Design thinking is a mindset and process for human-centered innovation.

It builds creative confidence and adds many tools to your toolkit. Its core values are empathy, finding big picture problems, and measuring effectiveness. 

I love that it is a teachable, adaptable, time-efficient, and energetic approach.

Design is powerful. We're reminded daily by Apple, IDEO, Airbnb, Nike, and more.

We see these disruptive ideas, emotional products, and effective solutions. How do they explore, ideate, and reflect?

 

Insight

Where would you like to spend more time? (Exploring context/people, picking the question, ideating before solving, or testing ideas.) Why?

Action

Read 10 Stories of What Works for DT in corporates.

Read The 10 Faces of Innovation summary!

>> Workshop this!

The best experience is where the right brain and left brain intersect. It is where the creative, emotional needs of the customer meets with the business needs of the company and its offerings.

It is about making something people want, with a focus on who the people are and value, and what they want and expect.

Once you know the users, it is about creating flow. Adding momentum to move from one action to the next.

It is something users know, at least intuitively, that you an learn from talking to them. It is testable and measurable.

Insight

What is feedback you've gotten from a user lately? Why is that feedback important for them in terms of values, lifestyle, motivation, etc?

Action

Print  worksheets to create a great customer experience.

Explore HackDesign blogs on understanding users.

>> Workshop this!

How can you get into your coworker or customer's shoes? Map it out.

Get on-the-ground insight into your product, service, or brand. Find where things get stuck, and how to tweak it.

Talk to them, or start by imagining, from the beginning -- and I mean, as far back as you can go. For example, if you're mapping the work commute, start with waking up, or even the night before.

Draw out the stories. Find what they have been doing, thinking, and feeling at each moment. Look for friction, pain points, confusion, hesitation, censorship.

Insight

Think about a simple experience, say, going to work. What are you doing, thinking, and feeling each minute?

Action

Explore Adaptive Path's experience mapping toolkit.

>> Workshop this!

Prototyping allows you to quickly test and measure what's effective and what's not working. Would it be great to launch the striking 2.0 or 3.0 with no delay in time?

The key is to create something people can interact with. Something big picture and low fidelity. Sit back and observe their interactions. Ask them to think out loud.

I've found that teams love this. We sometimes miss building things with our hands. Working with whatever resources are available nearby.

Prototyping is better communication. It is touchable, clear, and multi-dimensional. 

Insight

What question have you been working on lately? What are the many possible answers? What can you build to test and get a concrete answer?

Action

Read 101 Design Methods for a structured approach to innovation in your company.

>> Workshop this!

You're familiar with the conversion metrics funnel.  Here, you can optimise and measure UX. Certain parts are more important to you. Here's the humanised, experience-translated version.

Acquisition: I get you. I understand you.

Activation: I'm a BIT curious. I can act.

Retention: You fit into my life. I feel intuitive. I know that I will be supported.

Referral: You delight me. You make me laugh. You show that you know me well.

Revenue: I trust you. Your product and packaging is for me.

Insight

What's the bottleneck for you right now? Where is there the most friction, confusion, drop off, hesitation, or pain?

Action

Watch Dave McClure's 5 minute video on the AARRR conversion metrics.

>> Workshop this!

How well do you know your customer?

We know companies that could tell us the right jokes, cheer us up when we're down, predict what we'd like to do next, or what features and packaging are best for us.

How do they do that? They research, observe, and interview people. They create personas and build for that "one person."

These companies understand your lifestyle, why you do the things you do, and what that says about your values. They know how they fit into your life.

 

Insight

What's the day-to-day for a potential client of yours? Why do they do those things, and what does it reveal about their values?

Action

See Usability.gov for an introduction on creating and using personas.

>> Workshop this!

How do you know what you know? What makes what you know significant?

How do new entrepreneurs know to launch, or current companies decide on a new feature for their product?

We spend a lot of time talking about customers and their problems with hypotheticals. We spend some time going out to confirm what we already know.

Try open-ended questions. Don't guide. Come into the interview wanting surprise.

Know for certain with a/b tests or clever data tracking. Intuition can be wrong.

Insight

What assumption are you currently making about your customer? Pick an answer. What action would you take based on that answer?

Action

Watch the Lean Startup Machine video and try out their Validation Board.

>> Workshop this!

Feedback. It's a scary word.

It's our main mode of input from the world, however. It let's us know what's going well and what we should do more.

When feedback breaks through, and we take it to heart, our whole mood, mindset, and behaviour can change.

Then why is it so hard?

One, the truth can be raw.

Two, because we hear the right things at the wrong time. Maybe we want to hear "good job" but get "here's where you stand" instead, or vice versa. 

Insight

What line of feedback do you usually feel resistance to? What has been hard to hear?

Action

Read this article and case study on THNK.org about a few ways to receive feedback.

>> Workshop this!

Zappos leads the charge for companies putting people first. Their feel-free-to-call-us, scriptless, personality-filled, reliable customer support disrupted many fields.

We know of companies that can stun with 15 minute email replies, or those have developers pick up incoming questions to build a more intuitive, delightful product.

We know that a customer who complains CARES about the company. They put in their own time and effort. 

These helpdesks users, when helped effectively, turn around into evangelists. They become your biggest fans.

Insight

What are the different ways a customer might feel when they contact support?

Action

Read Delivering Happiness by Zappos (Amazon) CEO Tony Hsieh, field pioneer. 

>> Workshop this!