How To Lead a Human Centered Design Workshop

An inside look at Design Kit: Prototyping Workshop

From Feb 7, 2017 – Mar 14, 2017 I ran the Emerge Interactive creative team through the “Design Kit: Prototyping Workshop,” a UX collaborative workshop created by IDEO.org in partnership with +Acumen.

 

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Top Image Credit:

Photo by Julian Pscheid

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IDEO.ORG  and  + ACUMEN LOGOS

» Course website: https://app.novoed.com/prototyping-2017-1

Overview

  • I highly recommend that you take at least one of the many courses that IDEO and +Acumen have put together. You will learn a lot about yourself and how you work in teams, also creative ways of collaborating together to reach a common goal.
  • This post will walk you through our experience and provide insights and takeaways we learned along the way!

The Curriculum

  • Practice the mindsets and methods of human-centered design
  • Produce tangible prototypes through early, rough prototypes
  • Experiment with the power of prototyping for products, services, and environments
  • Gain valuable feedback from the people you’re designing for
  • Demonstrate how the cycle of prototyping, feedback, and iteration leads to concept refinement

The Workload

Approximately 4 hours per week:
1 hour of individual reading
~3 hours of in-person group work

Design Kit curriculum


How the Course Works

  • Work with a group of 2–6 people referred to as your “design team”
  • Learn the prototyping process by applying it to a real-world design challenges
  • Explore the main concepts of prototyping through readings, case studies, and short videos
  • Get your hands dirty building prototypes and practicing other relevant human-centered design methods
  • Throughout the course interact and gain inspiration from design teams around the world also taking the course

 

 

Let's Dive In

What is Human Centered Design + Prototyping

  • Human-centered design is a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor-made to suit their needs.
  • Building prototypes gives you a chance to get your ideas out of your head and into the hands of the people you’re designing for. By getting feedback early and often, and continuing to improve your idea, you’ll be well on your way to getting useful ideas and solutions out in the world.

IDEATE - BUILD - TEST - REPEAT


The Warmup

  • Make Your Ideal Travel Kit (Rough and Rapid): 
  • Imagine you could travel anywhere. Think for a moment what you might need in your ideal travel kit for this trip. Now make a travel kit just for you and your trip.

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

Warm up - What We Created: The Beach - The Amazon Jungle - Treasure Hunt (Mexico)

Takeaway

Sometimes the hardest part of prototyping is moving from an early, emerging idea to that first step of giving it some shape. Get out of your comfort zone and accept that things will not be “perfect” the goal is to jump right into making things real and expressing the vision to others anyway you can.

Jump in the water’s fine!

Puddle jumping snafu


Course Structure Summarized

 

Timelapse Videos:

Video 1:

https://vimeo.com/203924337

Video 2:

https://vimeo.com/204281327

Video 3:

https://vimeo.com/205937798

Video 4:

https://vimeo.com/208341459

 

Time Lapse Videos

 

Step One: Focus on the User

Step 1: Hands On

Seed Ideas:

  • How might we improve health in everyday places?
  • All good prototypes start from an initial spark of an idea. In a full human-centered design process, you would take time in the Inspiration phase to understand your users up front and frame the opportunities through synthesis.

How might we improve health in everyday places?

Step 1 Takeaway

Focus on the User

Empathize and understand the needs of the user in order to identify the real problem or problems you’re solving.

Collaboration is Key

Step 2 Hands On

Brainstorm:

Include a wide variety of ideas that cover all types of design forms — products, services, and environments.
Remember these Brainstorming Rules:

  1. Defer Judgement
  2. Encourage Wild Ideas
  3. Build on the Ideas of Others
  4. Stay Focused on Topic
  5. One Conversation at a Time
  6. Be Visual
  7. Go for Quantity

Go For Quantity

Step 2 Takeaway

Collaboration is Key

Collaborate; not only to ensure the project’s success, but to strengthen and align everyone towards solving the real problem for the user.

Make it Meaningful

Step 3 Hands On

Start with an Idea:

  • Survey the Ideas
  • Vote for the Most Innovative Idea
  • Vote for the Most Promising Idea
  • Count the Votes
  • Discuss With Your Team
  • Now Go Ahead and Pick One!

 

Step 3 Takeaway

Make it Meaningful

With every problem, there’s always a better solution. Research, ideate, prototype, gather feedback and keep ideating to find the most meaningful solution for every problem.

Failing Is Natural

Step 4 Hands On

Make It:

Now that you’ve got something to work with, let’s start building your idea! Remember, when first moving from an idea on paper to a physical prototype, it should be pretty rough and scrappy.
Use the objects identified below as a starting point to build your initial prototype, and feel free to add some more materials of your own.

Water Filter Cup Prototype

Step 4 Takeaway

Failing is Natural

Fall down and get back up; it’s all part of the process. In the end, it’s only going to make the experience better and your team stronger.

Design with Heart

Step 5 Hands On

Test and Get Feedback:

  • Invite Honesty and Stay Neutral
  • Introduce your prototype as a work in progress and make sure to present it in a neutral tone
  • Capture Feedback Learnings
  • Note both the positive and constructive comments as you test your prototype.
  • Ask Focused Questions
  • Follow up with more pointed questions, such as, “What’s most useful about this?”, “How much would you pay for it?”, “How often would you use it?”, or “What would make it this better?”

Banana keyboard gif

Step 5 Takeaway

Design with Heart

Trust your gut and always design with the user in mind. Consider every detail, every situation, and make a delightful experience that matters.

Keep On Refining

Step 6 Hands On

Iterate:

  • Elevate What’s Working
  • Once you’ve identified what people like most about your idea, make sure to leverage this knowledge.
  • Understand Why
  • When someone gives you feedback that they did or didn’t like something about your prototype, ask why?

iterate

Step 6 Takeaway

Keep on Refining

Test and gather feedback to gain insight on how users think and feel. Empathize and make any necessary refinements to the design.


6 DIGITAL DESIGN THINKING PRINCIPLES: 

FOCUS ON THE USER: Empathize and understand the needs of the user in order to identify the real problem you’re solving.
 
COLLABORATION IS KEY
: Remember the client is part of the team! Collaborate; not only to ensure the project’s success but to strengthen the client relationship and align everyone towards solving the real problem for the user.
 
MAKE IT MEANINGFUL: With every problem, there’s always a better solution. Research, ideate, prototype, gather feedback and keep ideating to find the most meaningful solution for every problem.
 
FAILING IS NATURAL: Fall down and get back up; it’s all part of the process. In the end, it’s only going to make the experience better and your team stronger. This is how innovation works. Iterate and innovate!
 
DESIGN WITH HEART: Trust your gut and always design with the user in mind. Consider every detail, every situation, and make it a delightful experience that matters. Oh, and don’t get married to your design…it may need a facelift.
 
KEEP ON REFINING: Test the completed design and gather more feedback to inform the users understanding and how they might think or feel. Empathize and make any necessary refinements to the design.
 
 

 
The End!
We are putting together another post where we will be diving into designing with Heart and soul. So be on the lookout for that at http://www.emergeinteractive.com/insights.

Thank you for reading! Feedback welcomed in the comments below!
 

Photo by Julian Pscheid

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