A glimpse of my approach

And it's definitely not a linear process

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Design thinking is a user-focused and action-oriented process used for innovation and to solve complex problems. It can be applied to many disciplines outside of design, and I am especially passionate about using it for user experience, event planning and brand strategy. The design thinking process used at Stanford's d.school consists of five steps: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test. After a few years of design experience, I have constructed my own version of a design thinking toolbox that works best for me.

 

1. FRAME | SETTING THE STAGE

TEAM BUILDING 團隊建立   Team building is important before starting a project. It is not only about getting team members to know each other, but also to identify their strengths, weaknesses, passions, availability, values and roles. 

TEAM BUILDING 團隊建立

Team building is important before starting a project. It is not only about getting team members to know each other, but also to identify their strengths, weaknesses, passions, availability, values and roles. 

PROJECT BRIEF 項目摘要   Framing the design brief is as important as the design itself to make sure the team is working on a problem worth solving. A typical project brief includes critical deadlines and restrictions, budget, problem areas, research plans and methods, project goals and target users. A brief can also ensure all project stakeholders are on the same page throughout the design process. 

PROJECT BRIEF 項目摘要

Framing the design brief is as important as the design itself to make sure the team is working on a problem worth solving. A typical project brief includes critical deadlines and restrictions, budget, problem areas, research plans and methods, project goals and target users. A brief can also ensure all project stakeholders are on the same page throughout the design process. 

RETRO-PLANNING 項目時間規劃   Retro-planning is a schedule that is built up starting from the last step, or end date, of the project. It usually includes important deadlines, milestones and action items to make sure the project is executed on time, and meets specific goals and criteria. 

RETRO-PLANNING 項目時間規劃

Retro-planning is a schedule that is built up starting from the last step, or end date, of the project. It usually includes important deadlines, milestones and action items to make sure the project is executed on time, and meets specific goals and criteria. 

2. LEARN | GETTING INSPIRED

DESK RESEARCH 桌上研究

Desk research allows the team to learn quickly from existing publications, blog posts, social media, news and more. It is a great tool to utilize when the project has a tight timeline, or when triangulation is needed for primary research data.

SURVEY 問卷調查   Survey is one of the most common tools used to gather first-hand information and feedback from real users. A survey can be used not only at the beginning of the research phase, but also at a later stage for more specific information.

SURVEY 問卷調查

Survey is one of the most common tools used to gather first-hand information and feedback from real users. A survey can be used not only at the beginning of the research phase, but also at a later stage for more specific information.

INTERVIEW 訪談   While a survey provides responses from real users, it doesn't allow follow-up questions for qualitative research like an interview does, where the questions are tailored specifically to the target interviewee.

INTERVIEW 訪談

While a survey provides responses from real users, it doesn't allow follow-up questions for qualitative research like an interview does, where the questions are tailored specifically to the target interviewee.

WINE & DINE 團體訪談   Wine & Dine is a casual version of a focus group. It offers approachable and comfortable environments to the participants, similar to a social event, allowing them to speak more freely, and have the opportunities to collaborate with each other.

WINE & DINE 團體訪談

Wine & Dine is a casual version of a focus group. It offers approachable and comfortable environments to the participants, similar to a social event, allowing them to speak more freely, and have the opportunities to collaborate with each other.

IMMERSION 同理心應用研究   Immersion is an empathetic research method that allows researchers to not only understand the users, but also to feel their emotions by going through their daily lives and doing certain activities over a period of time. Immersion helps discover unmet needs and hidden design opportunities.  Here  is an example of immersion.

IMMERSION 同理心應用研究

Immersion is an empathetic research method that allows researchers to not only understand the users, but also to feel their emotions by going through their daily lives and doing certain activities over a period of time. Immersion helps discover unmet needs and hidden design opportunities. Here is an example of immersion.

BEHAVIORAL MAP 使用者行為圖   A behavioral map shows people's behavior at a certain space over a period of time. The tracking focuses on either a particular spot, or a specific individual.  It allows researchers to identify repeating behaviors within a given environement. 

BEHAVIORAL MAP 使用者行為圖

A behavioral map shows people's behavior at a certain space over a period of time. The tracking focuses on either a particular spot, or a specific individual.  It allows researchers to identify repeating behaviors within a given environement. 

USER JOURNEY MAP 使用者旅程體驗圖   In order to deliver great customer experiences, we first need to understand their emotions when using a given service. A user journey map visually displays each step a customer takes to do a certain activity and their emotions. It helps designers identify their users' pain points for design opportunities.

USER JOURNEY MAP 使用者旅程體驗圖

In order to deliver great customer experiences, we first need to understand their emotions when using a given service. A user journey map visually displays each step a customer takes to do a certain activity and their emotions. It helps designers identify their users' pain points for design opportunities.

BENCHMARKING 標竿分析   Benchmarking compares an organization, product or service with its competitors or peers to analyze its current state and understand its strengths and weaknesses.

BENCHMARKING 標竿分析

Benchmarking compares an organization, product or service with its competitors or peers to analyze its current state and understand its strengths and weaknesses.

OBSERVATION 觀察   Users don't always know what they want, need or do. Observation allows researchers to discover those insights by looking at their behaviors.

OBSERVATION 觀察

Users don't always know what they want, need or do. Observation allows researchers to discover those insights by looking at their behaviors.

ECOSYSTEM MAP 商業生態系統圖   An ecosystem map shows the core and direct stakeholders, as well as influencers of a subject or organization. Usually a map is visually divided into three categories: places, people and industries.  Here  is an example of an ecosystem map.

ECOSYSTEM MAP 商業生態系統圖

An ecosystem map shows the core and direct stakeholders, as well as influencers of a subject or organization. Usually a map is visually divided into three categories: places, people and industries. Here is an example of an ecosystem map.

PERSONA 使用者角色分析   A persona combines personalities of different users, creating a realistic representation of the target user segments for reference throughout the design process. These representations include personal background, interests, daily routines and more. This information should be based on both qualitative and quantitative user research data.

PERSONA 使用者角色分析

A persona combines personalities of different users, creating a realistic representation of the target user segments for reference throughout the design process. These representations include personal background, interests, daily routines and more. This information should be based on both qualitative and quantitative user research data.

3. IDEATE | CONNECTING DOTS

CO-CREATION 共同創造   Co-creation workshops bring different parties, usually the users or customers, together and brainstorm for new ideas. This is to ensure the ideas are mutually valuable to not only the designers, but also the target users.

CO-CREATION 共同創造

Co-creation workshops bring different parties, usually the users or customers, together and brainstorm for new ideas. This is to ensure the ideas are mutually valuable to not only the designers, but also the target users.

CONCEPT MAP 概念圖

A concept map visually represents the relationships between research data and/or concepts to help designers make sense of the information. This tool is especially helpful during research synthesis and preparing for concept generation.

RELATED WORLDS 相關產業靈感激發   Drawing inspiration from other industries, services, products and movements can sometimes solve a problem more efficiently without reinventing the wheel. It allows designers to think outside the box and provides them new perspectives to a subject matter. 

RELATED WORLDS 相關產業靈感激發

Drawing inspiration from other industries, services, products and movements can sometimes solve a problem more efficiently without reinventing the wheel. It allows designers to think outside the box and provides them new perspectives to a subject matter. 

IDEAS MASH-UP 概念混搭   Framing the right topic to brainstorm on is as important as the brainstorming process itself. Ideas mash-up is a great tool to generate a brainstorming topic that forces designers to combine a few unrelated ideas and think outside the box to form new concepts. 

IDEAS MASH-UP 概念混搭

Framing the right topic to brainstorm on is as important as the brainstorming process itself. Ideas mash-up is a great tool to generate a brainstorming topic that forces designers to combine a few unrelated ideas and think outside the box to form new concepts. 

USER EXPERIENCE MAP 使用者體驗圖   A user experience map is similar to a user journey map, documenting a user's potential emotions and experience of using a new service. This tool is usually utilized to look at a rough idea from different angles, and refine it to a more elaborate concept.  Here  is an example of a user experience map.

USER EXPERIENCE MAP 使用者體驗圖

A user experience map is similar to a user journey map, documenting a user's potential emotions and experience of using a new service. This tool is usually utilized to look at a rough idea from different angles, and refine it to a more elaborate concept. Here is an example of a user experience map.

SERVICE BLUEPRINT 服務藍圖   A service blueprint is the opposite of a user experience map, documenting the necessary back stage actions to provide the proper service to its users. Sometimes, implemnting a simple customer touch point can require very complex back-end work.

SERVICE BLUEPRINT 服務藍圖

A service blueprint is the opposite of a user experience map, documenting the necessary back stage actions to provide the proper service to its users. Sometimes, implemnting a simple customer touch point can require very complex back-end work.

THE GOLDEN CIRCLE 黃金圈   The golden circle was first introduced by  Simon Sinek  in 2009, showing how leaders and organizations can inspire others and drive change by starting with why instead of what. It can be a great tool to refine a concept and make sure it solves a problem with purpose. 

THE GOLDEN CIRCLE 黃金圈

The golden circle was first introduced by Simon Sinek in 2009, showing how leaders and organizations can inspire others and drive change by starting with why instead of what. It can be a great tool to refine a concept and make sure it solves a problem with purpose. 

STARGAZING 星象圖   Stargazing helps select concepts to move forward with for prototyping. Designers first write down the most important goals for the project, such as its impact, scalability, consumer need and more, then evaluate each concept and check if it hits the desire target.

STARGAZING 星象圖

Stargazing helps select concepts to move forward with for prototyping. Designers first write down the most important goals for the project, such as its impact, scalability, consumer need and more, then evaluate each concept and check if it hits the desire target.

4. BUILD | TESTING & REFINING

2D/3D PROTOTYPE 平面/立體模型   2D/3D prototype is the most common way to mock-up an idea for a physical product or user interface. These prototypes can be created by hand or digitally, such as laser cutting and 3D printing.  Here  is an example of a 2D/3D prototype.

2D/3D PROTOTYPE 平面/立體模型

2D/3D prototype is the most common way to mock-up an idea for a physical product or user interface. These prototypes can be created by hand or digitally, such as laser cutting and 3D printing. Here is an example of a 2D/3D prototype.

4D PROTOTYPE 4D空間體驗   Some designs require 4D prototypes to represent the intangible elements within a physical space, such as services, experiences and human interactions. A 4D prototype can be created with a low budget by utilizing simple tools like foamcore, color tape, monitors and projectors.  Here  is an example of a 4D prototype.

4D PROTOTYPE 4D空間體驗

Some designs require 4D prototypes to represent the intangible elements within a physical space, such as services, experiences and human interactions. A 4D prototype can be created with a low budget by utilizing simple tools like foamcore, color tape, monitors and projectors. Here is an example of a 4D prototype.

STORYBOARD 故事  板   Storyboard is also a great tool to represent an experience of a service. By crafting a story of how a specific user interacts with the service, it provides a general description of the service.  Here  is an example of a storyboard.

STORYBOARD 故事

Storyboard is also a great tool to represent an experience of a service. By crafting a story of how a specific user interacts with the service, it provides a general description of the service. Here is an example of a storyboard.

ROLE-PLAY 角色扮演   Role-playing is a quick and easy way to explain an idea by acting it out. This method allows designers to collect feedback quickly, and with the flexibility to "re-act" the idea with modifications on the fly.

ROLE-PLAY 角色扮演

Role-playing is a quick and easy way to explain an idea by acting it out. This method allows designers to collect feedback quickly, and with the flexibility to "re-act" the idea with modifications on the fly.

PROTOTYPE TESTING 原型測試   Building a prototype of a concept is not enough without testing it with real users. Some research methods are used in combination with prototype testing to collect user feedback for concept refinement, such as interview, co-creation, observation and more.

PROTOTYPE TESTING 原型測試

Building a prototype of a concept is not enough without testing it with real users. Some research methods are used in combination with prototype testing to collect user feedback for concept refinement, such as interview, co-creation, observation and more.

 

5. IMPLEMENT | MAKING IT WORK

BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS 商業模式圖   Originally proposed by Alexander Osterwalder, Business Model Canvas is a template used for developing new or improving existing business models. It is rapidly being adopted globally, replacing the traditional lengthy business plans. The template consists of 9 building blocks, including unique value proposition, key partners, key activities, key resources, customer relationships, customer segments, channels, cost structure and revenue streams. This tool is especially useful during the implementation stage to help bring an idea to life.   Here  is an example of a Business Model Canvas.

BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS 商業模式圖

Originally proposed by Alexander Osterwalder, Business Model Canvas is a template used for developing new or improving existing business models. It is rapidly being adopted globally, replacing the traditional lengthy business plans. The template consists of 9 building blocks, including unique value proposition, key partners, key activities, key resources, customer relationships, customer segments, channels, cost structure and revenue streams. This tool is especially useful during the implementation stage to help bring an idea to life.  Here is an example of a Business Model Canvas.

PROPOSAL 企劃書   A proposal translates the important information from a Business Model Canvas to a clear and easy-to-understand presentation or document. It should be able to answer all questions stated in the initial project brief, and explain the why, what and how to achieve the project goals.

PROPOSAL 企劃書

A proposal translates the important information from a Business Model Canvas to a clear and easy-to-understand presentation or document. It should be able to answer all questions stated in the initial project brief, and explain the why, what and how to achieve the project goals.