An Introduction to Design Thinking | Ray Harkins | Skillshare

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An Introduction to Design Thinking

teacher avatar Ray Harkins, Senior manufacturing professional

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. An Introduction to Design Thinking

    • 2. Design Constraints

    • 3. The Design Thinking Process

    • 4. Tools of Design Thinking

    • 5. Project in Ideation

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About This Class

Design Thinking is so much more than design; it's a mindset for approaching problems and their potential solutions. Using the typical approach, problem solvers start recommending solutions immediately after hearing the problem. But too often these "solutions" are based only on the hearer's unconscious biases, and not on the real needs of the user.

The Design Thinking methodology offers engineers, managers, designers, analysts, and executives a better way to approach problems - one of empathy. Only by placing yourself in the shoes of the customer can you genuinely understand their constraints and "pain points". By "Going to the Gemba" - the place where the work is being done - and approaching the problem with an open mind, you not only experience the environment first hand, but also gain the trust and respect of the users. This can never happen from the confines of a desk or board room.

Design Thinking also offers its practitioners a wide variety of tools to draw from, and a reliable framework for solving problems; where the ideal solution is found at the intersection of desirability, feasibility and viability.

This class "An Introduction to Design Thinking" will show you a sampling of the tools and concepts to help you get started. You will learn:

- The five-step Design Thinking process developed by the Stanford Design School.

- The desirability, feasibility and viability framework for problem solving, and the common "near solutions" that offer a solution, but not the ideal one.

- A sampling of the common tools Design Thinking practitioners use including: Empathizing, Ditching the Solutions Mindset, Sketching, 5 Why, Lo-Fi and Hi-Fi Prototypes, and Iteration.

- You will also have a chance to practice your ideation skills by participating in a project that you can share with your classmates.

My hope is that "An Introduction to Design Thinking" will not only introduce you to the major concepts of this problem-solving approach, but also serve as your launchpad for more advanced studies and experimentation in Design Thinking.

Meet Your Teacher

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Ray Harkins

Senior manufacturing professional


Ray Harkins is a senior manufacturing professional with 25 years experience in manufacturing engineering, quality management, and business analysis.  During his career, he has toured hundreds of manufacturing facilities and worked with leading industry professionals throughout North America and Japan.  He is a senior member of the American Society of Quality, and holds their Quality Engineering, Quality Auditing and Calibration Technician certifications.  Ray has written extensively for national trade publications on the topics of quality engineering and career management.

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1. An Introduction to Design Thinking: hello and welcome to this skill share class titled An Introduction to Design Thinking. My name is Ray Harkins, and currently I'm working on my Master's of science degree at Rochester Institute of Technology, where I'm studying topics like designed thinking and project management. Previously, I've earned my master's degree in religious education, along with professional certificates in business analytics and business and financial modelling and my bachelors of science degree in mechanical engineering technology. I can be reached through Lincoln or through my website www, the manufacturing academy dot com, or via email at our harkens at the manufacturing academy dot com, Paul Rand said the designer does not begin with some preconceived idea. Rather, the idea is the result of careful study and observation and the design a product of that idea. Paul Rand was a giant of advertising in the United States after World War Two and transformed advertising print ads and commercials from just a medium for carrying information to a visually appealing art form. And in this idea, he lays the groundwork for all of design thinking. He implies that the designer needs toe get past their preconceived ideas. They're unconscious biases and really empathize with the customer to create a solution that best meets their needs. So designed thinking is so much more than just designing products or services, it's, ah, mindset. It's a paradigm, a way of looking at problems and potential solutions in design, thinking, preconceived ideas and they're unconscious. Biases. How we Did It Last Time In these canned, one size fits all solutions give way for user centred, holistic, innovative and itr vly proven solutions. Traditional innovation is engineering driven, product centric and marketing focus. Not a lot of room for the user design is applied at the end of the product to make it look good, something akin to an interior decorator versus an architect at the beginning of the home design. Not too many people are thinking about what pictures to hang on the wall. Innovation with design thinking, however, is design driven, customer centric and user experience. Focused design is core to every aspect of the product. So where can design thinking be applied anywhere where there is a need and constraints to the potential solutions of finances or time or technology Design thinking can be applied to processes, products, services, experiences, careers or even your entire life, Tim Brown said. Designed thinking is a human centered approach to innovation that draws from the designers toolkit to integrate the needs of the people, the possibilities of technology and the requirements for business success. Tim Brown is the CEO of the design firm IDEO, and in this short sentence wraps up the entire field of design thinking. Where there is an approach innovation, There are many, many tools that a designer can draw from. And there are constraints where the needs of the people, the technology and the requirements for business success intersect. The designers looking for a solution that answers all three of those constraints. This class will be a sampling of thes three areas and approach to design some of the tools available to the designers and a way of thinking about potential solutions where each of these three constraints are met. 2. Design Constraints: now, starting with Tim Brown's definition of design thinking. Let's start by looking at the field of potential solutions in light of the constraints that he's referring to. And I want to start this by talking about the needs of the people. This is often referred to as desire, ability, and I've put this circle on the screen to represent all possible solutions that would be desirable to the consumer. The second constraint is the possibilities of technology, which we refer to as feasibility. Again, anything inside the circle marked feasibility are things that are possible with today's technology. And I would add to this not just technology, but your organizational structure. Maybe it's possible with technology in the world, but at your organization, you don't have the technology, the organizational structure or that's not part of your core competencies. Then the third area where Tim Brown mentioned a set of constraints is the requirements for business success, and this we refer to as viability. And again, all solutions inside that circle are viable or would make for a successful business. So the goal is finding solutions that fit not just 12 but hopefully all three of these circles of constraint. So when we talk about desire ability, this is determined through user interviews and forms observation, questioning the status quo and interacting with prototypes. Desire, ability answers the question. What does the customer want? And it isn't just interviewing and asking people what they want, but it's actually making observations. Empathizing. Putting yourself in the shoes of the customer. If you would have asked a typical citizen in a major city like Tokyo or New York, if what was wrong with cabs, they may have mentioned some things, but I doubt they would have thought of a solution like Uber, which takes the cab service out of the hands of big corporations and into individual users . There would be an example of something that was desirable. Lower costs, greater availability, user reviews, cleanliness. But it may not have formed itself into a solution. So desire ability answers the question. What does the customer want? Feasibility is determined through the available materials and processes and people, and I t. Integration and operational capabilities. Feasibility answers. The question. What can we make? You can have a desirable solution, but if you can't make it well, then it's not really feasible. the third area constraint. Viability is determined through more analytical means. Like marketing studies are oi analysis, costing models and value proposition analysis. This is the study of what your offering versus what your competitors offer, and this answers the question. What can we afford to make? So, in considering our constraint of possible solutions, desire, ability is always front and center. That's why we've put it on the top. It has to be desirable to the customer. We set up front that design thinking is all about user centered nous user experience. We're putting the people and the customer first, but in looking at all the potential solutions that could land on this map, there's a lot of places that are not ideal solutions. For instance, you could have a solution that was both desirable and viable, but it can't be made. For instance, if I invented a car that never needed fuel well, customers would certainly want that right, and I could probably sell it for a huge amount of money. But is it technically feasible? Can I do it? Well, I probably can't now we have what's called an emotional design. We could agree that would be a great idea were on board, but it just doesn't exist. Another area that's off center would be a design that's desirable and feasible. But that isn't viable. This is referred to as a functional design. In other words, people would definitely like it, and and suppliers could definitely make it. But the the business model isn't there for there to be business sustainability for there to be viability. Some, uh, certainly early on, and I think it's still continues now. Mobile APP makers and software makers. They have fantastic products that these brilliant computer programmers can make that people do want and desire, but not always do they want to pay for it or pay enough for it to sustain the business. That would be an example of a functional design. It can be made. It is desired, but you can't make a business out of it. Ah, third area of overlap is the design that is feasible and viable, but that nobody wants. This is called a process design, thes air products and services that companies come up with without really thinking through what the customer wants. Any number of examples of failed products, businesses and services would fall into this. We can do it. We can make money doing it, but nobody wants it. The ideal solution, then, is the intersection of all three of these. Where the customer does want it, it can be made and it will produce a viable business model. This is three ideal design. 3. The Design Thinking Process: referring back to our definition. By Tim Brown of DESIGN Thinking We're not gonna take a look at an approach to innovation that designers using this design thinking methodology commonly employed, and I'm gonna use a five step process made popular by the Stanford Design School. It begins with empathizing, then defining. Then I'd be ating, then prototyping and finally testing. So when we think about empathize, it means to essentially put yourself in someone else's shoes. Who is that someone else? That's the user. It's the customers, the person who's going to be using this product. And it's best to start with a blank slate again. This isn't a problem centric solution methodology, but a customer or user centric. So when a designer goes in, they have to go in with a blank slate, ready to learn, ready to take in new ideas. The up in the next step is to what the Japanese call go to the Gamba. The gamba is where the work is being done. It's incredibly hard to empathize with the user. While you're sitting in your office or your design studio, you have to go to where the users are, go to the kitchen go to the school, go to the workplace, the bank, the lobby, wherever it is that you're going, go to where the product is being used with the people using it. The gamba is where the work happens. Going to the gamba going to the users will in turn garner a lot of respect for you. When a designer shows up where the works being done, the people start helping out become a learner. Listen, observe, take notes. Ask questions. Be a learner. Go in as if you know nothing. Even if you've been designing and engineering and creating things for decades. Go in as if you know nothing at all will learn. Put yourself in that person's shoes, and with that attitude, it's amazing what you'll come out of that experience with the next is then to reflect on what you've learned. It's so easy to rush on to the next step, but it's so critical here to sleep on it for a day. Pause, reflect, read through your notes. Meditate. Think about what you saw, what you learned. Look at the photographs, read your notes, read the answers to your question and then identify the gaps in your knowledge. It's on Lee upon reflection, maybe the next day or the later in the afternoon, where you'll realize that there's some missing pieces to the puzzle. That's where you get a chance to identify the gap. What questions? Didn't you ask? What part of the machine didn't you get to see who didn't you get to talk to? And then it a rate. The word iterating means to repeat over and over again, and it aeration is a huge part of the design thinking process. It happens in the entire methodology, and it happens within each of these individual blocks. So once you've identified the gaps, then you go back to the gamba. Talk to the people, take the photographs, ask the questions, read the instructions, whatever it is to do, continuously fill in your knowledge of the customer's experience. Next step is to define. At this point, it's critical to resist the urge to think about solutions. These unconscious biases mean that you have all these answers in your head and you're trying to find places to stick them. Psychologists refer to a phenomena called confirmation bias, and it happens when you have an idea in your head that you think is the right answer, and then you go seek information and data that supports it. Resist the confirmation bias. Resist the urge to think about solutions and start with defining the user that you're trying to help. Who is it? What does she do for a living? What air? The dimensions, What are the sizes? Who is this person and what scenarios are they encountering that's causing them problems? Next Quantify. How much? How long, How many? Maybe you're looking at wait times at an airport. Maybe you're looking at designing a new piece of clothing or a new backpack. Maybe you're looking at a service or helping Ah, disadvantage people group. Quantify the nature of the problem. Take measurements. Use your stopwatch. Bring your tape measure whatever is required to quantify the problem and then lastly, review the problem definition with your users. Show them what you've gathered, what you've measured, what you're thinking about. And then, obviously you're gonna iterated. Here's an opportunity toe Learn again. Maybe a user will point out with special circumstance where this isn't true or that's true . Keep filling in your knowledge. Keep Iterating Step three ideation. Sometimes this is referred to as brainstorming, which is a fabulous and popular ideation technique. There are other ideation techniques to, but it has to do with divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is another way of saying anything goes. And if you ever been in a brainstorming session, you've probably seen this before, where people are just shouting out answers, throwing out possibilities of what might solve the problem. In this mode of divergent thinking, you don't want to hinder. You don't wanna edit. You don't want toe contain too much. You just want to write down the ideas, collect the ideas. This part of your thinking actually is part of the problem solving as you idee eight Subconsciously your brain and the brains of the people you're working with. Start building potential solutions idea. With a diverse team that will create the broadest range of possible solutions. What do I mean by a diverse teen? Different levels of experience. Different departments, different genders and socio economic backgrounds, different academic disciplines. When you're working with different types of people, you're gonna collect ideas from a much, much broader range than you would if you're just idea idea eating by yourself or with just your small group, it's best to branch out a little bit and cast a wide net to bring in as many ideas as possible. Ask questions like What if? What if we had, Ah, material that could do this? What if we had a piece of software that could do this? What if we brought this person into the collection here asking scenarios? What if sometimes you have, Ah, great idea. But you're missing one piece of the puzzle, sometimes by starting with the missing pieces. What if we had a different team member? What if we lived in a different city? What if those types of question can often spark fabulous ideas? Next? The second half of ideation is then convergent. Thinking Convergent means closing things together. One convergent thinking technique is to group together ideas that have similarities. So maybe you have 2050 100 ideas. Start grouping them with common themes or common characteristics, and this will help you kind of picture the whole feasible range of solutions. And then, lastly, select ideas worth Fort further exploration. The this could be further discussion. This could be prototyping, which is the next step, and there's lots of ways to go about selecting those ideas. Ideally, you're going to be selecting the ideas that appear to match best with the problem definition Those the ideas that answer the most pieces of those puzzles, those of the ideas that you're going to start with. Okay, Next step, fourth step is prototyping. Ah, prototype is an expression of design intent. And I'm gonna offer you three different levels of prototypes. And I'm going to explain a little is I go here. The first is what's referred to as a low fidelity prototype. Fidelity has to do with true nous or the extent to which a product resembles what it will look like in its final state, the finished product. So a low Fidelity prototype could be a sketcher, storyboard or simple model made out of paper card border Styrofoam in Stoff. Where could be a clickable wire frame where the content isn't necessarily there. But some of the connections air made these air inexpensive, these air easy to make and the advantage besides being the low cost is it provides an expression of the design that you can share with others and use for further ideation. Further discussion the high fidelity prototype would then be mawr. Expensive requires more time and expertise to develop. These are interactive. They they're made out of the final design materials and colors, and it looks and acts like a finished product. Although there might be some features, there might be certain, uh, characteristics that aren't there, but it it highly resembles the thing. Ultimately, that it's gonna look like. And then the highest level of prototype and actually is probably isn't exactly a prototype , but it's called the minimum via viable product. This is the first addition of the product, with enough core features to satisfy the early adopters and to provide feedback for future development. So this is actually a product, but just stripped down to its very core. Then, naturally, at any step here, I show to the minimum viable product. But once you have the minimum viable product now, maybe you want to add features or or expand the existing features will. Then often you're going back to the low fi back to the sketches, the storyboards, the clickable wire frames back to that point to then develop these new features or expanded features. And then, lastly, is the test phase testing is about putting something, putting one of those prototypes the lo fi, the hi fi or the M V P in front of actual users. So first you present the problem definition, then you present the solution. Maybe it's ah, hi fi solution. Maybe it's the minimum viable product show. The intended users allow the users to interact with the solutions. That's what prototypes therefore so people can touch and feel and play with and interact with the solution. And then the last step of testing is empathizing, listening, asking questions, taking notes, taking pictures, putting yourself into the shoes of the users while they're interacting with your prototype . And if we take a look, if you noticed, obviously that the last step was to empathize, that's the first step. There you go again, your iterating after you present a user or group of users with a prototype, whether it's low fi hi fi or minimum viable product. Now you're empathizing. Now you're listening. You're taking pictures, you're asking questions. You go back into that learning phase and start taking notes. What needs fix, what needs corrected? What's good? What do they like? And close the loop? This design thinking is an iterative approach. In other words, you repeat this process over and over again, or repeat little processes within each step until constantly improving, constantly modifying and updating. And then eventually you're going to get to a point. Through this interim process, you're going to get to a point where the product is finished. 4. Tools of Design Thinking: Okay, the third and final section of design thinking that we're going to address is the tools that design thinking practitioners employ at the various steps through the process. And today I just want to give you a sampling of those tools available. Some of them we've already talked about some of them we haven't. But there are dozens and dozens of tools that designers use at each one of these stages. This is just a sampling. So when we talked about empathizing putting yourself in the other person's shoes, going to the gamble where the work is done active listening, asking questions, being a learner, blank slate, listening, watching, trying it yourself the next stage of defining this is where we tell stories of of typical users. We develop personas, thes air fictional descriptions of users that typify, ah, classic user. Sometimes it's common to have two or three different personas, especially when developing a service like a bank or ah, maybe a hair salon. Different people have different needs. A persona isn't an account of one specific person, but a scenario a typical person or customer that's going to use the service ditching the solution mindset. This isn't the place to impose your solutions on the problem. This is a place to define the problem, to show the points of frustration, to develop a stakeholder map staple stakeholders are people that are affected by the problem by the solution these air people, maybe their users. But they're also the people working behind the desk there. The designers there, the, uh, investors there, the people somehow involved with the entire process, ideation, the sketching, the brain storming posted notes are a popular way, especially when you're working with a cross functional team of divers. People where everybody writes their own know everybody gets a post it note pad. They write their ideas and stick it up on the board. Five y analysis is a fantastic tool. Comes out of the Toyota production system asking why over and over again, usually by the time you get to the fifth, Why why is this? Well, then why is this then why is this by the time you get to the fifth y, usually you've gotten past the symptoms of the problem and you've gotten to the root cause of the issue. Is is not analysis that is defining what is the problem and what is not the problem? Mind mapping is a great way one. It can go very nicely with the Post it notes. Organizing your your ideas into branches of a problem may be a problem. Has five or six branches different solutions? Different ideas go to each branch value. Chain analysis. We talked about a little bit where you're comparing yourself to a competitive solution. Next is prototyping. This is your chance to form a bias towards action, doing something and testing it out. So we talked about Low Foe Low five prototypes. Sometimes people refer to minutes and sent sense. In other words, this is scraps of paper sketches, simple models, cardboard, Styrofoam things that you can put together very quickly. Hi fi prototypes require more time and investment, but But after you've developed low fi prototypes getting feedback, then you could make a hi fi. Then you could make a minimum viable product. And this idea of rapid prototyping three D printing and other additive processes can quickly generate ideas to contain ideas and generate physical objects that you can interact with. You can touch and feel and try on co creation is the process of working with the users where you're exchanging ideas, interacting with prototypes, touching, talking. These are the types of things. And then the great thing about prototyping is that you contest multiple possibilities, multiple versions of the same product, low fi and even medium and hi fi prototypes. Generally, they're not that expensive. You can develop a couple different alternate sites scenarios, and the fifth stage of design thinking is to test engaging riel users with your prototypes , the same people you talk to at the beginning. Now it's time to go back to them, deliver some prototypes, show them how it works, solicit feedback, empathize. Listen, take notes. Observe. It's so important not to have an emotional attachment to your design. Keep that's customer centric. Focus in clear view. The job of a designer is to solve the users problem, not to impose their design on the user. So this is where you get a chance to put your ego aside. Listen, take notes. What's the best thing about this? What's the worst thing about this? What's missing? And then again, iterating, after you test you go back Now you're you test, you empathize. And now what do you do in defining the problem better. Your idea. Eating Mawr ideas, drawing more more prototypes and you come right back to test This whole thing keeps Iterating over and over again. Okay, that's just a sampling of the tools. There's dozens and dozens mawr available. I hope that this is a launch pad for you to explore these and so many of the other tools that are available in this design thinking process. In the next and final video, we're gonna try out one tool, and it's in the ideation category, the sketching and brainstorming. I have a great activity for you that will get the ideation gears turning. It's a great exercise, and I love to do it with the students of design thinking. 5. Project in Ideation: Well, hello, Ray Harkins here from the Manufacturing Academy. And congratulations on finishing the course. Work the videos up to this point in this skill share class titled and Introduction to Design Thinking. Now it's your chance to practice some of these tools, and I have a great set of projects for you, and I would highly encourage you to get involved, get engaged and two projects here the 1st 1 Now check this out. Looks pretty simple. It's a pages, got 12 circles on it and what we're gonna practices your sketching and ideation skills. There's no need to be an artist here, simply sketching. It's a chance to represent an idea. So what we do here is with these 12 circles, you use a pan use pencil and sketch something such that the circle becomes part of the sketch. In other words, maybe for the first circle you draw a wagon wheel and the circle becomes the outside of the wheel. Maybe the 2nd 1 You drop any and you draw. If you're living United States, maybe that's Abraham Lincoln or Queen Elizabeth or someone else. It's a coin, you know, for each one of these. Now those air Simple, but for each one of these, yet to draw something entirely different. What this exercise will do is one. It's a great chance the practice, your sketching skills, but more importantly, get your brain in the mode of ideation, creating new ideas. So the 1st 1/2 for you is the 12 circles. What I would encourage you to do is take your time. Take 20 minutes half an hour, sketch one out for each one of these, and then, if you want to participate, take a photo of this or scan it to make it a PdF and post it into the project section of the class so other people can see your handiwork. And you know what? I'm gonna post mind their first. I would encourage you. Don't look at it. First, do your own first and then compare yours to mine and the other people in the class. So that's the 1st 1 The 2nd 1 I have for you. It's gonna look awfully similar. But instead of circles, there actually squares, and there's something about our mind. I've learned that it's easier to idea around circles because there's so much more common in nature I suppose some people say that circles are God's idea. Squares are man's idea. Whether that's true or not, I have no idea. But I do know that squares are much less commonly seen in nature, So sometimes your brain has a little harder time generating those. But I think you can do it. So same idea used this square. Maybe. Maybe you draw a house out of one and you can go outside. The square is just the square. Has to be a part of it or the shirt class to be part of it may be a window frame or something. I don't want to say too many ideas because I want you, Teoh, develop these yourself. So the same idea draught idea. 12 different ideas were this square is employed and then again scan it or take a picture of it converted to a J. Peg and upload it to the Project sections class so other people can enjoy your sketches and you can enjoy. There's also, and like a said, mine will be there to thank you so much for joining me for this introduction to design thinking. I genuinely hope this is a launch pad for you to look into the other tools, concepts and skills that are available in the design Thinking family. Once you get your brain oriented to this way of approaching problems, it will change the way you solve problems. You'll quit going in to a problem with the solution and you'll go in there to help the user . It's a completely different way of thinking. Thank you so much for joining me. I would love to hear comments, your questions, your thoughts, message me through skill, share. Anything I can do to help. I'd be glad to. And if you want to stay in touch, I included my contact information. If you have questions about other classes, I teach or more about design thinking, I'd love to be able to help you. Thank you so much.