Design Thinking Photo Documentation Team 3

The Design Thinking course started on January 17 2017 in the D-Forge. We were introduced to the concepts of Design Thinking and discussed their applications. We learnt about the six phases involved, namely:

  • Understand, where we develop background knowledge to better tackle the design challenges
  • Observe, where we interact with people and watch their reactions
  • Define, where we formulate a ‘How might we…’ question based on people’s needs
  • Ideate, where we are asked to come up with ideas, regardless of them being feasible or not
  • Prototype, which can be a sketch or model to convey an idea visually
  • Test, where we go back to our prototype and modify it according to feedback to see what works best.
Six Phases of Design Thinking

We were grouped into several teams of four on the first day itself. We started brainstorming about the topic we would be working on for the next four days using the mind-mapping method. It was helpful having all the different ideas visually accessible on the board. We thought about the problems the people living on campus could be facing and eventually came up with two narrow and two broad ‘How might we…’ questions. Each member of our team wrote down different aspects of the problems and we stuck all of the ideas on the board.

Stakeholder Analysis

On the second day, using the ‘Define your audience’ method, we formulated our ‘How might we..’ question and identified the four stakeholders, as seen in the picture above. We analysed how each stakeholder contributed to the design problem we had and we listed all the points relating them to our question, and thus we made it through Phase "Understand". This enabled us to understand our subject better and we fully understood how our problem is influenced by the stakeholders’ needs and wants. Afterwards, we developed questions specially targeted to each stakeholder so we could get a better insight during the interviews, which falls under Phase Observe.

Interview with Spandan Bardhan

Interview Shawn Advani

We conducted an interview with several students and people from the administration, using the ‘Interview for Empathy’ method where we prioritise the stakeholders and form questions. This was a completely new way for us to conduct an interview because you really get on the "ground". After we conducted our interview, we wrote down the points, clustered them and then we used the method ‘Customer journey’ in which we looked at a typical day in the life of a student and wanted to know where the problem was. In our case, we saw that the problem is nearly present the whole day. To feel home you need space to individualise and customise your room to express your own personality.

On the third day, we went from Phase Observe to Phase "Point of View" (PoV), where you try to think out of the box, to think with another perspective. Therefore, we used the method Persona in which you create characters and use them to view the problem from different angles. Therefore, we created Sofia, a regular university student and Mr. Stanley, a resident mentor. We were really surprised how our view of our subject changed through that as we had to consider two very different persons who have equally different roles.

Then we used the Method "Create Insight Statement". In this method we had to write Sofia’s and Stanley’s needs, write a metaphor for them, and form a new ‘How might we…’ question. We "redefined" our topic to better address their issues.

We now came to the next step, Phase Ideate, where we tried to find solutions to our redefined question. Therefore, we used the method ‘Brainstorming Crazy and Viable Ideas’. Our perspective changed again as we let all the ideas flow out regardless of them making sense or not, which was different compared to our first, more down-to-earth ideas how to solve this problem. Then we chose the best two ideas: a crazy futuristic one and a viable one. The futuristic option included a keyless fingerprint entry, levitating furniture, a larger bathroom, a personal assistant, a ‘Harry Potter style’ ceiling and color-changing walls. On the other hand, the viable option consisted of moveable furniture, bathtubs in the bathroom, fully open windows, more storage area and an actual office chair.

Choosing the best ideas for a viable and a crazy option

On the last day of the design thinking workshop we chose the best ideas for both the viable and the crazy option. The former included customizable furniture settings upon enrolling in the university (for first year students) or after the completion of the spring semester (for second and third year students), while the latter was largely based on future technology. We split the group into two teams, which focused on either one of the ideas and started prototyping by building aspects of the two rooms from Lego®. After each group was finished prototyping their ideas, we did a world café, where a certain number of group members went around the room to look at the other groups’ projects, while the rest of the group stayed with the project and explained it to those coming to have a look at it. This method not only provided us with crucial feedback which we incorporated into our initial prototypes, but also gave us the opportunity to put our ideas into words for the first time, which proved to be good practice for the presentation later on.

Crazy prototype

Viable prototype – Option A

Viable prototype – Option B

Viable prototype – Option C

Viable prototype – Option D

Viable prototype – Option E

Viable prototype – Option F

Windows can be opened all the way

During a final presentation of four minutes per group, all groups showcased their ideas and the corresponding prototypes. In our viable solution, students can choose to move into a completely unfurnished room (option A) or one with an optional bed (option B), dresser (option C), bookshelf (option D), desk (option E), and office chair (option F). All windows can be opened all the way and the bathroom is equipped with either a shower or a bathtub, to be chosen by the student before moving in. The crazy option includes keyless fingerprint entry to the room (to prevent lockouts), a personal robot assistant, a high-tech temperature controlling unit, and a programmable screen as a ceiling (can display the weather outside, among others).

Raahem Hussain, Lennard Hoops, Shivam Goraksha, Mellina Hurryman, Janosch Jassim

Overall, this course has taught us all a great deal not only about design thinking and innovation, but also about ourselves and the way we work in a team. We consider ourselves fortunate to have had the opportunity to take this course and would like to thank the instructors and the readers of this photographic documentation.

Created By
Janosch Jassim

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