Post event thoughts: “Think Like A Designer – Taster on Design Thinking”

Has anyone attended any Design Thinking workshops before?

I attended an interactive and hands-on workshop organised by Awaken Group recently and I was truly amazed by the level of energy throughout the event!

We started the workshop with an ice breaking activity where we paired up with a stranger and described each other’s personality based on gut instinct. Surprising, our description were often correct!  The activity taught us not to forget about the existence and importance of our gut instinct! Your gut instinct could be your best bet when you need to make a quick decision.

Next, Awaken Group brought us through the fundamentals of user experience (UX) design, and some of their past work which gave everyone a better understanding of design thinking regardless of our current industry. A few of the important principles in design thinking are as follow :

1. Don’t be quick to judge and learn to defer judgement, listening and observing more.

2. We shouldn’t fear failure, instead fail fast and cheaply learn from your mistakes and improve on the solution

3. Innovative and meaningful solutions requires out of box thinking!

Awaken Group brought us through the five stages of the design thinking process. Design ProcessStage 1) Empathize: Talk to your target audience and find out what they need and what issues they are going through.

Stage 2) Define: Synthesise your findings from stage 1 into insights and decide what problems you would like to address.

Stage 3) Ideate: Come up with as many ideas or solutions that will be solve your defined problem from stage 2. Do not be too quick to judge or criticise any ideas.

Stage 4) Prototype: Bring the ideas from stage 3 to life! Prototypes are meant to be made quick and dirty therefore, no perfection is required.

Stage 5) Test: Test the prototypes you built in stage 4 with your target audience to get feedback.

Let’s start practising what we’ve learnt! The class was spilt into 2 groups and given the challenge to redesign Singapore’s hawker centre.

The first activity was to interview a hawker centre go-er and each group had a go interviewing a member of the other group. Since I moderate studies all the time at work, I decided to volunteer myself to be the interviewee and to remind myself of it feels to be interviewed.

Interviewing is an essential skill for conducting any user research. One of the factors to ensuring the quality of a research is how good the interviewer is at putting the interviewee at ease. Comfortable interviewees is always more open and willing to give honest feedback and as researchers we have to constantly ask ourselves “how can we improve our interviewing skills and ensure participants feel comfortable and relaxed?”

Here are some photos during the Design Thinking event organised by Awaken Group.DSC_1978Stage 1 & 2: Empathy and Define.DSC_1981DSC_1983DSC_1987Stage 3 & 4: Ideate and Protoyping

At stage 5, the team members assigned the role of the interviewee (target audience) were asked to give comments about the new hawker centre concepts. Testing a cheap and fast prototype allows you to find out early (and with little investment) the potential success or failure of the solution. To provide the best solution, allow time for a few cycles of prototype and test and improve on the solution in each cycle!

I would like to end this blog post with a round of applause for Awaken Group’s great design thinking event and for helping the spread the concept of design thinking!

And of course thanks to Objective Asia for giving me the opportunity to attend this insightful design thinking workshop by Awaken Group!

Objective Asia is expanding! We will have more consultants on board to keep you updated about the world of UX, CX and of course Eye Tracking technology in Asia through this blog! Stay tuned!

PS: Do not forget to subscribe to our blog, twitter, SG Research Network and facebook!

Blog post by PK Yeo

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