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IBM Design Thinking Field Guide Human-centered outcomes at speed and scale At IBM, we define design as the intent behind an outcome. We use design thinking to form intent by developing understanding and empathy for our users. FROM PROBLEMS TO SOLUTIONS IBM Design Thinking is our approach to applying design thinking at the speed and scale the modern enterprise demands. It’s a framework for teaming and action. It helps our teams not only form intent, but deliver outcomes— outcomes that advance the state of the art and improve the lives of the people they serve. What’s inside? Divided into two sections, this field guide provides a high-level overview of IBM Design Thinking: LEARNING IT A summary of the fundamental concepts of IBM Design Thinking LEADING IT A quick reference for facilitating essential IBM Design Thinking activities on your team LEARNING IT User-centered design IBM Design Thinking: The Principles Design as a professional discipline has undergone a tremendous evolution in the last generation from a practice focused mainly on aesthetic style to one with a clear and explicit focus on the “user” (aka: person or group of people who use a product or service) and their hopes, desires, challenges, and needs. SEE PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS FROM A NEW POINT OF VIEW Before you start your journey, embrace the principles of IBM Design Thinking: a focus on user outcomes, multidisciplinary teams, and a spirit of restless reinvention. By establishing empathy with the user, designers are able to work toward outcomes that meet those needs more successfully. This user-centered approach known as “design thinking” enables designers and others to address a wide range of complex business and social issues. “Designers don’t try to search for a solution until they have determined the real problem, and even then, instead of solving that problem, they stop to consider a wide range of potential solutions. Only then will they finally converge upon their proposal. This process is called design thinking.” —Don Norman, author, The Design of Everyday Things A FOCUS ON USER OUTCOMES There are many ways to prioritize work and define goals. If you choose to prioritize the needs of the people who will use your solution, IBM Design Thinking is for you. MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAMS When you need to move fast, there’s no time for waterfall processes. You need a great multidisciplinary team. If you have one, you’re ready to go. Otherwise, help your leadership understand the gap. RESTLESS REINVENTION Everything is a prototype. Everything—even in-market solutions. When you think of everything as just another iteration, you’re empowered to bring new thinking to even the oldest problems. Learn more Read all about IBM Design Thinking: 2 LEARNING IT IBM Design Thinking: The Loop IBM Design Thinking: The Keys UNDERSTAND USERS’ NEEDS AND DELIVER OUTCOMES CONTINUOUSLY At the heart of IBM Design Thinking is a behavioral model for understanding users’ needs and envisioning a better future: a continuous loop of observing, reflecting, and making. SCALE YOUR PRACTICE TO COMPLEX PROBLEMS AND COMPLEX TEAMS If every problem could be solved by a handful of people, the Loop would be enough. But in the real world, complex problems call for complex teams. HILLS Align complex teams around a common understanding of the most important user outcomes to achieve. PLAYBACKS Bring your extended team and stakeholders into the loop in a safe, inclusive space to reflect on the work. OBSERVE Set aside your assumptions and dive head-first into your users’ world. Observing is about taking it all in and seeing what others look past. REFLECT Reflection is the birthplace of understanding and intent. Look within to synthesize what you’ve learned, articulate a point of view, and come up with a plan. MAKE What are the possibilities? Making is about giving concrete form to abstract ideas. It’s about exploring boundless possibility and turning intent into reality. SPONSOR USERS Collaborate with real users to increase your speed and close the gap between your assumptions and your users’ reality. Learn more IBMers can watch a webcast that provides an introduction to IBM Design Thinking: 4 LEARNING IT Get aligned State your intent: Hills turn users’ needs into project goals, helping your team align around a common understanding of the intended outcomes to achieve. Hills Align complex teams around a common understanding of the most important user outcomes to achieve. A SAMPLE HILL WHO WHAT WOW A sales leader team can assemble an agile response on from across her entire corporati in 24 hours, without management involvement. TAKE-BACK TIPS Who, What, Wow! Hills are composed of a “Who” (a specific user or group of users), a “What” (a specific action or enablement), and a “Wow” (a measurable, market differentiator). Three and only three. It’s often challenging for teams to focus on three (and only three) Hills because this might mean that very valid ideas are not being included. It’s important to realize that additional Hills can be addressed in future releases. Consider building them into a roadmap. It’s a real world out there. We know there’s a backlog to groom and technical debt to pay down. Your investment in necessary items like these—the “technical foundation”—should be made explicit up front while defining your Hills. Learn more IBMers can watch the deep-dive Design Line webcast on Hills: 6 LEARNING IT Stay aligned Not everyone has time to be in the loop on every project. Depending on your perspective, over time, it might seem like the project is drifting off-course, or that your stakeholders are out of touch with what your team has learned. Playbacks TAKE-BACK TIPS Reflect together in a safe space to give and receive criticism. No surprises! Leading up to milestone Playbacks, hold meetings and working sessions with all necessary stakeholders to gain consensus and share work-in-progress along the way. Show before you tell. Playback decks should have a strongly visual emphasis based on the work—not contrived synopses or feel-good scenarios. COMMON TYPES OF MILESTON E PLAYBACKS MARKET PLAYBACK establishe s an outside-in market point of view and preliminary business case as the basis for moving forward. PLAYBACK ZERO aligns your team around a finalized version of the Hills and the user experience to achieve them. HILLS PLAYBACK commits your team to the mission for the release(s) through a draft version of the Hills and the underlying personas. DELIVERY PLAYBACKS of code d stories keep your to-be scenarios in focus as implementation advances . Make us care. A real, human story should be at the core of every Playback. Show how your tool or concept solves a problem in your user’s real world workflow. Learn more IBMers can watch the comprehensive Design Line webcast on Playbacks: 8 LEARNING IT Break the empathy barrier Sponsor Users Give users a seat at the table. Invite them to observe, reflect, and make with you. Sponsor Users are users or potential users that bring their lived experience and domain expertise to your team. They aren’t just passive subjects—they’re active participants who work alongside your team to help you deliver an outcome that meets their needs. While Sponsor Users won’t replace formal design research and usability studies, every interaction you have together will close the gap between your assumptions and their reality. TAKE-BACK TIPS Design for real target users rather than imagined needs. Sponsor Users should be real people, not personas or “types.” They participate with your team during the entire development process under Agreements. Sponsor Users should attend Playbacks. Ideally, a Sponsor User can actually present the product demo during your Playback Zero. Involve your whole team. Finding Sponsor Users is not the responsibility of a single person or discipline—everyone on your team should be contributing ideas for Sponsor Users. Learn more IBMers can find out much more about Sponsor Users in this Design Line webcast: 10 Potential users are all around us. You can find users in surprising places like conferences, meetups, and through social media. But when engaging Sponsor Users, be sure to follow secure and ethical practices and maintain compliance with all IBM policies. LEARNING IT Six universal experiences The six universal experiences are a means to focus your work for a release or planning period on a user’s distinct interactions within the overall arc of their experience with an IBM product. TAKE-BACK TIPS Be choosy. For any particular release, focus your work on one or two of the six experiences. It ain’t a checklist. Rather, use the six experiences as a lens to ensure that your team is holistically considering all of your user’s product experiences. User, user, user. The six experiences can help organize dispersed teams (including sales, support, and marketing) around user-focused outcomes. DISCOVER, TRY, AND BUY How do I get it? GET STARTED How do I get value? EVERYDAY USE How do I get my job done? Learn more There’s lots more about the six universal experiences on the IBM Design Language website: MANAGE AND UPGRADE How do I keep it running? LEVERAGE AND EXTEND How do I build on it? SUPPORT How do I get unstuck? 12 LEARNING IT Radical collaboration Radical collaboration “Radical collaboration” means that all key stakeholders are part of co-creating great user experiences from the beginning. For your team to take full advantage of IBM Design Thinking, you need to commit to a cross-discipline way of working throughout the entirety of a release. USER EXPERIENCE TECHNOLOGY Design Organization Engineering Organization One key to radical collaboration is to break up decision making into small enough “chunks” that there is a constant flow of interaction between disciplines. Of course, such a continuous flow of interaction means that your tooling must enable real-time sharing of information and decision making—see page 20. TAKE-BACK TIPS Good collaboration needs good tools. Create a “tool chain” of integrated collaboration tools that enable stakeholders from each discipline to share their work-in-progress with other disciplines while working day-to-day in the tools that fit their discipline best. BUSINESS Offering Management Organization Don’t slip back into the waterfall. If you start to find your team simply reviewing artifacts after-the-fact with stakeholders from other disciplines: STOP AND START OVER with broad, up-front, and active participation in their creation. N-in-a-box. Whenever possible, go beyond “3-in-box” (design, engineering, and offering management) to include other disciplines such as content design, sales, marketing, and support in design thinking activities, key decisions, workshops, and milestone Playbacks. 14 LEARNING IT IBM Offering Management IBM Offering Management is IBM’s point-of-view on markets, users, products, and services. Offering managers decide in which markets IBM will play and how we will differentiate in those markets via unique functionality, great user experiences, digital engagement, and ecosystem partnering. Strategic Planning and Portfolio Management Market Opportunity and Approach Define and Prove Offering managers are empowered to act as entrepreneurs to explore new markets of users with new user experiences. They are responsible for leading the co-creation of “whole” offerings that deliver value across all of the six universal experiences. Measure and Evaluate TAKE-BACK TIPS Get outside. Great offering managers “get out of the building” to discover real user experiences to improve upon. User, market, and competitive research provide the fact base for all offering decisions. Build and Deliver Look across offerings. Given IBM’s comprehensive portfolios, offering managers should look at how individual offerings work together to address users in a market. Most of our offerings will be part of larger solutions. Lead your offering. Offering managers are being empowered to lead their offerings, but no one is going to clear the path for you. It’s up to each offering manager to act as an internal entrepreneur for their offering—their key “superpower” will be persuasion, not command. 16 Ch-ch-changes. At IBM, the practice of Product Management is evolving into Offering Management to ensure that IBM wins in markets with iconic user experiences and an integrated point-of-view that is differentiated from competitors. LEARNING IT Learn more Agile and IBM Design Thinking There’s a great deal of shared “DNA” between Agile and IBM Design Thinking: individuals and interactions over processes and tools, working prototypes over comprehensive artifacts, customer collaboration over contract negotiation, and pivoting for change over sticking to the original plan. IBM Design Thinking incrementally delivers great user experiences, while Agile incrementally delivers great enabling software. What links them most closely is the continuous cycle of experience maps and Playbacks. IBMers can learn more at Agile Academy: IBM Agile Academy principles Iteration & learning Restless reinvention Self-directed whole teams Multidisciplinary teams TAKE-BACK TIPS Everyone grooms the backlog. After Playback Zero, all disciplines collaborate on a release backlog. Throughout the release cycle, leaders from each discipline meet to groom the backlog, updating the priority as necessary and ensuring that the top of the backlog represents current priorities and stays true to the “minimum delightful experience.” Clarity of outcomes Focus on user outcomes IBM Design Thinking principles Double-vision. When developers, designers, and offering managers all see the backlog through the dual lenses of functionality and experience, then Agile and IBM Design Thinking are truly one. Hypothesis-driven design and development. Create measurable hypotheses describing what you think success looks like and then investigate and possibly pivot when reality doesn’t meet your expectation—positively or negatively. 18 Together forever. The principles of Agile and IBM Design Thinking are very closely aligned. Together, they offer an opportunity to solve complex problems for our users with creativity and empirical adaptation. LEARNING IT WHITEWATER TOOLS The best tools for the best practices Whitewater is IBM’s solution to shipping better products faster by giving teams modern tooling that supports whole-team practices. By giving you access to tools that you love using, your team can more easily and successfully practice Agile and IBM Design Thinking in a collaborative and user-centered way—whether your team is co-located or distributed around the world. Currently, each tool in the program is undergoing close inspection to make sure you can use them in an IBM Confidential environment. IBM teams that have access to the fully-secure environments can begin exchanging confidential information in these tools right away. TAKE-BACK TIPS Choose wisely. When choosing tools for your whole team to use, consider the entire makeup of your team and decide if everyone would benefit from using the industry standard tools that Whitewater is offering. Project teams in the IBM Design Hallmark program can onboard to the Whitewater program and then pick-and-choose only those tools that are “right” for their team. Top secret? Not all of the tools that IBM product teams want will be immediately ready for IBM Confidential information. When using a tool’s free trial, be sure to check the Whitewater website to find out when or if it is expected to be “IBM Confidential Approved.” Each of these tools is undergoing inspection to make sure you can use them in an IBM Confidential environment. Until then, follow secure practices. GitHub Enterprise: A web-based Git repository hosting service offering distributed revision control, source code management, and access control in support of a social and highly collaborative development workflow. Mural: A web-based virtual whiteboard that lets you capture plans and ideas with your team. Slack Enterprise: A messaging app for teams offering a wide range of integrations with other tools and services along with powerful search. Release Blueprints: A wiki serving as the single place for your team’s release plans to guide stakeholder alignment. Bluemix Dedicated: A Platform as a Service that enables developers to quickly and easily create, deploy, and manage applications on the cloud. Learn more IBMers can follow the evolution of Whitewater, check tool status, and leave feedback at 20 LEADING IT Mantras of the IBM Design Thinking activities LESS TALKING, MORE WRITING Everyone should capture lots of ideas onto sticky notes and post them on the wall before discussing them. This section of the field guide contains activities for your team to use every day to help you practice radical collaboration and put the user at the center of your project. Each activity can be used in isolation or as part of a broader set of activities with your team and Sponsor Users. Think of each activity as a tool that helps you establish the IBM Design Thinking framework, understand your user’s problems and motivations, explore new concepts, prototype designs, and evaluate with stakeholders. LESS WRITING, MORE DRAWING Different words mean different things to different people. Instead, try making a quick or crude sketch to communicate your idea. Remember, this is not a cookbook or a set of recipes. Nor is it a process or methodology. It’s a set of recommended practices that will help you think orthogonally and move beyond feature-centric delivery. Master Facilitator QUANTITY OVER QUALITY Ideas with big potential can be killed easily by negative attitudes, so first get lots of ideas posted to the wall and then discuss and distill. MAKE EVERY VOICE HEARD Everyone has a Sharpie®. Everyone has a pad of sticky notes. Everyone contributes ideas. Everyone’s ideas are valid. WHOLE-TEAM APPROACH Don’t make decisions without involving people that will act on them. Everyone pitches in to fill the gaps! YES, AND… It’s easy to play the devil’s advocate. Instead, push yourself to build on your teammates’ ideas by saying, “Yes, and…” while iterating. BE HONEST ABOUT WHAT YOU (DON’T) KNOW Sometimes you won’t have all of the answers—that’s okay! Actively work to admit and resolve uncertainty, especially on topics that put your project most at risk. TAKE-BACK TIPS Space and supplies. Prepare your workspace with pads of sticky notes of various colors, some Sharpie® markers, and a drawing surface—a whiteboard or large pad will do. These tools encourage every team member to engage in the thinking behind the design. If your team is distributed, there are plenty of virtual substitutes—see page 20. Conversations and collective decisions. The activities contained here are intended to encourage focused and productive conversations between multiple disciplines on your team. The value isn’t in having a completed artifact—it’s in doing the activities together so that you can agree on the right course of action together. If you’re sitting down, you’re having a meeting. Get everyone up and active—it’s difficult to include many voices when one person is standing at the front of the room. If you have lots of participants, break them up into working groups of 5–8 people and frequently playback to each other. LEADING IT Design thinking facilitation Design thinking facilitators initiate and lead design thinking activities on their team to reach great outcomes for their users. With time and practice, anyone can become an effective and credible facilitator. Whether facilitating an ad hoc activity to help your team work through an immediate decision or planning a lengthier and more formal workshop, use what works for you. IBM Design Thinking is designed as a framework for you and your team to use bits and pieces of as it makes sense. As a design thinking facilitator, you help ensure that conversations and activities are centered on the user, how they work, and what market they occupy. And you can serve as the driving force for inclusion and collaboration so the voices of people from all areas of your business are heard and understood. TAKE-BACK TIPS Practice makes perfect. Much like practicing IBM Design Thinking in general, we find that the best facilitators learn to be better facilitators by doing facilitation. Continued weekly practice over time, matched with coaching or apprenticeship, will prepare you to lead more advanced design thinking engagements like workshops. Use what works for you. Concentrate your facilitation efforts on initiating design thinking activities that make sense for the work your team is doing right now and guiding those teammates who aren’t familiar with design thinking by actively engaging them in the practices. 24 FACILITATION IS AN EVERY DAY PRACTICE. Do you find yourself doing these things on a regular basis? If so, you’re a natural facilitator! GREAT FACILITATORS… Plan, communicate, and lead design thinking activities, whether formal or informal. Have a passion and enthusiasm for getting the whole team involved. Guide coworkers in understanding and productively engaging in design thinking activities. Drive the process and guide to the goal, but don’t define the details of the end result. Ensure shared understanding and have everyone’s voice heard. Know what their limits are and can say, “That’s a great question! I don’t know the answer but I know someone who does.” LEADING IT Hopes and Fears WHEN YOU MIGHT USE THIS TIME If you’re starting a project, kicking-off a workshop, or bringing in new team members, this activity helps you get to know each other, expose aspirations and concerns, and prepare everyone to start. 15–30 minutes INSTRUCTIONS 1. Label one area for Hopes and another for Fears. 2. Ask team members, “What about this project are you really excited about? What has potential? And what are you concerned about? What do you think won’t work?” 3. Diverge, with each team member writing one “hope” or “fear” per sticky note and applying it to the appropriate area on the map. 4. Playback, discuss, and synthesize. What themes emerge? TAKE-BACK TIPS Warm up and take the temperature. This activity is an effective way to gauge participants’ attitudes about a workshop. “Hopes” usually reveal their expectations about what can be accomplished and “fears” may reveal their doubts about making an investment to work together. Let it persist. Keep the artifact posted where team members can see it and refer back frequently to track progress. Place stars on “hopes” notes that become realized and remove “fears” notes that melt away. “Fears” that persist should be directly addressed. 26 LEADING IT Stakeholder Map WHEN YOU MIGHT USE THIS TIME If you’re integrating new team members, starting a new project, exploring a new market, or expanding an offering, this activity helps you identify project stakeholders, their expectations, and relationships. 30–60 minutes INSTRUCTIONS 1. Diverge on identifying stakeholders, one per sticky note. “Stakeholders” can include teams, team roles, project leads, executives, partners, customers, and end users. 2. For each stakeholder, add a second sticky note with a quote expressing their thoughts, opinions, or expectations. 3. In parallel, cluster stakeholders and label the groups. 4. Draw and label lines among groups representing relationships such as influence, process, or dependencies. TAKE-BACK TIPS Don’t delay. Take an inventory of a project’s stakeholders as soon as possible in the development cycle. It’s difficult to circle back with those who have been forgotten, so it’s better to get a jump start than to play catch-up. Assumptions aren’t always bad. Assume that everyone is involved or impacted until proven otherwise. This might seem hard to do, but it’s actually easier than trying to guess who’s impacted and risking an accidental oversight. 28 LEADING IT Empathy Map WHEN YOU MIGHT USE THIS TIME Empathy Maps help to rapidly put your team in the user’s shoes and align on pains and gains—whether at the beginning of a project or mid-stream when you need to re-focus on your user. 30–60 minutes INSTRUCTIONS 1. Draw the map and its four quadrants: Says, Does, Thinks, and Feels. 2. Sketch your user in the center and give them a name and a bit of description about who they are or what they do. 3. Diverge, with each team member writing one observation per sticky note and applying it to the appropriate quadrant of the map. 4. Annotate unknowns (assumptions and questions) for later inquiry or validation. 5. Discuss observations and fill in gaps collaboratively. TAKE-BACK TIPS Don’t go it alone. Empathy for users arises from sharing in the collaborative making of the Empathy Map. Everyone knows something about your user, so use the activity as a means to gather, socialize, and synthesize that information together. Involve your users. Share your Empathy Maps with your Sponsor Users to validate or invalidate your observations and assumptions. Better yet, invite them to co-create the artifact with your team. Go beyond the job title. Rather than focusing on your user’s “job title,” consider their actual tasks, motivations, goals, and obstacles. 30 LEADING IT Scenario Map (As-is / To-be) WHEN YOU MIGHT USE THIS TIME As-is Scenario Maps help to document collective understanding of user workflows and are best used as precursors to exploring new ideas. To-be Scenario Maps tell the story of a better experience for your user. 60–90 minutes INSTRUCTIONS 1. Draw four rows and label each: Phases, Doing, Thinking, and Feeling. 2. Fill in the phases, one per sticky note. Don’t worry about what the “next phase” is; iterate through the scenario at increasing resolution until you are comfortable with the level of detail. 3. In parallel, team members should begin annotating each column with what the user is doing, thinking, and feeling. 4. Label unknowns (assumptions and questions) for later inquiry or validation. TAKE-BACK TIPS It’s not about the interface. Rather than focusing on the user’s pathway through a product’s user interface, pay close attention to the job tasks they actually perform in order to accomplish their goals. Warts and all. When creating the As-is Scenario Map, it’s important to articulate your user’s actual current experience—don’t neglect tasks or qualities that are not ideal or positive. Be honest and thorough. Check your math. The solutions presented in a To-be Scenario Map should ideally be correlated to the “pain points” identified in the As-is. 32 LEADING IT Big Idea Vignettes WHEN YOU MIGHT USE THIS TIME Once your team has a clear and validated understanding of your user’s problems and challenges, this activity is a great way for many people to rapidly brainstorm a breadth of possible ideas. 30–60 minutes INSTRUCTIONS 1. On one sticky note, write a brief overview of an idea or solution. Try labeling it with a one- or two-word headline. 2. On a second sticky note, sketch a visual depiction. Think of this as a single frame of a storyboard—for example, a rough prototype of a user interface or depiction of a user. 3. Diverge on many of these pairs of sticky notes (called “vignettes”) and quickly share them with your teammates. 4. Cluster similar ideas and converge on a set that you would like to take deeper using Scenario Maps or Storyboarding. TAKE-BACK TIPS Say yes to the mess. Avoid evaluating or dismissing ideas while you’re generating them—dedicate a period of time to get everyone’s thoughts onto the wall and only then begin to discuss what’s been shared. Everyone has ideas. Don’t make the mistake of leaving idea generation only to the designers, the engineers, the offering managers, or the executives. Everyone has a unique perspective on the user and the problem, so everyone should contribute ideas for solutions! Stay out of the weeds. Evaluate which ideas are important and feasible (using a Prioritization Grid) before deep-diving into the details. 34 LEADING IT Prioritization Grid WHEN YOU MIGHT USE THIS TIME When many items (such as ideas, Hills, scenarios, or user stories) are being considered, this activity helps your team evaluate and prioritize them by focusing discussions on importance and feasibility. 30–90 minutes INSTRUCTIONS 1. Draw two axes: Importance to the user (low to high) and Feasibility for us (difficult to easy). 2. Evaluate each item quickly and on your own—roughly plot them on the grid where they make most sense. 3. Once many items are on the grid, begin to discuss with your teammates and reposition them in relation to each other—do certain ideas seem more important or less feasible than others? 4. Avoid spending too much time discussing items that fall into the “unwise” zone unless you believe they have been mis-categorized. TAKE-BACK TIPS Importance is important. Avoid considering only what is feasible, rather than what is feasible and what will have an important and market-differentiating impact for the user. Feasibility is more than the tech. In addition to the technical perspective, feasibility also includes elements such as your go-to-market strategy and your head-count capacity to deliver. No-brainers are everywhere. Your competitors will also be focused on the things that are highly important and feasible. (Why wouldn’t they? They’re impactful and easy.) Instead, focus your discussion on making “utilities” more impactful and on making “big bets” more feasible. 36 LEADING IT Needs Statements WHEN YOU MIGHT USE THIS TIME This is a very effective activity to use with your team when you feel that you’re drifting away from the actual needs, desires, and goals of your user. It helps reorient or reframe the work around your user. 30–60 minutes INSTRUCTIONS 1. Write the statement: The user needs a way to do something that addresses their need so that they benefit directly . 2. Focus on your user’s pain points—this helps get at what the underlying problems are. More than one Needs Statement can come from a single pain point. 3. Stay away from listing individual features. Instead, ask yourself, “What does my user really seek? What does she really want?” 4. Cluster similar ideas and discuss. TAKE-BACK TIPS Über Needs Statements. After clustering several ideas together, try writing one big (“über”) Needs Statement that represents the entire group. Use the same “need/benefit” format. People aren’t machines. If an idea is expressed in terms of the machine (“dashboard,” “click,” “log in,” “export,” and so on), that’s a clue it’s actually a feature. Re-cast the idea in human terms of what the technology allows your user to accomplish. 38 LEADING IT Storyboarding WHEN YOU MIGHT USE THIS TIME Storyboarding is a way to iterate and communicate ideas and scenarios visually by telling user-centric stories. If you’re having a difficult time just talking about an idea, try some Storyboards. 20–60 minutes INSTRUCTIONS 1. Imagine your scenario as a story with characters, a plot, conflict, and resolution. 2. Place six sticky notes (“frames”) on a piece of paper. For each frame, draw a quick sketch and annotate with a brief caption. 3. Make the story seamless with a beginning, middle, and end. 4. Share your stories and get feedback. 5. To converge, choose the best parts of each teammate’s story and weave them into one refined “master” story that’s representative of the entire team’s thinking. TAKE-BACK TIPS Comics aren’t just for kids. Try thinking of your storyboard like a comic strip. Combine quick sketches with speech and thought bubbles, action bursts, captions, and narration. This isn’t wire-framing. Avoid drawing too many screens. Instead, create a narrative that focuses on people and their actions, thoughts, goals, emotions, and relationships. Use Sharpies®. Using a pen or a sharp pencil makes it too easy to include unnecessary high-fidelity details. Stay out of the weeds! 40 LEADING IT Assumptions and Questions WHEN YOU MIGHT USE THIS TIME Any time you feel that your team’s work needs a “reality check,” use this activity to identify and prioritize what assumptions are being made, what you’ve been guessing about, and what your team still doesn’t know. 30–90 minutes INSTRUCTIONS 1. Draw a two-by-two grid with High-risk on the top, Low-risk on the bottom, Certain on the left, and Uncertain on the right. 2. Diverge, with each team member writing one assumption or question per sticky note. 3. Evaluate each item quickly and on your own—roughly plot them on the grid where they make most sense. 4. Once many items are on the grid, begin to discuss and reposition them in relation to each other—how certain are you in knowing the correct answer to the question, and how risky is it if you’re wrong? 5. Focus the discussion on the items in the upper-right quadrant. These are the assumptions and questions that most urgently need further validation and inquiry. TAKE-BACK TIPS Do this early and often. Risk will never disappear, but the sooner you recognize and evaluate your team’s assumptions and questions, the more quickly you can act to reduce the risk they pose. Don’t hold back. Be honest about the questions you have and the assumptions you’re making—even if you’re afraid of appearing naïve. An unasked question will forever go unanswered. 42 LEADING IT Feedback Grid WHEN YOU MIGHT USE THIS TIME This activity helps to gather and organize any sort of feedback and to then unpack questions and ideas— either in real time or after-the-fact—as an efficient means of determining next steps. 30–60 minutes INSTRUCTIONS 1. Draw the grid and its four quadrants: Things that worked, Things to change, New ideas to try, and Questions we still have. 2. Fill in each quadrant with sticky notes. Be specific and give constructive criticism. 3. Cluster similar ideas and discuss. Search for patterns and themes. TAKE-BACK TIPS The sooner, the better. Use the Feedback Grid to capture ideas in real-time during a meeting or workshop. Or do the activity immediately following a Playback or a cognitive walk-through with a user. Take the next step. Once you’ve developed and discussed a Feedback Grid, it’s time to take action: Use the “Questions we still have” from the Feedback Grid to inform an Assumptions and Questions activity. Use the “New ideas to try” to begin Storyboarding. Or use the “Things to change” as the basis for a to-do list of action items for different team members. 44 LEADING IT Experience-Based Roadmap WHEN YOU MIGHT USE THIS TIME This activity helps you define a “minimum delightful experience” by scoping big, visionary ideas into more achievable near-term outcomes—while still focusing on the user experience. 60–90 minutes INSTRUCTIONS 1. Label three columns: Near-Term, Mid-Term, Long-Term. Write the statement: Our user can / Our user will be able to… 2. Begin writing ideas directly related to your vision and plotting them in the Long-Term column. Starting each idea with “Our user can…” or “Our user will be able to…” helps keep the ideas user-focused. 3. Scope down the long-term ideas by asking, “What is the most essential part of this experience?” Plot those ideas in the Mid-Term and Near-Term columns. 4. Once many ideas are on the grid, begin to discuss with your teammates and reposition them in relation to each other—do certain ideas need to be implemented in the near-term, or can they wait until a future release? TAKE-BACK TIPS Let them eat cake. Many IBM teams use the metaphors of “Cupcake,” “Birthday Cake,” and “Wedding Cake” to describe the ideas on their roadmap, respectively, as being near-term, mid-term, and long-term. What will you learn? The best roadmaps explicitly describe what you expect to learn at each stage. Once you deliver to market, what will you learn about your users, domain, product, capabilities, and competition? Use these learnings to further define your roadmap the next time around. 46 48 50 52 © 2016 IBM CORPORATION v3.3 0317 Get the latest version This field guide is updated frequently. IBMers can download the latest version, share with others, and leave feedback at Field Guide Editor: Seth Johnson Cover Illustration: Stephanie Hagadorn © 2016 IBM CORPORATION v3.3 0317 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design By 1st Edition © 2015 ISBN: 978-0-9914063-1-9  his work is licensed under the creative commons T attribution, noncommercial, no derivatives 3.0 unported license.  ttribution — You must attribute the work in the A manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).  oncommerical — You may not use this work for N commercial purposes.  oDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build N upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material. Printed in Canada THE FIELD GUIDE Contents 09 Introduction 61 Collage 64 Guided Tour 17 Mindsets 65 Draw It 19 Creative Confidence 67 Resource Flow 20 Make It 21 Learn from Failure 71 Case Study: Vroom 22 Empathy 23 Embrace Ambiguity 75 IDEATION 24 Optimism 77 Download Your Learnings 25 Iterate, Iterate, Iterate 78 Share Inspiring Stories 79 Top Five 27 Methods 80 Find Themes 29 INSPIRATION 81 Create Insight Statements 31 Frame Your Design Challenge 84 Explore Your Hunch 34 Create a Project Plan 85 How Might We 35 Build a Team 89 Create Frameworks 36 Recruiting Tools 94 Brainstorm 37 Secondary Research 95 Brainstorm Rules 39 Interview 97 Bundle Ideas 42 Group Interview 101 Get Visual 43 Expert Interview 104 Mash-Ups 44 Define Your Audience 105 Design Principles 45 Conversation Starters 108 Create a Concept 49 Extremes and Mainstreams 109 Co-Creation Session 52 Immersion 110 Gut Check 53 Analogous Inspiration 111 Determine What to Prototype 57 Card Sort 113 Storyboard 60 Peers Observing Peers 118 Role Playing 119 Rapid Prototyping 123 Business Model Canvas 126 Get Feedback 127 Integrate Feedback and Iterate 129 Case Study: Asili 133 IMPLEMENTATION 135 Live Prototyping 136 Roadmap 137 Resource Assessment 140 Build Partnerships 141 Ways to Grow Framework 144 Staff Your Project 145 Funding Strategy 146 Pilot 147 Define Success 148 Keep Iterating 149 Create a Pitch 152 Sustainable Revenue 153 Monitor and Evaluate 157 Keep Getting Feedback 159 Case Study: Clean Team 163 Resources 189 Colophon The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design 8 Introduction What Does It Mean to Be Embracing human-centered design means believing that all problems, even the seemingly intractable ones like poverty, gender equality, and clean water, are solvable. Moreover, it means believing that the people who face those problems every day are the ones who hold the key to their answer. Human-centered design offers problem solvers of any stripe a chance to design with communities, to deeply understand the people they’re looking to serve, to dream up scores of ideas, and to create innovative new solutions rooted in people’s actual needs. At and IDEO, we’ve used human-centered design for decades to create products, services, experiences, and social enterprises that have been adopted and embraced because we’ve kept people’s lives and desires at the core. The social sector is ripe for innovation, and we’ve seen time and again how our approach has the power to unlock real impact. Being a human-centered designer is about believing that as long as you stay grounded in what you’ve learned from people, your team can arrive at new solutions that the world needs. And with this Field Guide, you’re now armed with the tools needed to bring that belief to life. 09 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design Adopt the Mindsets Human-centered designers are unlike other problem solvers—we tinker and test, we fail early and often, and we spend a surprising amount of time not knowing the answer to the challenge at hand. And yet, we forge ahead. We’re optimists and makers, experimenters and learners, we empathize and iterate, and we look for inspiration in unexpected places. We believe that a solution is out there and that by keeping focused on the people we’re designing for and asking the right questions, we’ll get there together. We dream up lots of ideas, some that work and some that don’t. We make our ideas tangible so that we can test them, and then we refine them. In the end, our approach amounts to wild creativity, to a ceaseless push to innovate, and a confidence that leads us to solutions we’d never dreamed of when we started. In the Field Guide, we share our philosophy of design and the seven mindsets that set us apart: Empathy, Optimism, Iteration, Creative Confidence, Making, Embracing Ambiguity, and Learning from Failure. 10 Introduction Understand the Process Human-centered design isn’t a perfectly linear process, and each project invariably has its own contours and character. But no matter what kind of design challenge you’ve got, you’ll move through three main phases: Inspiration, Ideation, and Implementation. By taking these three phases in turn, you’ll build deep empathy with the communities and individuals you’re designing for; you’ll figure out how to turn what you’ve learned into a chance to design a new solution; and you’ll build and test your ideas before finally putting them out into the world. At and IDEO, we’ve used human-centered design to tackle a vast array of design challenges, and though our projects have ranged from social enterprises to communication campaigns to medical devices, this particular approach to creative problem solving has seen us through each time. INSPIRATION In this phase, you’ll learn how to better understand people. You’ll observe their lives, hear their hopes and desires, and get smart on your challenge. IDEATION Here you’ll make sense of everything that you’ve heard, generate tons of ideas, identify opportunities for design, and test and refine your solutions. IMPLEMENTATION Now is your chance to bring your solution to life. You’ll figure out how to get your idea to market and how to maximize its impact in the world. 11 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design Use the Tools Though no two human-centered design projects are alike, we draw from the same kit of tools for each of them. For example, to build deep empathy with the people we’re trying to serve, we always conduct interviews with them. To maintain creativity and energy, we always work in teams. To keep our thinking generative, sharp, and because it helps us work things through, we always make tangible prototypes of our ideas. And because we rarely get it right the first time, we always share what we’ve made, and iterate based on the feedback we get. The 57 methods in the Field Guide offer a comprehensive set of exercises and activities that will take you from framing up your design challenge to getting it to market. You’ll use some of these methods twice or three times and some not at all as you work through your challenge. But taken as a set, they’ll put you on the path to continuous innovation while keeping the community you’re designing for squarely at the center of your work. 12 Introduction Trust the Process Even if It Feels Uncomfortable ER VE RG E GE DI RG VE NV DI from concrete observations to highly abstract thinking, and then right back again into the nuts and bolts of your prototype. We call it diverging and converging. By going really big and broad during the Ideation phase, we dream up all kinds of possible solutions. But because the goal is to have a big impact in the world, we have to then identify what, among that constellation of ideas, has the best shot at really working. You’ll diverge and converge a few times, and with each new cycle you’ll come closer and closer to a marketready solution. CO E Human-centered design is a unique approach to problem solving, one that can occasionally feel more like madness than method—but you rarely get to new and innovative solutions if you always know precisely where you’re going. The process is designed to get you to learn directly from people, open yourself up to a breadth of creative possibilities, and then zero in on what’s most desirable, feasible, and viable for the people you’re designing for. You’ll find yourself frequently shifting gears through the process, and as you work through its three phases you’ll swiftly move 13 C O NV ER G E The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design Create Real Impact Human-centered design is uniquely situated to arrive at solutions that are desirable, feasible, and viable. By starting with humans, their hopes, fears, and needs, we quickly uncover what’s most desirable. But that’s only one lens through which we look at our solutions. Once we’ve determined a range of solutions that could appeal to the community we’re looking to serve, we then start to home in on what is technically feasible to actually implement and how to make the solution financially viable. It’s a balancing act, but one that’s absolutely crucial to designing solutions that are successful and sustainable. VIABLE Business Start here DESIRABLE Human FEASIBLE Technology 14 Introduction 15 Introduction MINDSETS 17 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design 18 Mindsets Creative Confidence —David Kelley, Founder, IDEO sleeves and diving in. Creative confidence will drive you to make things, to test them out, to get it wrong, and to keep on rolling, secure in the knowledge that you’ll get where you need to go and that you’re bound to innovate along the way. Anyone can approach the world like a designer. Often all it takes to unlock that potential as a dynamic problem solver is a bit of creative confidence. Creative confidence is the belief that everyone is creative, and that creativity isn’t the capacity to draw or compose or sculpt, but a way of understanding the world. It can take time to build creative confidence, and part of getting there is trusting that the human-centered design process will show you how to bring a creative approach to whatever problem is at hand. As you start with small successes and then build to bigger ones, you’ll see your creative confidence grow and before long you’ll find yourself in the mindset that you are a wildly creative person. Creative confidence is the quality that humancentered designers rely on when it comes to making leaps, trusting their intuition, and chasing solutions that they haven’t totally figured out yet. It’s the belief that you can and will come up with creative solutions to big problems and the confidence that all it takes is rolling up your 19 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design Make It —Krista Donaldson, CEO, D-Rev As you move through the human-centered design process, it doesn’t matter what you make, the materials you use, or how beautiful the result is, the goal is always to convey an idea, share it, and learn how to make it better. As human-centered designers, we make because we believe in the power of tangibility. And we know that making an idea real reveals so much that mere theory cannot. When the goal is to get impactful solutions out into the world, you can’t live in abstractions. You have to make them real. Best of all, you can prototype anything at any stage of the process from a service model to a uniform, from a storyboard to the financial details of your solution. As human-centered designers, we have a bias toward action, and that means getting ideas out of our heads and into the hands of the people we’re looking to serve. Human-centered designers are doers, tinkerers, crafters, and builders. We make using anything at our disposal, from cardboard and scissors to sophisticated digital tools. We build our ideas so that we can test them, and because actually making something reveals opportunities and complexities that we’d never have guessed were there. Making is also a fantastic way to think, and it helps bring into focus the feasibility of our designs. Moreover, making an idea real is an incredibly effective way to share it. And without candid, actionable feedback from people, we won’t know how to push our ideas forward. 20 Mindsets Learn from Failure —Tim Brown, CEO, IDEO Failure is an incredibly powerful tool for learning. Designing experiments, prototypes, and interactions and testing them is at the heart of human-centered design. So is an understanding that not all of them are going to work. As we seek to solve big problems, we’re bound to fail. But if we adopt the right mindset, we’ll inevitably learn something from that failure. Thomas Edison put it well when he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” And for human-centered designers, sorting out what won’t work is part of finding what will. Failure is an inherent part of human-centered design because we rarely get it right on our first try. In fact, getting it right on the first try isn’t the point at all. The point is to put something out into the world and then use it to keep learning, keep asking, and keep testing. When human-centered designers get it right, it’s because they got it wrong first. Human-centered design starts from a place of not knowing what the solution to a given design challenge might be. Only by listening, thinking, building, and refining our way to an answer do we get something that will work for the people we’re trying to serve. “Fail early to succeed sooner” is a common refrain around IDEO, and part of its power is the permission it gives to get something wrong. By refusing to take risks, some problem solvers actually close themselves off from a real chance to innovate. 21 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design Empathy —Emi Kolawole, Editor-in-Residence, Stanford University Immersing yourself in another world not only opens you up to new creative possibilities, but it allows you to leave behind preconceived ideas and outmoded ways of thinking. Empathizing with the people you’re designing for is the best route to truly grasping the context and complexities of their lives. But most importantly, it keeps the people you’re designing for squarely grounded in the center of your work. Empathy is the capacity to step into other people’s shoes, to understand their lives, and start to solve problems from their perspectives. Humancentered design is premised on empathy, on the idea that the people you’re designing for are your roadmap to innovative solutions. All you have to do is empathize, understand them, and bring them along with you in the design process. For too long, the international development community has designed solutions to the challenges of poverty without truly empathizing with and understanding the people it’s looking to serve. But by putting ourselves in the shoes of the person we’re designing for, human-centered designers can start to see the world, and all the opportunities to improve it, through a new and powerful lens. 22 Mindsets Embrace Ambiguity —Patrice Martin, Co-Lead and Creative Director, Human-centered designers always start from the place of not knowing the answer to the problem they’re looking to solve. And in a culture that can be too focused on being the first one to the right answer, that’s not a particularly comfortable place to be. But by starting at square one, we’re forced to get out into the world and talk to the people we’re looking to serve. We also get to open up creatively, to pursue lots of different ideas, and to arrive at unexpected solutions. By embracing that ambiguity, and by trusting that the humancentered design process will guide us toward an innovative answer, we actually give ourselves permission to be fantastically creative. a generative process, and because we work so collaboratively, it’s easy to discard bad ideas, hold onto pieces of the so-so ones, and eventually arrive at the good ones. Though it may seem counterintuitive, the ambiguity of not knowing the answer actually sets up human-centered designers to innovate. If we knew the answer when we started, what could we possibly learn? How could we come up with creative solutions? Where would the people we’re designing for guide us? Embracing ambiguity actually frees us to pursue an answer that we can’t initially imagine, which puts us on the path to routine innovation and lasting impact. One of the qualities that sets human-centered designers apart is the belief that there will always be more ideas. We don’t cling to ideas any longer than we have to because we know that we’ll have more. Because human-centered design is such 23 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design Optimism —John Bielenberg, Founder, Future Partners We believe that design is inherently optimistic. To take on a big challenge, especially one as large and intractable as poverty, we have to believe that progress is even an option. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t even try. Optimism is the embrace of possibility, the idea that even if we don’t know the answer, that it’s out there and that we can find it. Human-centered designers are persistently focused on what could be, not the countless obstacles that may get in the way. Constraints are inevitable, and often they push designers toward unexpected solutions. But it’s our core animating belief—that every problem is solvable—that shows just how deeply optimistic human-centered designers are. In addition to driving us toward solutions, optimism makes us more creative, encourages us to push on when we hit dead ends, and helps all the stakeholders in a project gel. Approaching problems from the perspective that you’ll get to a solution infuses the entire process with the energy and drive that you need to navigate the thorniest problems. 24 Mindsets Iterate, Iterate, Iterate —Gaby Brink, Founder, Tomorrow Partners As human-centered designers, we adopt an iterative approach to solving problems because it makes feedback from the people we’re designing for a critical part of how a solution evolves. By continually iterating, refining, and improving our work, we put ourselves in a place where we’ll have more ideas, try a variety of approaches, unlock our creativity, and arrive more quickly at successful solutions. At base, we iterate because we know that we won’t get it right the first time. Or even the second. Iteration allows us the opportunity to explore, to get it wrong, to follow our hunches, but ultimately arrive at a solution that will be adopted and embraced. We iterate because it allows us to keep learning. Instead of hiding out in our workshops, betting that an idea, product, or service will be a hit, we quickly get out in the world and let the people we’re designing for be our guides. Iteration keeps us nimble, responsive, and trains our focus on getting the idea and, after a few passes, every detail just right. If you aimed for perfection each time you built a prototype or shared an idea, you’d spend ages refining something whose validity was still in doubt. But by building, testing, and iterating, you can advance your idea without investing hours and resources until you’re sure that it’s the one. 25 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design 26 Introduction METHODS 27 N 28 Methods: Inspiration Phase INSPIRATION The Inspiration phase is about learning on the fly, opening yourself up to creative possibilities, and trusting that as long as you remain grounded in desires of the communities you’re engaging, your ideas will evolve into the right solutions. You’ll build your team, get smart on your challenge, and talk to a staggering variety of people. THIS PHASE WILL HELP YOU ANSWER How do I get started? How do I conduct an interview? How do I keep people at the center of my research? What are other tools I can use to understand people? 29 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design 30 Methods: Inspiration Phase Frame Your Design Challenge Properly framing your design challenge is critical to your success. Here’s how to do it just right. Getting the right frame on your design challenge will get you off on the right foot, organize how you think about your solution, and at moments of ambiguity, help clarify where you should push your design. Framing your design challenge is more art than science, but there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, ask yourself: Does my challenge drive toward ultimate impact, allow for a variety of solutions, and take into account context? Dial those in, and then refine it until it’s the challenge you’re excited to tackle. STEPS TIME 90 minutes 01 Start by taking a first stab at writing your design challenge. It should be short and easy to remember, a single sentence that conveys what you want to do. We often phrase these as questions which set you and your team up to be solution-oriented and to generate lots of ideas along the way. DIFFICULTY Hard WHAT YOU’LL NEED Pen, Frame Your Design Challenge worksheet p. 165 02 PARTICIPANTS Design team 03 Properly framed design challenges drive toward ultimate impact, allow for a variety of solutions, and take into account constraints and context. Now try articulating it again with those factors in mind. Another common pitfall when scoping a design challenge is going either too narrow or too broad. A narrowly scoped challenge won’t offer enough room to explore creative solutions. And a broadly scoped challenge won’t give you any idea where to start. 04 Now that you’ve run your challenge through these filters, do it again. It may seem repetitive, but the right question is key to arriving at a good solution. A quick test we often run on a design challenge is to see if we can come up with five possible solutions in just a few minutes. If so, you’re likely on the right track. 31 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design METHOD IN ACTION Frame Your Design Challenge It’s rare that you’ll Frame Your Design Challenge just right on the first try; at we often go through a number of revisions and lots of debate as we figure out precisely how to hone the problem we’re looking to solve. heavily on improving parents’ lives. In the end, the team arrived at a well framed challenge, one that asks: How might parents in low-income communities ensure children thrive in their first five years? For the second challenge in our Amplify program, we knew that we wanted to focus on children’s education, but needed to narrow the scope so that it would drive real impact, allow for a variety of solutions, and still give us enough context to get started. Challenge manager Chioma Ume described how she and her team sharpened the challenge. Use the Frame Your Design Challenge worksheet on p. 165 and take multiple passes to make sure that your question drives at impact, gives you a starting place, but still is broad enough to allow for a great variety of creative answers. “We knew we wanted to do something around kids, but of course we then have to ascertain which kids. Should it be all kids, just teens, young kids? Because of the tremendous importance of early childhood development, we settled on children, ages zero to five. But we certainly didn’t start knowing that we’d focus just on them.” Even then, the challenge needed refinement. By eventually landing not on children, but their parents, the team and its partners at the UK’s Department for International Development, crafted a brief that it thought would have the most impact. “We chose to focus on the people closest to children, their parents,” says Ume. But she stresses that though parents became the focus, the children remained the beneficiaries, a nuance that would keep the team from spinning off or focusing too 32 Methods: Inspiration Phase Frame Your Design Challenge What is the problem you’re trying to solve? Improving the lives of children. 1) Take a stab at framing it as a design question. How might we improve the lives of children? 2) Now, state the ultimate impact you’re trying to have. We want very young children in low-income communities to thrive. 3) What are some possible solutions to your problem? Think broadly. It’s fine to start a project with a hunch or two, but make sure you allow for surprising outcomes. Better nutrition, parents engaging with young kids to spur brain development, better education around parenting, early childhood education centers, better access to neonatal care and vaccines. 4) Finally, write down some of the context and constraints that you’re facing. They could be geographic, technological, time-based, or have to do with the population you’re trying to reach. Because children aren’t in control of their circumstances, we wanted to address our solution to their parents. We want a solution that could work across different regions. 5) Does your original question need a tweak? Try it again. How might parents in low-income communities ensure children thrive in their first five years. 33 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design Create a Project Plan Get organized, understand your strengths, and start identifying what your team will need to come up with innovative solutions. As you set out to solve your challenge, you’ll need to create a plan. This gives you a chance to think through all the logistics of your project, and even though they’re bound to change as things progress, you’ll be in much better shape if you can plan for what’s ahead. Reflect on your timeline, the space you’ll work in, your staff, your budget, what skills you’ll need, trips you’ll take, and what you’ll need to produce. Getting a good handle on all of this information can keep you on track. STEPS TIME 60-90 minutes 01 and put it up in your workspace. Now mark key dates. They could be deadlines, important meetings, travel dates, or times when your team members are unavailable. DIFFICULTY Moderate WHAT YOU’LL NEED Pen, paper, Post-its, calendar PARTICIPANTS Design team A good place to start is with a calendar. Print out or make a large one 02 Now that you’ve got a sense of your timeline, look at your budget and staff. Do you have everything that you’ll need? If you foresee constraints, how can you get around them? 03 You’ll need to get smart on your topic before you head into the field. Who should you talk to now? What will you need to read to be up to speed on your challenge? 04 Answer questions like: When should my team head into the field? Will my team make one visit or two? Will our partners be visiting? Will we need to physically make something? How much time, money, and manpower will we need to produce it? 05 Your project plan will change as things evolve, and that’s perfectly OK. You can always amend things as you go but make sure that you’re really thinking through your project before you start. 34 Methods: Inspiration Phase Build a Team An interdisciplinary mix of thinkers, makers, and doers is just the right combination to tackle any design challenge. Human-centered design works best with cross-disciplinary teams. You could put three business designers to work on a new social enterprise, but if you throw a graphic designer, a journalist, or an industrial designer into the mix, you’re going to bring new modes of thinking to your team. It’s smart to have a hunch about what kind of talent your team will need—if you’re designing a social enterprise, a business designer is probably a good bet—but you won’t get unexpected solutions with an expected team. STEPS TIME 60 minutes 01 DIFFICULTY Hard 02 First, assess how many team members you’ll need, your staff’s availability, and when your project should start and end. Look at the core members of your team and determine what they’re good at and what they’re not so good at. WHAT YOU’LL NEED Pen, paper PARTICIPANTS Project lead, partner organizations 03 Is there a clear technical capability that you’ll need but don’t currently have—maybe a mechanical engineer, a graphic designer, a skilled writer? Remember that you can always add a team member for a shorter period of time when their skills are most important. 35 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design Recruiting Tools Human-centered design isn’t just about talking to a lot of people, it’s about talking to the right people. Build a strategy now so that your Interviews really count. Before you start talking to the people you’re designing for, it’s important to have a strategy around who you talk to, what you ask them, and what pieces of information you need to gather. By planning ahead, and tracking who you talk to once you’ve done it, you can be sure to have the right balance of experts and laymen, women and men, people of different ethnicities and classes, as well as a full range of behaviors, beliefs, and perspectives. STEPS TIME 30-60 minutes DIFFICULTY Moderate WHAT YOU’LL NEED Pen, paper PARTICIPANTS Design team 01 As you start to determine who you want to talk to, think about a variety of factors: age, gender, ethnicity, class, social position. Who do you really need to hear from? 02 Be sensitive to gender when making your Interview plan. Some communities may not be comfortable with men interviewing women. Or if you’re working on a touchy topic, like open defecation, make sure that you understand social dynamics before you begin your Interviews (p. 39). 03 Group Interviews (p. 42) can be a highly useful tool and also help you identify who you might like to speak more with in an individual Interview. 04 Refer to Extremes and Mainstreams (p. 49) to make sure that you’re talking to a broad spectrum of people. 36 Methods: Inspiration Phase Secondary Research Getting up to speed on your challenge is crucial to success in the field. Human-centered design is all about talking with people about their challenges, ambitions, and constraints. But as you move through the Inspiration phase, there will be moments where you’ll need more context, history, or data than a man-on-the-street style Interview can afford. Social sector challenges can be really thorny, which is why Secondary Research, whether done online, by reading books, or by crunching numbers, can help you ask the right questions. At, we find that a firm foundation of knowledge is the best place from which to tackle a design challenge. STEPS TIME 1-2 days 01 broader context. You can bone up quickly by exploring the most recent news in the field. Use the Internet, newspapers, magazines, or journals to know what’s new. DIFFICULTY Moderate WHAT YOU’LL NEED Internet connection, pen, notebook, research materials PARTICIPANTS Design team Once you know your design challenge, it’s time to start learning about its 02 Try to find recent innovations in your particular area. They could be technological, behavioral, or cultural. Understanding the edge of what’s possible will help you ask great questions. 03 Take a look at other solutions in your area. Which ones worked? Which ones didn’t? Are there any that feel similar to what you might design? Any solutions that have inspired you to make one of your own? 04 Because Interviews (p. 39) can be highly subjective, use your Secondary Research to get the facts and figures you’ll need to understand the context of your challenge. 37 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design 38 Methods: Inspiration Phase Interview There’s no better way to understand the hopes, desires, and aspirations of those you’re designing for than by talking with them directly. Interviews really are the crux of the Inspiration phase. Human-centered design is about getting to the people you’re designing for and hearing from them in their own words. Interviews can be a bit daunting, but by following these steps below you’ll unlock all kinds of insights and understanding that you’ll never get sitting behind your desk. Whenever possible, conduct your Interviews in the person’s space. You can learn so much about a person’s mindset, behavior, and lifestyle by talking with them where they live or work. STEPS TIME 60-90 minutes 01 single Interview so as to not overwhelm the participant or crowd the location. Each team member should have a clear role (i.e. interviewer, note-taker, photographer). DIFFICULTY Moderate WHAT YOU’LL NEED Pens, paper, Interview Guide worksheet p. 166 PARTICIPANTS Design team, person you’re designing for No more than three research team members should attend any 02 Come prepared with a set of questions you’d like to ask. Start by asking broad questions about the person’s life, values, and habits, before asking more specific questions that relate directly to your challenge. 03 Make sure to write down exactly what the person says, not what you think they might mean. This process is premised on hearing exactly what people are saying. If you’re relying on a translator, make sure he or she understands that you want direct quotes, not the gist of what the person says. 04 What you hear is only one data point. Be sure to observe the person’s body language and surroundings and see what you can learn from the context in which you’re talking. Take pictures, provided you get permission first. 39 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design METHOD IN ACTION Interview The team even talked to one man who saved his money in bricks. He was “saving” to build a house so he put his extra money in building supplies and then, after a few years, constructed the house. One of the pillars of human-centered design is talking directly to the communities that you’re looking to serve. And there’s no better way to understand a person’s desires, fears, and opinions on a given subject than by interviewing them. A key insight that came out of these interviews was that many low-income Mexicans don’t save for saving’s sake, they save for particular things. This idea led directly to the team designing a projectbased approach to savings, aptly dubbed “Mis Proyectos” (My Projects). In 2012, worked with the World Bank’s Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and the bank Bancomer to identify opportunities for new and more accessible savings products to serve low-income Mexicans. The team conducted a ton of Interviews over the course of the project, each time trying to understand how people save their money. Again and again the team heard, “I don’t save money.” But after asking a few more questions they came to learn that low-income Mexicans may not think of their informal methods as savings in the way that a bank might, but they are certainly socking money away. And understanding how they do it was critical to the team’s ultimate design. Try to conduct your Interviews in the homes or offices of the people you’re designing for. Put them at ease first by asking more general questions before getting specific. And be sure to ask openended questions instead of yes-or-no questions. Thanks to their Interviews, the team learned that one man stashed extra money in the pockets of his shirts when he hung them in the closet. Another woman gave money to her grandmother because she knew that she wouldn’t let her spend it on something frivolous. Still another woman parcelled her money out in coffee cans dedicated to various expenses like school fees, food, and rent. 40 Methods: Inspiration Phase Interview Guide Open General What are some broad questions you can ask to open the conversation and warm people up? Then Go Deep What are some questions that can help you start to understand this person’s hopes, fears, and ambitions? What kind of job do you have? How do you allocate your money now? How are you paid? Where do you actually keep the money you want to How do you save for the future? put aside? What helps you save money? If you’ve visited a bank, tell us about your experience. 41 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design Group Interview You can come to a quick understanding of a community’s life, dynamics, and needs by conducting a Group Interview. Though a Group Interview may not offer the depth of an individual Interview (p. 39) in someone’s home, it can give you a compelling look at how a larger set of the people you’re designing for operates. The best Group Interviews seek to hear everyone’s voice, get diverse opinions, and are strategic about group makeup. For example, an all-female group might give you insight into the role of women in a society whereas a mixed group may not. If you’re looking to learn quickly what is valuable to a community, Group Interviews are a great place to start. STEPS TIME 90-120 minutes DIFFICULTY Moderate WHAT YOU’LL NEED Pens, paper, camera PARTICIPANTS At least 2 members of the design team, 7-10 people you’re designing for 01 Identify the sort of group you want to talk with. If you’re trying to learn something specific, organize the group so that they’re likely to have good answers to the questions that you’ve got. 02 Convene the Group Interview on neutral ground, perhaps a shared community space that people of all ages, races, and genders can access. 03 In a Group Interview, be certain to have one person asking the questions and other team members taking notes and capturing what the group is saying. 04 Come prepared with a strategy to engage the quieter members of the group. This can mean asking them questions directly or finding ways to make the more vocal members of the group recede for a moment. 05 Group Interviews are a great setting to identify who you might want to go deeper with in a Co-Creation Session (p. 109). 42 Methods: Inspiration Phase Expert Interview Experts can fill you in quickly on a topic, and give you key insights into relevant history, context, and innovations. Though the crux of the Inspiration phase is talking with the people you’re designing for, you can gain valuable perspective by talking to experts. Experts can often give you a systems-level view of your project area, tell you about recent innovations—successes and failures—and offer the perspectives of organizations like banks, governments, or NGOs. You might also look to experts for specific technical advice. STEPS TIME 60-90 minutes DIFFICULTY Moderate WHAT YOU’LL NEED Pens, camera, notebook PARTICIPANTS Design team, expert 01 Determine what kind of expert you need. If you’re working in agriculture, perhaps an agronomist. In reproductive health? A doctor or policymaker may be a good bet. 02 When recruiting your experts, give them a preview of the kinds of questions you’ll be asking and let them know how much of their time you’ll need. 03 Choose experts with varying points of view. You don’t want the same opinions over and over. 04 Ask smart, researched questions. Though you should come prepared with an idea of what you’d like to learn, make sure your game plan is flexible enough to allow you to pursue unexpected lines of inquiry. 05 Record your Expert Interview with whatever tools you have. A pen and paper work fine. 43 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design Define Your Audience Consider the broad spectrum of people who will be touched by your design solution. Before you dig into your in-context research, it’s critical to know who you’re designing for. You’re bound to learn more once you’re in the field, but having an idea of your target audience’s needs, contexts, and history will help ensure that you start your research by asking smart questions. And don’t limit your thinking just to the people you’re designing for. You may need to consider governments, NGOs, other businesses, or competitors. STEPS TIME 30-60 minutes 01 With your team, write down the people or groups that are directly involved in or reached by your project. Are you designing for children? For farmers? Write all the groups down on Post-its and put them on a wall so you can visualize your audience. DIFFICULTY Easy WHAT YOU’LL NEED Pen, paper, Post-its 02 PARTICIPANTS Design team 03 Now add people or groups who are peripherally relevant, or are associated with your direct audience. Think about the connections these people have with your topic. Who are the fans? Who are the skeptics? Who do you most need on your side? Add them to the wall. 04 Now arrange these Post-its into a map of the people involved in your challenge. Save it and refer to it as you move through the Inspiration phase. 44 Methods: Inspiration Phase Conversation Starters Conversation Starters put a bunch of ideas in front of a person and seek to spark their reactions. Conversation Starters are a great way to get a reaction and begin a dialogue. The idea here is to suggest a bunch of ideas around a central theme to the people you’re designing for and then see how they react. The ideas you generate for your Conversation Starters are totally sacrificial, so if they don’t work, drop them and move on. The goal here is to encourage creativity and outside-the-box thinking from the people you’re designing for. STEPS TIME 30-60 minutes DIFFICULTY Moderate WHAT YOU’LL NEED Pens, notebook PARTICIPANTS Design team, people you’re designing for 01 Determine what you want the people you’re designing for to react to. If you’re designing a sanitation system you might come up with a bunch of Conversation Starters around toilets or privacy. 02 Now come up with many ideas that could get the conversation started. What is the toilet of the future, the toilet of the past, a super toilet, the president’s toilet? Come up with a list of ideas like this to share with the person you’re designing for. 03 Once you’re with the person you’re designing for, start by telling them that you’re interested in their reactions to these Conversation Starters. Some may be silly, some may be absurd, you’re only looking to get their opinions. 04 As the person you’re designing for shares her take on your Conversation Starters, be open to however she interprets the concepts. When one of them strikes her, ask more questions. You can learn a lot about how she thinks and what she might want out of your solution. 45 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design METHOD IN ACTION Conversation Starters When you’re using Conversation Starters, remember that the goal is to get people talking. If the person you’re talking to doesn’t have much of a response to one, move right onto the next. Keep going until you find something that works, then keep the conversation going with open-ended questions. Premade cards are a great device to get the conversation started and give people something to react to. This is also a chance to get people thinking creatively so feel free to ask outlandish questions to keep the conversation flowing. The name says it all: Conversation Starters are meant to do just that. But beyond getting the person you’re designing for talking, the goal is to get them thinking. This Method is a great way to open a person up to creative thinking and to then learn more about her attitudes about the subject. An design team working in Uganda with Ugafode and the Mennonite Economic Development Associates on how to design formal savings tools for low-income Ugandans used Conversation Starters to plumb how Ugandans felt about banks. By presenting them with very basic ideas about banks and then soliciting a response, the team came to some pretty compelling insights. They learned that some Ugandans thought banks were only for “big money,” and not the small sums that they might otherwise be dealing in. Another person told the team that he wants his money working for the community, a benefit that he did not think would happen if it were sitting in a bank. The big insight that came from the dialogue that the Conversation Starters sparked was that Ugandans are currently using all manner of informal savings devices. And for a bank to work in this community, it would have to play alongside, not necessarily replace, the existing informal services and systems on which people rely. 46 Methods: Inspiration Phase These Conversation Starter cards helped an team working in Uganda better understand local financial habits. 47 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design INSPIRATION SPOTLIGHT The Loan Surprise Game On the second day of the Loan Surprise Game the team actually moved from research to prototyping by adding loan options and qualifications. It was a way to ask more profound questions about how people would actually borrow money, and most importantly, it got people talking. By putting scenarios in front of people and getting their reactions, you quickly engage them in your research and create an opportunity to deeply understand what they want, fear, and need. There are all kinds of ways that you can learn from the communities you’re looking to serve. An team working on designing mobile financial tools to help victims of Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines devised an ingenious way to understand how people felt about getting loans. They made a board game. In the Loan Surprise Game, the team set up shop in an area where they knew lots of the people they were designing for would congregate and then laid out a simple dice game where you would “roll” a loan. Once a participant rolled the dice, she was told the terms of the loan and asked if she’d take it. On the first day they ran it, the goal of the game wasn’t to actually design financial products on the spot, but to grasp how members of this community felt about loans and what factors made them willing to take them on. The team learned about how bank loans were perceived as inaccessible to those with little income, but also how getting money from a loan shark was easy, but caused significant anxiety. They also used the game to probe deeper into what kind of financial support people most wanted. By getting participants to change some of the variables, they were able to see what kind of loans were attractive and which sort would never work. 48 Methods: Inspiration Phase Extremes and Mainstreams Designing a solution that will work for everyone means talking to both extreme users and those squarely in the middle of your target audience. When recruiting people to Interview (p. 39), go after both the big broad mainstream and those on either extreme of the spectrum. An idea that suits an extreme user will nearly certainly work for the majority of others. And without understanding what people on the far reaches of your solution need, you’ll never arrive at answers that can work for everyone. More importantly, talking to people at the extreme end of your product or service can spark your creativity by exposing you to use cases, hacks, and design opportunities that you’d never have imagined. STEPS TIME 30-60 minutes 01 Extremes can fall on a number of spectrums and you’ll want variety. Maybe you’ll want to talk to someone who lives alone and someone who lives with a large extended family. Maybe you’ll want to talk to both the elderly and children. Each will offer a take on your project that can spur new thinking. DIFFICULTY Moderate WHAT YOU’LL NEED Pens, notebook PARTICIPANTS Design team, people you’re designing for Think about all the different people who might use your solution. 02 When you talk to an extreme, ask them how they would use your solution. Ask them if they use something similar now and how it does or does not suit their needs. 03 Select appropriate community contacts to help arrange meetings and individual Interviews. Make sure you’re talking to men and women. You might even stumble across an extreme user in another context and want to talk to them there. 04 Be sensitive to certain extremes when you Interview them. They may often be left out of discussions like these so make them feel welcome and let them know that their voices are critical to your research. 49 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design Extremes and Mainstreams Though extreme users can spur all kinds of new thinking, each specific project will dictate who you should talk to. There are certain factors you should always take into account, like gender, age, income level, and social status. But make sure that your particular challenge leads you to more nuanced extremes. If you’re working on delivering clean water, you’ll want to talk with people who have to travel especially long distances to get it, or perhaps people who used to seek clean water but have stopped. What constitutes an extreme user will vary, but your commitment to talking with them shouldn’t. 50 Methods: Inspiration Phase 51 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design Immersion There’s no better way to understand the people you’re designing for than by immersing yourself in their lives and communities. The Inspiration phase is dedicated to hearing the voices and understanding the lives of the people you’re designing for. The best route to gaining that understanding is to talk to them in person, where they live, work, and lead their lives. Once you’re in-context, there are lots of ways to observe the people you’re designing for. Spend a day shadowing them, have them walk you through how they make decisions, play fly on the wall and observe them as they cook, socialize, visit the doctor—whatever is relevant to your challenge. STEPS TIME Ideally a full week DIFFICULTY Hard WHAT YOU’LL NEED 01 to send team members into the field to spend time with the people you’re designing for. Try to organize a homestay if possible. 02 Once you’re there, observe as much as you can. It’s crucial to record exactly what you see and hear. It’s easy to interpret what’s in front of you before you’ve fully understood it, so be sure you’re taking down concrete details and quotes alongside your impressions. If you’re going into the field you’ll need travel and accommodation PARTICIPANTS Design team, people you’re designing for As you Create a Project Plan (p. 34), budget enough time and money 03 A great Immersion technique is to shadow a person you’re designing for a day. Ask them all about their lives, how they make decisions, watch them socialize, work, and relax. 04 If you’ve got a shorter window for Immersion, you can still learn a lot by following someone for a few hours. Pay close attention to the person’s surroundings. You can learn a lot from them. 52 Methods: Inspiration Phase Analogous Inspiration To get a fresh perspective on your research, shift your focus to a new context. teams are often led by their intuition to take creative leaps. It may feel silly to visit an Apple store when you’re designing for those living in difficult circumstances, but you may unlock the key to a memorable customer experience or a compelling way to arrange products. Analogous settings can help you isolate elements of an experience, interaction, or product, and then apply them to whatever design challenge you’re working on. Besides, getting out from behind your desk and into a new situation is always a great way to spur creative thinking. STEPS TIME 30-60 minutes 01 DIFFICULTY Moderate 02 emotions you’re looking to research. Next to each one, write down a setting or situation where you might observe this activity, behavior, or emotion. For example, if the activity is “use a device at the same time every day,” parallel situations might be how people use alarm clocks. WHAT YOU’LL NEED Pens, paper, camera PARTICIPANTS Design team, contact in the analogous setting On a large sheet of paper, list the distinct activities, behaviors, and 03 Have the team vote on the site visits that they would like to observe for inspiration and arrange for an observation visit. 04 When you make your visit, pay close attention to what it is you want to understand, but remain open to all kinds of other inspiration. 53 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design METHOD IN ACTION Analogous Inspiration By the end of the project, the notion that visible community could drive adoption was a key piece of the research, and it wouldn’t have had the same depth if the design team hadn’t dug into other visible communities to understand what makes them tick. As the team’s research around visible community got deeper, they came to see that evidence of participation, public displays of identity, and support from the community were keys to a successful solution. As part of a three-month engagement to increase mobile money use in Ghana, partnered with Tigo, a telecommunications company, and the World Bank’s Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP). The design team’s goal was to help our partners improve their existing mobile tools enabling both increased customer activity and service adoption. Improving the reach of these tools among low-income communities would provide better access to formal money management opportunities and reach those who are typically unbanked. When you’re identifying analogous examples, try to drill down to your core insights. What characteristics are you exploring? Instead of trying to come up with one analogy to match everything that your design challenge encompasses, try thinking about it in terms of its components. During the Inspiration phase, the team started to hear a few ideas again and again. They realized that for unbanked Ghanaians, there was quite a bit of value for consumers in seeing a visible community of users of whatever product or service they designed. As the team delved deeper into what visible community meant, it sought analogous examples. By examining other visible communities, like Arsenal Football Club fans in England, Lyft drivers in the United States, and Catholics celebrating Ash Wednesday, the team fleshed out an insight that ultimately drove the design. 54 Methods: Inspiration Phase Arsenal Football Club fans (top), Catholics on Ash Wednesday (bottom right), and the American car service Lyft (bottom left) all provided Analogous Inspiration for a team working to understand visible communities. 55 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design 56 Methods: Inspiration Phase Card Sort This simple exercise will help you identify what’s most important to the people you’re designing for. A Card Sort is a quick and easy way to spark conversation about what matters most to people. By putting a deck of cards, each with a word or single image, in someone’s hands and then asking them to rank them in order of preference, you’ll gain huge insight into what really counts. You can also use the Card Sort exercise to start a deeper conversation about what a person values and why. STEPS TIME 30 minutes 01 Resources section on p. 168. If you’re making your own cards, use either a word or a picture on each card. Whatever you select, make sure that it’s easy to understand. Pictures are a better choice if the person doing the Card Sort speaks another language or cannot read. DIFFICULTY Easy WHAT YOU’LL NEED Premade cards on p. 168 or your own cards Make your own deck of cards or use the cards provided in the 02 When tailoring your deck of cards to your precise research objectives, be sure that you’re mixing concrete ideas with more abstract ones. You can learn a lot about how the person you’re designing for understands the world by making this exercise more than just a simple ranking. PARTICIPANTS Design team, person you’re designing for 03 Now give the cards to the person you’re designing for and ask her to sort them according to what’s most important. 04 There are a couple variations on this Method that work nicely: Instead of asking the person you’re designing for to rank the cards in order of preference, ask her to arrange them as she sees fit. The results might surprise you. Another tweak is to pose different scenarios. Ask the person you’re designing for how she would sort the cards if she had more money, if she were old, if she lived in a big city. 57 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design METHOD IN ACTION Card Sort track. The chicken analogy also gave the team language to use to help talk about the benefit of the light in a subsequent communications strategy. While working in India on a solar energy project with d.light, an design team set out to design the next generation of solar-powered lights for rural, low-income communities. To prompt people to think about their needs and experiences in a new way, the design team used an activity called Card Sort. Card Sorts can be done in a number of different ways, and in this case the team presented the community with a deck of cards showing all different types of animals. You can do a Card Sort with all kinds of cards, and you needn’t go as abstract as the animal cards if they don’t suit your needs. Try the sample cards in the Resources section on p. 168 to get started. And feel free to tailor the deck to your own needs. It may sound crazy at the outset, but the team came to a key insight shortly after it laid out the animal cards in front of a community member and then asked, “what animal does this solar light represent to you?” Time and again, the team found that people compared the solar lamp to a chicken or a cow. The team quickly realized that chickens and cows are considered great assets. Chickens keep producing eggs and cows keep producing milk long after you purchase them. Had community members compared the light to an eagle or snake, the team would have questioned whether it was the right product for the market. But by coming to see that people understood the value proposition of a solarpowered light, they knew they were on the right 58 Methods: Inspiration Phase By running a Card Sort, an team uncovered how this community in India thinks about solar lights. 59 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design Peers Observing Peers Get a glimpse into the community you’re designing for by seeing how they document their own lives. You’ll be talking to a lot of people as part of the Inspiration phase, but learning from the people you’re designing for can also mean empowering them to do some of the research themselves and then share back with you. You may also find that social and gender dynamics, or research around a sensitive subject, like sexual health for example, may limit how much the people you’re designing for are willing to tell you. By bringing the people you’re designing for in as partners in your research and giving them the tools to capture their own attitudes and hopes, you’ll learn more than you ever could on your own. STEPS TIME 2-4 hours 01 There are a number of ways you can get a person you’re designing for to observe and document her peers and community. Start by determining how you want to learn. It could be through Interviews (p. 39), photos, Collages (p. 61), Card Sorts (p. 57), etc. DIFFICULTY Moderate WHAT YOU’LL NEED Pens, paper, camera, art supplies 02 PARTICIPANTS Design team, person you’re designing for 03 Outfit the person you’re designing for with what she’ll need—a camera perhaps, art supplies, a notebook pen—and take her through the observation and reporting process. Offer support throughout the observation and reporting process. Make certain that she knows that there is no right answer and that you only want the honest opinions, hopes, and fears of the people she talks to. 04 When she’s done, collect what she’s produced, but also be sure to Interview her about how the process went. You’ll want more than just the facts, so be sure to find out what surprised or inspired her, how her opinions might have changed, and what she learned about her peers. 60 Methods: Inspiration Phase Collage Having the people you’re designing for make and explain a collage can help you understand their values and thought process. Making things is a fantastic way to think things through, one that we use at to unlock creativity and push ourselves to new and innovative places. Getting the people you’re designing for to make things can help you understand how they think, what they value, and may surface unexpected themes and needs. Collages are an easy, low-fidelity way to push people to make something tangible and then to explain what it means to them. STEPS TIME 30-60 minutes 01 DIFFICULTY Easy 02 Collage supplies with you. Give the people you’re designing for a prompt for their Collage. Perhaps you ask them to make a Collage that represents taking control of their lives, their dream jobs, or how they think about their families. WHAT YOU’LL NEED Pens, paper, glue, magazines PARTICIPANTS Design team, people you’re designing for When you meet the people you’re designing for, make sure you have 03 When they’re finished, ask them to describe the Collage, what the various elements represent, and how it speaks to the prompt. Not only will you have a visual record of your research, but you can use the Collage as a springboard to further conversation or to explore new areas in your research. 61 The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design METHOD IN ACTION Collage goes far beyond having access to modern medicine. They told the team that any product promoting better healthcare should consider what makes a healthy lifestyle, not just a trip to the doctor’s office. A team at was asked to help create a marketing strategy for a partner that sells health insurance through a mobile money platform in rural Nigeria. The team wanted to co-design the messaging with its audience, but worried that explaining the service could get confusing. Most of the audience had never heard of health insurance, much less mobile money. So the team decided to start with the most basic explanation and let the community help devise a campaign from there. And they did it through an incredibly simple research tool: a Collage. This mentality of holistic health applied to the messaging the team provided as well. In particular people were drawn to the phrase, “invest in your health and strengthen your community.” This was because “health insurance” had an entirely different connotation than it often does in the United States, instead of being perceived as coverage for worst-case scenarios, many people thought of it as a community health pool that an individual bought into, which everyone would eventually benefit from over time. This very conception of health ...
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Information Technology and Creative Thinking Module Response
In the past, I have helped businesses and other service rendering entities to thrive in their
activities through technological innovation and creative thinking. For instance, last year, I helped
a fitness website design some of its pages during its development. The general appearance of the
website plays a vital role in attracting customers. In the experience mentioned above, I used
human-centered design to develop the pages of the website. The human-centered design involves
helping a certain team to arrive at new solutions that are help...

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