Improve Your Problem Solving Using Design Thinking | Michaela Curry | Skillshare

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Improve Your Problem Solving Using Design Thinking

teacher avatar Michaela Curry, Digital content creator

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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

4 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. Intro: Better Problem Solving

    • 2. Design Thinking and its Benefits

    • 3. The Design Thinking Process

    • 4. Class Summary and Activity

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About This Class

In the 21st century, critical thinking and problem solving are two of the most in-demand skills. Good problem solving helps us in both our professional and personal lives. In this course we will discuss:

  • Why problem solving is important
  • What is Design Thinking?
  • Why is it useful?
  • Problem solving mindsets
  • Design Thinking Process and Methods
  • Taking action: using the skills in the lesson

Meet Your Teacher

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Michaela Curry

Digital content creator


Welcome to my Skillshare channel.

I post content about communicating your point of view, becoming more productive and thriving with 21st Century skills. 

If you haven't already, please watch my latest classes:

Podcasting when you have no ideas

Virtual Whiteboards: everything you need to know

See full profile

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1. Intro: Better Problem Solving: Hello and welcome to this course on improving your problem-solving using design thinking. My name is Michela, and I'll be taking you through today's to course content. And we hope that by the end of the course, you have a really concrete idea of how you can improve your problem solving ability. First of all, let's talk about what we'll cover today. I've got a couple of really valuable points that I wanted to share with you. We'll finalize the course by speaking about some ways you can take action in your own life or your own Korea to further your problem-solving ability and really demonstrate improvement in this area. Let's take a look at today's agenda. First of all, we have y is problem-solving important? We'll take you through all the reasons that problem-solving is really valuable skill in today's world. I'll also take you through design thinking at all about what it is and how you can use it. Thirdly, we'll talk about why design thinking is useful. And I'll also take you through the problem-solving mindsets that are involved with design thinking. The next section we'll talk about the methodology itself, all the different ways that you can use design thinking and take each step throughout the process to improve your problem-solving ability. Finally, at the end, we'll leave you with a concrete idea of where you can use it and hopefully better skills and Design Thinking. Fast a little bit about myself. My name is Michela and Harry and I am a digital content creator as well as having experience in a variety of workshop facilitation and interview techniques. In my current role, this channel is to help you learn ways to reach people, to understand people, and to really be able to future-focused skills. So check out some of my other content if you're interested in that. All right, let's get into today's class. 2. Design Thinking and its Benefits: So why is problem-solving important? Well, you may or may not have heard of something called 21st century skills. And if you haven't, this is a list of skills that had been reported to be critical in the 21st century and critical thinking and problem-solving on that list of essential skills. These are going to be vital for future success, whether you're starting off your Korea or in the middle of your career and looking for ways to develop and grow. Problem-solving is going to be a crucial soft skill that all employers would like people to demonstrate. The future of work is moving towards the soft skills. And problem-solving is often something listed in job ads as an essential skill that workers need. It also prepares us for the unknown jobs of the future. We might see lots of different technology roles emerge. And if we can demonstrate good problem-solving scalars, we can really apply them to any role that we like. More broadly than a korea, our society is facing more complex problems, especially from an environmental and social standpoint. And we need effective ways to collaborate and sold these really tough problem together and use different ways of thinking to do this. Today's course will hopefully teach you some new methods to use in order to build and develop your problem-solving skills and demonstrate that you'll future ready. I want to talk about design thinking, what it is and why it's important to you. First of all, if you haven't heard of design thinking is both an idea, a strategy, a method, and a way of seeing the world. For IDEO, a really renowned design thinking and creative problem-solving company, design thinking is defined as a way to solve problems through creativity. Now if that sounds like exactly what you were looking for or stay tuned because I'm going to talk you through the mindsets and the methods involved with design thinking. Design thinking is about keeping humans and people at the center of OLAP problem-solving, a human-centered design. Notice that as long as a designed for people and try to really deeply understand the problems people face, that their solutions will always be valuable and made the people's needs. Design thinking is a way of thinking as well as a hands-on methodology you can use. I'll take you through both of those two aspects in today's class, making sure that you leave with an understanding on what design thinking is and how you can use it. One of the main methodologies or ways of thinking that design thinking represents is really divergent and convergent thinking. What that means is that we're going to try and actively expand our ideas and our ways of viewing the weld and out research and then converge again by summarizing and pulling out the main points and insights in order to develop good products or good ideas. Design thinking is really widely used around the world, particularly by notable company IDEO and Stanford's D School, which is the Stanford School for Design. It's tried and tested and proven by many companies as well. So this is one of the methods you can use to develop your problem-solving ability. I want to talk about something that's frequently sharding when you talk about design thinking. And that's these three circles right here. Design thinking is all about the intersection of desirability, feasibility and viability. And let me take you through what those three words mean. Desirability is all about people and the things they want and whether the product has intrinsic value. Desirable products are ones that people want to buy. Desirable ideas of things that come really easily to people and make them want to get on board file. Secondly, feasibility is about what's practical in terms of ideas and products and methods. Feasibility is all around canon IDB executed, is it possible and doesn't exist within the realm of realism? Finally, let's talk about viability. Viability is all around the financial and business side. Is it a financially viable option? And when we say that, what we mean is if you create a product, people may want it. It may be desirable. It may be feasible in that it can be executed, but it might not make money or so of a business purpose. And so where design thinking really sits, or human-centered design as it's also known, is in the middle of days, three circles where we bring in what we know about people. We make a product or not, we come up with an idea that desirable, feasible, and viable, and that's where really great ideas come from. We spoke earlier about some of the reasons why design thinking and problem-solving are so important. But I want to delve into it even more because it's really important that you understand. The role that effective problem-solving plays in our lives. First of all, we spend so much time at work and we have lots and lots of interpersonal relationships that we need to thrive. Well, good problem-solving skills really enable us to have strong interpersonal relationships and business success. When we use design thinking along the way, we actively consult with people to understand debuts, which helps us counteract some of the biases we have. And those biases can get in the way of true creativity. Some of the other perks of design thinking and problem-solving more broadly, is that when we interact with our stakeholders or people involved with the issue through good communication, we can reach superior solution, sometimes lower costs, and we have less issues with buy-in compared to if we pitch an idea at the end. And they've never heard of before. When we involve people throughout the process, it's really great that they can feel consulted throughout the process. The second reason that problem-solving ability is really useful is that when we involve our stakeholders, we have developed solutions that are really co-designed and collaborative, and it means everybody is happy within the process. The upside of deuces that we often get better commitment to change. If someone's involved throughout the process of solving a problem, they have buy-in and they hadn't encouragement to really pursue DID and change themselves. The last benefit I want to talk about a good problem-solving ability and more specifically, design thinking is having a really concrete structure. Often the reason that people about or think they're bad at problem-solving or coming up with ideas is because they pass it off as not being creative. Well, everyone has the ability to be creative. We just have to put some structure around the certain individuals. And design thinking is really useful here because it's a process with steps and it's not necessarily linear. We can go back and fall. But it gives people were really good guidelines to step-by-step solve problems and come up with good ideas. I mentioned earlier that design thinking is both a mindset and a methodology. And I want to explain what I mean by this. In order to come up with good ideas, we need to be in the right headspace and have good minuses to come up with really great ideas. Then we start taking the process and it makes the process a lot more effective when we're in the right mindset. So some of the crucial mindsets I want to talk about just briefly, empathy, creativity, and the ability to adapt and collaborate with others. I think these three are really important because they're all around understanding people better. And that is at the heart of what design thinking is. And these, they really need to understand other people's situations and to imagine what they're going through and emphasize with them. Creativity is the ability to come up with lots and lots of good ideas and ideas that are not one and unlike other ideas that already existing. Finally, the ability to be adaptive and collaborative is probably just an excellent skill to have. But specifically, having that mindset for design thinking means that we can more efficiently incorporate other people's ideas and take on feedback and collaborate and adapt in order to make ideas better and better and better. 3. The Design Thinking Process: Now if we look through the design thinking process, we have five steps in this process. And it's not just a linear one. We take sometimes two steps forward and one step back, and we go in circles to constantly iterate ideas. Now this is really tough for some people. Some people think they come up with an idea, it's excellent and they never have to touch or improve it again. Design thinking really challenges us here, but it also brings out the best and our ideas because if we're constantly challenging them and iterating and getting feedback, they're going to become the best ideas they can be. The first stage in this process is empathize. And this is all around getting amongst the users or the person you are involved with, or the problem you're trying to solve. And really understanding the challenges and what gives them joy. If we were to look at this first stage, empathize in the context of say, redesigning a train station. We would want to really understand what the customer is traveling on the trains, go through. What this might look like is a bit of research, talking to the customers, understanding what they like about the journey experience, what they don't like, things that bring them joy and things that cause them pain in order to really question and understand their point of view. The second phase defined is all about understanding their needs more deeply, their problems and gaining insights from that. So at the end of this define phase, we should come to a really clear idea of what the exact problem is. We're trying to solve. What this might look like in that train station example I gave is collecting all the data from all of the interviews that useful for the people you spoke to and understanding what are the common themes in there. One of the really clear issues emerging and the things that people really don't like about their train journey, which leaves us with insights on what exactly it is we need to fix. The third phase is ideate, and this is probably the one you're most familiar with. What I want to do today with the ideate phase is to give you some more ideas and methods you can use to come up with better ideas. Because I know sometimes how hot it is when you feel stuck. I went to explain too much what these phases, as the name itself says it but essentially is challenging the assumptions we had and creating new ideas and innovative solutions. So we can do this as individuals and we can do it as teams. And in Teams, it often help to spur more ideas and collaborate. The fourth phase of the design thinking process is to prototype. You may or may not have heard of this, but if you haven't, it means creating physical versions of solutions. Let's just say we have an idea of what the ideal train station looks like. What we might do is do a drawing of what it looks like all build a model with cardboard. It doesn't have to be inexpensive and overly detailed model, but it allows us to take this back to our stakeholders or to the people at impacts, get some feedback and improve. So it can be as simple as a sketch and you don't have to be a design on to do a great sketch. You can just do a really rough one and label the features. And this way, you can really get feedback and iterate on your ideas. Probably. The final phase I want to introduce you to in the design thinking process is testing. I refer to these a little bit earlier when I talked about why prototypes are so important. So I want to get your prototype or your model or your drawing, whatever it is. It's really important that you take it out to people and test it. What this might look like. He's asking them what they think, asking him what they like and what they dislike. And this is a really good way to understand if your ID is good, if it's desirable, feasible, and viable. So as we go through this process, I'm going to explain one design thinking methods you use each phase of the design thinking process. Now these are by no means the only methods you can use. There are quite extensive ranges of methods out there for better problem-solving, but these are the ones I've used a lot in the past and I think very helpful for improving your problem-solving ability. They're also very easy and I think I'll activity at the end of plots will enable you to use these methods to practice. So the first method we have is to use the persona's. When we build persona is what we're looking to do is to really understand the people with solving the problem for what this might look like is on a greater issue to pay Paul, mapping out who they are, maybe what their demographic is, what their job is, anything that's relevant to the problem space, including what they like or dislike, think, feel, and see when they interact with your problem area that you're trying to so full, doing this persona is really crucial because it allows you to question some of the assumptions you might have about people. For some issues, we can solve them better because we close it to them and we really understand the heart of the problem. Whereas for other issues, say for solving poverty in a third world country, we might not be that close to the issue. And so it's really important that we get close with the people with solving the problem pool. And we really try and understand what it is they're going through. Because that makes our ideas so much better. The second method I want to introduce you to is problem statement. In other words, a, how might we question? This is really a question at the second phase of our design thinking process when we've got all our insights from our research, our interviews, our persona, and we're trying to really make that concise and bring it all together. We'll problem statements are a great way to do this. They involve identifying all the things we need to consider prioritizing one particular problem. That's really the heart of what we need to solve. When we do these statements, we say how might we and we insert something, so do whatever it is that we need to fix. So that and then the outcome that we want. There are lots of different variations of the SUSE one on the slide here. And so this is really a template you can use to define and really make sure you're clear on your team is clear if you're working in a team on what it is that you're solving. This is also really good because it's a question is phrased as, you know, starting to explore, which really helps answer when you're coming up with ideas, it gives your ideation focus. And it makes sure that everyone's on the same page about what exactly it is that the problem you're solving for. The third method I want to take you through is a method for ideation. Now, ideation can be done a whole heap of ways and different people come up with different ideas because of their background and the way that their brains operate. What this ideation method is, is a bit of a combination of silent brainstorming group brainstorm. Now, I'm sure we've all been in a situation where we've been in a group setting and lots of people have had lots of ideas and perhaps some of the more introverted people have held back from sharing their ideas because there's so many opinions already circulating. Perhaps it's also that there are some highly paid executives in the room and more genius dot deck feel comfortable and voicing their ideas. There are a whole range of scenarios with silent brainstorm like those scenarios I just mentioned, a super-useful. What it involves is everybody riding as many ideas out as they can without being persuaded by anyone else's ideas. These often brings out a good variety of ideas. And also it means that people can explore really crazy ideas that don't necessarily have to be realistic yet. Then when we come together and we share ideas, this is a really good platform to collaborate and to improve everybody's ideas. So when my brainstorming ideas in a group, It's really helpful to switch ideas and make sure we build on each other's ideas. So perhaps we take away a feature that wasn't the best, but then we add something that really improves and enhances the idea. When we ideate in a collaborative way, this is when we can get the most effective ideas. I want to take you through some methods also for prototyping. There are lots of different ways that you can prototype and some are very easy and very simple and they can range up to a bit more difficult and very detailed. It depends what you're using your prototype for, but in most situations are really simple and easy to understand. Prototype does the job well, a painful. I want to talk about the concept of a lo-fi prototype. And this is exactly what the name is that I was referring to earlier. A lo-fi prototype is when people just do a simple diagram that helps other people understand. And then as we continue up and add more detail when we come into what's known as a hi-fi prototype. So you'll see on the slide here a couple of different example. And I really encourage you when you do the activity at the end of the session to prototype, to draw, and to really physically represent your ideas. When we move into the fifth stage of our design thinking process, when we talk about testing, I want to introduce you to some testing methods like a prototyping. There are a whole range of ways you can use to test your ideas, depending on what your idea is and the context in which you're coming up with this idea and who you have to work with. The testing method you will use will be different. I want to talk about today and AB testing method because I think it's really useful when teams or individuals have a couple of different features that they not show which one is better. Now in this situation, we would build to prototype. We do two drawings and one would have one feature and the yellow would have a different feature. And what we do with those prototypes to test them as we put them down in front of people and we ask them which one is more effective? Which one do you like better? What do you think about the nature and I, and what do you think about the feature in top B? And then this really allows us to understand what people think. And tweaks allows us to tweak the product in a way that makes how ideas better. So if I talk about that train station example again, what a prototype and test situation might look like day is that we draw the ideal train station. We label some of the features. And perhaps in one train station we want a blue platform, and then in the other train station we want a green platform. We would draw those two things. We'd call a one blue and one green. And we put them in front of people and say, which one do you like better? Now of course, the idea may or may not be that the color of the platform changes, but it could be anything from a driverless trained to a non driverless train or the distance situation compared to lifts. Things like that are really useful when we do AB testing because we can understand what it is people want and why. 4. Class Summary and Activity: Let's take a moment to recap everything we've talked through today. We've got our five-step design thinking process that will help you solve problems better. Now these five phases are empathise, understanding your user, defined. So collecting all those insights and coming to a problem or a one key thing to solve. We've got IDA coming up with lots of ideas and calling them down and improving them. We've got prototype coming up with a physical version to display ideas and then testing a way to understand what people think, get feedback and iterating. We go throughout this process not necessarily in a linear order. We may, using the train station example, get to the stage where we have our prototype. We have our image of the train station. And then someone says something that makes us go back to needing to come up with more ideas. And then we prototype again with those new ideas. And then we test again. And the more we go back and forth, the more your final idea and the better it becomes. So I want to leave you with an activity that will really help you put in, put these skills into practice. You can use the train station example that I use throughout this video and really expand on it. Perhaps you can think of your local train station or a bus stop or whatever it is, or maybe you can think about your commute to work. However, the example I've selected I think, is a really easy one and an interesting one because maybe for some people about a user group that they don't understand very well, which is a really great opportunity to practice. The example I've given is how to improve the experience for university students when they first stop. And missed includes their experience when they leave high school all the way through to their first couple of months. And so I'll leave it to you what you want to focus on within this. But I really encourage you to take that five-step process and go through the phases and really understand people in order to solve that problem. I encourage you to share any ideas or any prototypes you come up with in response to this challenge or any of the others I mentioned earlier. And I want to see what comes of it. So share with me any of those things and make sure you reach out and ask any questions throughout the process. I hope you've enjoyed today's class and please check out some other content on my channel if you're interested in learning more about design thinking, future-focused skills and podcasting. See you next time. Yeah.