better’? is a question we often ask ourselves here at April Bell Research Group. So, it’s awesome when you find a framework to
do just that! I first learned about Design Thinking from Lisa Helminiak, founder of a
human-centered design firm, Azul 7. We met at a women-owned businesstraining event, where she turned me on
to some great resources from Stanford’s Institute ofDesign: d.school.
used this thinking in many of our research projects. When I heard about Azul 7′s Design Thinking Workshop/Bootcamp, I decided to trek up to Minneapolis to attend. I wanted to deepen my
understanding and find new ways to implement it into our research
practice. What I discovered is that
Design-Thinking is more than a ‘process’, it’s a way of life.
- Focusing on what others need
- Feeling free to experiment while working through
- Getting really clear about what you’re trying to
- Having a ‘bias toward action’
- Radial collaboration
follow 5 steps ‘ Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test ‘ to elevate
essential skill for leaders trying to make a difference. Yet developing the
ability to think and act creatively remains a thorny challenge. While there’s a
hunger for skill development, elevating creative confidence doesn’t happen via
traditional modes of executive education.‘ Tim Brown, IDEO’s President and CEO
trip to the Boot Camp!
I take 3+ days away for training when I have so many obligations with work and
‘ immerse yourself, observe what people are doing, how they’re doing it and
why. Discover other’s views. Sidenote: this is MUCH easier to do
professionally as a moderator than it is with your immediate family!!! But here’s what I got from the ‘empathy
My husband and daughter didn’t want me to drag
them along on a trip where I was unavailable for most of the day.
They also didn’t want me to go on a trip unless
it was a ‘real vacation.’
They wanted to go ‘camping’ ‘ I did not.
I didn’t want to feel guilty about going.
I wanted to create a great experience for
‘ this is tricky because you’re still not solving ‘ you’re just unpacking what
you learned, and getting clarity on WHAT needs to be solved. ‘Unpack’ all of
your learnings, then translate these into a Point of View statement ‘ (User) ‘needs‘ (Need) ‘because’ (Insight)
‘to find individual
activities while vacationing together (Need) because’
to be together yet have our own idea of what ‘fun’ looks like! (Insight)
- Ideate ‘ our ‘family’ brainstorm looked a little different than the typical innovation ideation sessions we facilitate with our clients but let’s just say our little familia ‘tried‘ to build on each other’s ideas. And we ‘tried’ not to judge each other’s opinions (some of us were better than others but I’m not pointing any fingers!) And, my 5 year old is DEFINITELY the most creative and best ‘ideator’ of the family!
‘ You stop talking (and thinking) in this step – and start building. It’s a challenge because our nature ‘ at
least mine ‘ is to get it right, get it perfect before showing others. This
step forces the reverse thinking. To get
better, you must build/create something to test SO THAT IT CAN get better for
- Test ‘ Then,
we tested our first ever 10-day Family Glamping + Training trip! Our user testing was ‘doing it.’ Would we do it differently next time? Yes, we would tweak a few things like making
sure our A/C in the camper was working properly before departing. And allowing 2 weeks for the trip, not 10
days’but we learned a lot. This was our
Pull camper from Dallas to Oklahoma, spent
our first night in Sequoyah State Park in Hulbert, OK
to Des Moines, IA where we played with our friends, then left our daughter +
camper to play longer.
and I drove on to Minneapolis where I attended Azul’s Design-Thinking Boot Camp and
hubby happily biked in a city with some of the best biking trails in the US.
we made our way back home, picking up our daughter and camper in Iowa
2 more nights in Kansas before heading back to Dallas.
with Fotor, another fun tool we’ve added to our tool kit. That
and PicMonkey are
both great at quickly helping you bring
ideas to life visually for ‘quick DIY design needs.’
Camp. And Design Thinking has not only enhanced our innovation projects but
also helped us create a mindset for innovation in our boutique business and even personally!