This is the second article from a series of three. My intention is to help newbies/non-designers to see clearly when they might want to use a tool or a method in a Design Thinking (DT) project timeline. In this article I focus on the first part of a project, with tools and methods to help you find the real problem that needs to be solved. The first article is an introduction to the DT mindset. The third article is about methodologies to create an effective solution.
A quick recap: The Mindset
In this step-by-step article, I break down my way of work in 10 How to questions. I answer them by pointing out which tool, method or approach I use, what should be my way of thinking (convergent or divergent), and if the focus is on the problem or on the solution. Then, I connect it with the Stanford d.School framework, to show how all of this can make sense together.
To make this article more straight to the point, I answer each question with the main goal of the step, a few methods that I apply more often, and some other factors you might want to keep in mind when building your own framework.
1.How to listen to clients?
way of thinking: DIVERGENT
goal: The project has not started yet. But this first contact is very important. It doesn’t matter if you are doing this as an employee in a company or if you represent a consultant agency. It’s crucial to listen to your client with an open heart and avoid judging them.
method: The 5 Whys — Asking open questions is highly important to avoid monosyllabic answers (Yes or No). This will help you guide the conversation and try to discover the prime issue.
other things to keep in mind: briefing, taking notes, reading people, recording, body language, open questions.
2. How to convert clients’ problems into a challenge?
way of thinking: CONVERGENT
goal: When the project starts, it is time to map out how the client’s problems or needs are connected with the whole ecosystem around it. This means: people, teams, areas, competitors, projects, and processes inside and outside the company. With that broad view of the range of the issue, it is time to write the problem into a challenge. This is a positive way to write down a problem in a question format that helps all team members in the project to go through the same path.
methods: Define Success — Think about this as a futuristic exercise. At Google Design Sprint they call it “start at the end”. The questions go something like this: Imagine that we have finished the project. What have we achieved?What makes us feel that it was a successful project? Frame your design challenge — A step by step to transform the problem into a question. Value Proposition Canvas (VCP) — This is a valuable tool to help your client see how precious it is to work with a human-centered mindset. It is not so common to use this in the early stages of a project. However, when I use it, I get great results and start with the right foot.
other things to keep in mind: scheduling meetings, stakeholders, parking lot of ideas and other boards, building an agenda, contextual research plan.
3. How to understand the challenge?
way of thinking: DIVERGENT
goal: In order to understand the challenge, you need need to see it from different perspectives. The three points of view are: client, customer, and market. They might be impacted by the problem in different ways, and the solution they are expecting will often diverge. From my perspective, qualitative and quantitative research have to walk side by side and learn from each other (watch this TED talk). You will need to do more research along the project. Keep that in mind — especially — when reading questions 8 and 10.
methods: Golden Circle: Usually clients share their thoughts but they have few documents about how things work in the company. You may want to invest some time filling up the canvas with them to understand the real purpose of the company. Service blueprint: This is another good activity to do together with your client. Break down the service by drawing this process together. Ecosystem: Look around you. At a first look, competitors might be the ones who do the same things as your client. But if your customer decides to buy flowers instead of chocolates for a gift, aren’t different producers competing for the same money? This is a good methodology to study this issue. Analogies: This is my favorite methodology. To widen up your view, think about other fields. What can you learn from other industries? You are probably not the first one to face this challenge. By using analogies you can learn a lot!
Interview: To get in the customer’s shoes you need to exercise empathy. The most relevant tool is to interview the users. Talking to Humans is one of the best books about it - the Kindle version is only $0.99! User Journey: This is one of the most famous methods. You can do it right after the interviews. At this point you will probably see the journey clearly. Make sure you get all the steps by drawing a map
other things to keep in mind: diary study, business model canvas (BMC), benchmarking studies, eras map, POEMS, recruiting tools.
4. How to organize the learning points?
way of thinking: CONVERGENT
goal: To make the proper use of all collected learning points, you need a few tools to understand what are the most relevant ones and how to connect them. At the end of this stage you should know all the principles to guide you through the right solution.
methods: Personas and Empathy Map: These will help you increase your empathy level and also work as a good exercise to be applied on the extended members of the team. Find themes: This helps to connect information and find patterns. Experience/Design Principles: Once you realize the connections it is time to write them as principles. This will guide you to design the solution.
other things to keep in mind: job to be done, observation insights, descriptive value web, download learnings.
Echos School of Design Thinking - Terms and Conditions
This website at www.schoolofdesignthinking.echos.cc (Site) is a website where you can browse, select and enroll in educational and innovation knowledge courses (Courses) advertised on the Site from Echos Innovation Lab Pty Ltd ABN 65 617 491 424 (Echos, us or we).
Please read these terms and conditions before accessing or using the Site. If you are under 18 years of age, then you must obtain your parent or guardian’s consent before accessing and using the Site.
Your access to and use of the Site, including your enrolment or participation in Courses through the Site, is subject to these terms and conditions.
The terms and conditions also apply to the sale of any Courses via methods other than the Site, including where Courses are given as a gift, sales by telephone, in person or other means, unless otherwise agreed in writing.
The information contained in this Site and in any Courses is provided in good faith on an "as is" basis. Echos does not represent or warrant the reliability, accuracy or completeness of the information contained on this Site and does not claim, represent or warrant the suitability of any Courses for any person. Courses and any materials provided as part of the Courses (Course Materials) are intended as a learning aid and guide only, and are not a substitute for tailored advice or your own study. To the extent permitted by law, Echos is not responsible or liable for any Liabilities (direct, indirect or consequential losses and damages) arising in any way (including without limitation negligence) for errors in, or omissions from, the information in this Site, the Course or Course Materials.
acknowledge that the copyright in the Site, the software, design, text and graphics comprised in the Site, the selection and layout of the Site and the content and materials on the Site (together, the Material), the Courses and Course Materials are owned by or licensed to us;
must not modify, copy, adapt, store in a retrieval system, reproduce, upload, post, transmit, sell, distribute in any way or communicate to the public any Material, Courses or Course Materials without our prior written consent; and
must not frame or embed in another website any of the material appearing on this Site, the Courses or Course Materials without our prior written consent.
store a reproduction of the content on this Site on your local computer for the sole purpose of viewing the content and Materials; and
print hard copies of the content and Materials for the sole purpose of viewing and purchasing Courses but not for any other use, including commercial use.
This Site, the Courses, the Course Materials and any ancillary materials or documents owned or used by Echos in connection with the sale of the Courses and promotion of its business contains registered trademarks which are protected by law and other branding, images, content which constitute the intellectual property of Echos. You must not use any of the marks or trademarks appearing on the Site or our name or the names of our related bodies corporate or any of our intellectual property without our prior written consent.
Echos does not claim that any information (including any files) obtained from or through this Site is free from viruses or other faults or defects.
You are responsible for scanning any information for viruses.
You agree that Echos has no responsibility or liability to you or any other person for any loss or damage (whether direct, indirect, consequential or economic), regardless of cause, negligence or otherwise, which may be the direct or indirect result of any such information.
If Echos is found to be liable this will be limited to the cost of supplying the information again.
Compliance with these Terms and Conditions
You agree to bound by, and comply with, these terms and conditions by:
using the Site;
completing your enrolment and purchasing tickets for the Courses through the Site; and/or
obtaining tickets and enrolling in Courses from us using the Site or by any other method of sale or where you receive tickets as a gift from any third party.
Changes to these Terms and Conditions
If you have an enrolment that has been accepted by us, the terms and conditions that will apply to that enrolment are the terms and conditions that applied at the time you placed your enrolment request. We cannot vary the terms and conditions which apply to a given enrolment after that enrolment is accepted by us.
Subject to clause 6.1, we may change these terms and conditions at any time, and such modifications will be effective as soon as they are posted. By continuing to use the Site after these terms and conditions have been modified, you agree to be bound by the changes to these terms and conditions.
Purchasing Tickets for Courses
You may enroll in Courses by selecting tickets and submitting your enrolment through the Site in accordance with these terms and conditions.
Any registration placed through this Site for a Course is an offer by you to purchase ticket(s) in the selected Course for the price notified (including any delivery or other charges and taxes) at the time you place the request for the tickets.
We may ask you to provide additional details or require you to confirm your details to enable us to process your enrolment through the Site.
You agree to provide us with current, complete and accurate details when asked to do so by the Site.
Acceptance or Rejection of an Enrolment
We reserve the right to accept or reject your enrolment and purchase of tickets in any Course for any reason, including (without limitation) if the requested Course is not available (or fully booked), if there is an error in the price or the Course description posted on the Site.
Each enrolment for Courses through the Site or any other means that we accept results in a separate binding agreement between you and us for the supply of those Courses. For each enrolment accepted by us, we will supply the Courses in that enrolment to you in accordance with these terms and conditions.
If we reject an enrolment placed through the Site, then we will endeavour to notify you of that rejection at the time you purchase the tickets and enroll or within a reasonable time thereafter.
Cancelling, Changing or Postponing a Course (by Us)
Prior to the commencement of a Course, we may cancel, change or postpone the Course without any liability to you if:
the requested Course is not available, undersold or oversold;
the requested Course needs to be postponed or changed due to the unavailability of a venue, speaker, operator or for any other reason outside our reasonable control;
there is an error in the price or the description posted on the Site or in any other sales platform in relation to the relevant Course; or
your enrolment or conduct is in breach of these terms and conditions.
10.2.If we do cancel, change or postpone your Course, then we will endeavor to provide you with reasonable notice of that cancellation, change or postponement, and will provide you with a credit voucher, ticket in a similar Course, ticket in the same Course at a later date suitable to you, or a refund, provided that you are not at fault or in breach of these terms and conditions.
Cancelling or Requesting to change a Course (by You)
Tickets purchased for Courses may not be cancelled once payment has been submitted via this Site or via any other method of sale. However, should you wish to change a Course, attend the same Course at a later or earlier date, obtain a credit voucher or transfer the Course enrolment to a friend, please Contact Us and we will endeavor to assist you.
Delivery of Courses
Information on Course times, locations, Course Materials and other key information is set out on this Site and will be outlined in the enrolment and ticket purchasing process.
Prices, Fees and Charges
The prices of Courses and other charges displayed on this Site are current at the time of issue, however, Echos reserves the right to change prices at any time before we accept an enrolment from you.
13.2.All prices shown on this Site are in Australian Dollars (AUD).
13.3.All fees and charges identified in these terms and conditions and all prices for the Courses as shown on the Site are inclusive of GST (unless otherwise indicated).
You covenant and warrant that:
all information and data provided by you to us through the Site (including as part of the enrolment registration process) or otherwise is true, accurate, complete and up to date;
the person attending the Courses will be over 18 years of age;
you have and will comply with all relevant laws relating to your use of the Site and your enrolment in any Course;
you will ensure that your LoginID and password that is used to access the Site and the details of your account is kept in a safe and secure manner;
you will promptly notify us if you are or become aware that there is or has been an unauthorised use of your LoginID and password or account, or any other security breach relating to your account;
you will promptly advise us of any changes to your information provided to us as part of the enrolment registration process;
you are responsible for any costs associated with your access to or use of the Site, including Internet access fees;
you are responsible and liable for any person that uses your LoginID and password to purchase tickets in Courses through the Site;
you agree that we may charge you for all Courses that we agree to supply to you that have been ordered using your LoginID and password through the Site.
You must not:
use the Site or the Course Materials for any activities that breach any laws, infringe a third party’s rights or are contrary to any relevant standards or codes;
use the Site in a manner or way, or post to or transmit to or via the Site any material, which interferes with other users or our other customers or defames, harasses, threatens, menaces or offends any person or which prevents any other person from using or enjoying the Site;
make fraudulent or speculative enquiries, purchases or requests through the Site;
use another person’s details without their permission or impersonate another person when using the Site;
post or transmit any obscene, indecent, inflammatory or pornographic material or any other material that may give rise to civil or criminal proceedings;
tamper with or hinder the operation of the Site;
knowingly transmit any viruses, worms, defects, trojan horses or similar disabling or malicious code to the Site;
use any robot, spider, site search and retrieval application or other mechanism to retrieve or index any portion of the Site;
modify, adapt, translate or reverse engineer any portion of the Site;
remove any copyright, trade mark or other proprietary rights notices contained in or on the Site;
reformat or frame any portion of the web pages that are part of the Site;
create accounts by automated means or under false or fraudulent pretences;
use the Site to violate the security of any computer or other network or engage in illegal conduct;
take any action that imposes or that would, in our reasonable opinion, result in an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on our infrastructure;
use the Site other than in accordance with these terms and conditions; or
attempt any of the above acts or engage or permit another person to do any of the above acts.
Warranty and Liability
Echos accepts liability for all legal guarantees and warranties expressed or implied to the transactions under the Australian Consumer Law in Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), or any other legislation (such as the Fair Trading Acts (or equivalent legislation) in each State and Territory) the effect of which cannot be excluded.
Where we are permitted by law (and subject to clause 15.1):
we do not warrant or represent the suitability of the Site, a Course or the Course Materials for any purpose; and
we will not be liable to you for indirect and consequential loss (including without limitation for loss of revenue, loss of profits, failure to realise expected profits or savings and any other commercial or economic loss of any kind) or loss or corruption of data, in contract, tort, under any statute or otherwise (including negligence) arising from or connected to the Site, your participation in the Course or reliance upon any Course Materials.
Our liability to you for loss or damage of any kind arising out of this agreement or in connection with the relationship established by it is reduced to the extent (if any) that you cause or contribute to the loss or damage. This reduction applies whether our liability is in contract, tort (including negligence), under any statute or otherwise.
Termination and/or Suspension of Account
We may immediately suspend, terminate or limit your access to and use of the Site and (where relevant) your account if we reasonably suspect that you have commit fraudulent act and/or you breach these terms and conditions.
If the whole or any part of a provision of this agreement is void, unenforceable or illegal in a jurisdiction it is severed for that jurisdiction. The remainder of this agreement has full force and effect and the validity or enforceability of that provision in any other jurisdiction is not affected. This clause has no effect if the severance alters the basic nature of this agreement or is contrary to public policy.
This agreement is governed by the laws of Australia. Each party submits to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of that place.
Capitalised terms used are defined in these terms and conditions.
In these terms:
“GST” has the meaning it has in the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (Cth)
“Liabilities” means all direct and/or indirect liability for: costs; damages; losses; claims, causes of action, accidents; injuries; deaths; law and traffic violations; and expenses including but not limited to legal fees.
“LoginID” means the email address that you provided to us as part of the registration process to use the Site.
Our business and the purpose of collection
We are in the business of providing educational and innovation knowledge courses (Courses). We collect personal information primarily to provide the Courses to you (Purpose).
In particular, we collect your personal information so that we can carry out the following actions:
to provide you with the Courses and any other products, services and information that you have requested from us;
to communicate with you, including about the Courses, products, services and events which might interest you;
to provide you with information or advice;
process payments by you to us for our services;
to create accounts, tax invoices or receipts;
to provide your personal information to third parties that assist us in providing and/or delivering the Courses or other goods or services you or they have requested;
to consider and respond to feedback from you;
to comply with laws or regulations or to comply with any directions given by regulators or authorities.
We may disclose additional purposes for collection of your personal information in collection statements at the point of collection.
Personal information we collect
When used in this policy, “personal information” has the meaning given to that term in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). We may collect the following types of personal information from you:
residential or business address;
financial and payment information;
age and date of birth;
businesses you operate; and
your personal preferences, thoughts, ideas, goals and opinions.
Sensitive information is information about you that reveals your racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs or affiliations, membership of a professional or trade association, membership of a trade union, details of health, disability, sexual orientation or criminal record.
It is our policy to only collect your sensitive information where it is reasonably necessary for our functions or activities and either you have consented or we are required or authorised under law to do so.
How we collect your personal information
Collection of your personal information can occur through the following interactions:
when you communicate with us directly (by email, in person, telephone, direct mail or any other means);
when we interact with you during the Courses or in relation to any other products or services; and/or
when you visit our website and social media pages, or access or contribute to digital platforms and applications managed by us (Online Platforms).
We may use temporary (session) cookies or permanent cookies when you access our Online Platforms. This allows us to recognise your browser and track the web pages you have visited.
You can switch off cookies by adjusting the settings on your web browser.
How we hold your personal information
We may hold your personal information in either electronic or hard copy form.
If you provide information to us electronically we retain this information in our computer systems and databases. If you provide information to us in hard copy (paper) this information is normally retained in our files and a copy is made to our electronic files.
We use industry standard security measures to safeguard and protect your information.
If we are unable to collect your personal information
If we are unable to collect your personal information, some or all of the following may occur:
we may be unable to provide the Courses or other products and services to you;
we may be unable to communicate with you to provide information about the Courses or other products or services that you have procured from us, or may intend to procure in the future;
we may be unable to tailor the content of our marketing communications to suit your preferences;
your experience when interacting with us may be delayed or not as efficient as you may expect.
Disclosure of your personal information
Your personal information may be disclosed in connection with any Purpose to any of the following:
our employees, contractors or service providers, to the extent reasonably necessary to fulfil our obligations to you;
our business advisors, including lawyers, accountants or other professional service providers, to the extent reasonably required;
suppliers, clients and other third parties with whom we have commercial relationships, for business, payment processing, delivery, marketing and related purposes;
if required by law, to any person authorised by such law.
Overseas disclosure of personal information
We may disclose your personal information to third parties and service providers located overseas in connection with any Purpose, including to overseas cloud computing hosts. We take reasonable steps to ensure that the overseas recipients of your personal information do not breach the privacy obligations relating to your personal information.
We may contact you with direct marketing communications and information about Courses or other products or services offered by us or our partners via telephone, email, SMS, or regular mail.
If you have indicated a preference for a method of communication, we will endeavour to use that method wherever practical to do so.
You may opt out of receiving marketing communications at any time by responding via the channel in which you received the marketing communication, or by contacting us (see contact information below). You can unsubscribe from emails by clicking the unsubscribe link on the footer of the email communication you have received.
How you may access your information
You may access your personal information held by Echos by making a request to us.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgCorrection of your personal information
If you would like us to update or amend your personal information, please contact us and we will make the requested amendments.
We may ask you to verify your identity to ensure that personal information we hold is not improperly accessed.
If you feel your privacy has been breached, please contact us using the contact information above setting out the circumstances and reasons for your complaint.
Global PresenceSchool of Design Thinking is an initiative from Echos - innovation lab.
Phone 1300 502 006
ABN 65 617 491 424
Rua Baluarte, 672
Phone +55 11 3476 2500