Are we solving the right problem?

Are we solving the right problem?

Increase member engagement using design thinking

Re-Define, Process and Synthsize

When you move from empathy work to drawing conclusions from that work, you need to process all the things you heard and saw in order to understand the big picture and grasp the takeaways of it all. Unpacking is a chance to start that process – sharing what you found with fellow designers and capturing the important parts in a visual form. Get all the information out of your head and onto a wall where you can start to make connections—post pictures of your user, post-its with quotes, maps of journeys or experiences—anything that captures impressions and information about your user. This is the beginning of the synthesis process, which leads into a ‘Define’ mode.

Insights don’t often just jump in your lap; rather they emerge from a process of synthesizing information to discover connections and patterns. In a word, the Define mode is sensemaking.

Why Connect?

The Define mode is critical to the design process because it results in your point-of-view (POV): the explicit expression of the problem you are striving to address. More importantly, your POV defines the RIGHT challenge to address, based on your new understanding of people and the problem space. It may seem counterintuitive, but crafting a more narrowly focused problem statement tends to yield both greater quantity and higher quality solutions when you are generating ideas. The Define mode is also an endeavor to synthesize your scattered findings into powerful insights. It is this synthesis of your empathy work that gives you the advantage that no one else has: discoveries that you can leverage to tackle the design challenge; that is, INSIGHT.

In the Define mode you determine the specific meaningful challenge to take on, and in the Ideate mode you focus on generating solutions to address that challenge. A well-scoped and articulated point-of-view will lead you into ideation in a very natural way. In fact, it is a great litmus test of your point-of-view to see if brainstorming topics fall out your POV.

A great transition step to take is to create a list of “How-Might-We . . .?” brainstorming topics that flow from your problem statement. These brainstorming topics typically are subsets of the entire problem, focusing on different aspects of the challenge. Then when you move into ideation you can select different topics, and try out a few to find the sweet spot of where the group can really churn out a large quantity of compelling ideas.

It is our responsibility, as design thinkers, to define the challenge we are taking on, based on what we have learned about your user and about the context

Connect With Us!

Do you have a project that could benefit from our Design Thinking approach? Call us at 703.451.8675 or contact us online

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