way because it puts the human into its center. If you have questions about DT just write me a mail =).