Peer Response Assignment: DUE Sept. 16th, 2018 at 23:00 military time!!!

Students are expected to actively participate in the in the forum discussion. A minimum of 2 substantive participation posts (175-250 words) is required to earn full participation points.

Guidelines for student forum discussion/participation:

· -Select a fellow student’s response and compare and contrast your thoughts with theirs;

· -Advance the conversation; provide a real-world application and experiential examples;

· -Conceptually discuss your key [most significant] learning insight or take-away from the selected forum topic comments.

· -Responses should be a minimum of 175-250 words, supported by at least one reference outside of the textbook, either supporting or refuting the position of the author of the forum topic response or peer response.

Discussion Forum Prompt: To build our collective understanding of the process and value of Design Thinking, this week is an article review and discussion.

Begin by researching Design Thinking and identify an article that provides insights as to how the process is begin used to solve problems or foster innovation. You are not required to use a peer reviewed article. Be careful to select an actual article in a publication, not just a blog or web post.

Post should be approximately 550 words.

“Review”  the article by providing the following:

· a brief overview of the content

· your analysis of the description or application of design thinking – ie.did it match your understanding of the concepts? did it assist you in understanding the use or steps in the process? Why or why not?

· identify what you feel is missing from the article – i.e. was it one sided, incomplete, lacking in analysis?

· Identify the author and publication and discuss your perception of the credibility of the source

· explain why others should read this article

Response #1

Overview of the article

The article that I’ve chosen to discuss is entitled “How to Lead a Design-Driven Organization” by Tim Brown. To begin with, Tim Brown is a Chief Executive Officer and President of IDEO – an international firm expert in design consulting. IDEO’s innovation process is powered by a Design Thinking methodology that is applied to tangible and intangible products.

Tim Brown believes that in the domain of business and organizational development, it is an apparent myth that leadership has to be top-down on its approach. A leader who believes that he has all the answers to the problem is delimiting the possibilities of its organization. More so, he believes that an autocratic leadership is outdated and that this are only applicable to the era where businesses are run people who are treated like machines with predictable outcomes.

Tim Brown proposes that an organization that believes and follows a design-driven approach requires a more unconventional way of leadership. Hence, he proposes four roles/stances:

1. The Explorer – A leader that asks the most relevant question that sets the company to find the right answer. Usually leaders in this situation asks big questions that normal employees and managers are ought to leave in the corner of the room.

2. The Gardener – A leader that cultivates a culture, an environment that fosters a principle or a value that sets the organization to ride a notion.

3. The Player/Coach – A leader that stays on the field with the colleague and maintains movement through engagement and collaboration.

4. The Storyteller – A leader who uses past experiences or stories that were driven by purpose, stripping away anything that does not matter in the organization and leaving what are beautiful and useful for the organization.

Tim Brown believes that an entrepreneur is a conjugation of these four roles of leaders and that he believes that these perfects the culture of design-driven organization. An entrepreneurial mindset is very important so as to arrive at an innovative culture that inherently puts resources to be used with ease.

Article link: https://designthinking.ideo.com/

Analysis

The Design Thinking is an activity that is completed by a 5-stage process namely: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. However, it explains that it does not only take a forward motion, but instead takes a circuitous journey where sometimes it requires several steps backwards. Earlier, when the concept is fresh, it was exclusively used by computer scientists. They thought that it is a science of way of thinking. It steadily evolved in the design community and was eventually used in many domains such as education and businesses, particularly organizational development and innovation. I think that while the article did not directly discussed design thinking and its epistemology, it did touches the very important principle of design thinking – that is the process is a culmination of leadership that does not only sets an organization through an autocratic power to be successful in new ways, but rather by the coherence of its resources mainly by its people, and that is will only be available to the organization if there is an entrepreneurial mindset. The reason why entrepreneurial mindset is important is because it operates under the delimited resources where it is driven by utilizing available resources, and pushes the stakeholders to their limits.

What is missing/lacking?

While the article plays an important role in introducing the principle of design thinking and that it presented various leadership roles, I think that as it continues, it detaches itself in the real concept of design thinking. This makes the article poorly valued when talking about design thinking because the notion itself is relatively new to the consumers of the idea or concept. Hence, it creates a vague understanding of the subject-matter.

Rather than being objective, it chooses to be more subjective and focuses itself in values of a person but failed to propose measures of how to become one.

The Author and Publication

The article is publicized in IDEO website – the same company that is briefly explained in the first paragraph of this discussion. The thoughts are originally from Tim Brown, the CEO and President of the IDEO design company. I believe that the design company is a legitimate expert of the design thinking approach and they are best in applying the method to create innovative processes, services and products both tangible and intangible. I also read that in order to do so, they establish a deeper understanding of the consumers and they base their design process on what is really relevant to them. That is what we called a market-driven approach of innovation. Tim Brown brought this article to the table of consumers not to understand the concept of design thinking but to illuminate its readers that there is a bigger possibility out there that is ought to be discovered. That we may not be doing our thinking process wrong, but we are inefficient in doing it.

Why should you read the article?

I think that the article is a great way to know where you are lacking. In critical thinking, it is best to always understand the problem. This article presents an introduction to the whole process of creative thinking in which in this manner, presented in a form of design thinking.

Response #2

This article illustrates the concept of design thinking, its phases, and the impact it can have on our ability, or lack thereof, to distinguish problems and find solutions. Design thinking, as noted in this article, is an iterative process in which one seeks to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems in an effort to detect alternative strategies and solutions that might not be determined in our traditional way of thinking (Dam and Siang, 2018).

This article, “What is Design Thinking and Why Is It So Popular,” helped me understand not only the meaning of the term, but also its phases, which can vary depending on the circumstances. These phases are not in any sequential order, but they do need to take place, in some way or another, for design thinking to be present. They are as follows: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test (Dam and Siang, 2018). Reading about and knowing which phases are required in design thinking has helped me understand design thinking on a deeper level. I not only know what it is, but more importantly, the specific components necessary to complete the thought process.

While the definition, phases, and illustrations imbedded in this article helped me to understand, on a deeper level, the concept of design thinking, I thought the article was missing the potential negative effects of this strategy and examples of where this might not be the most effective approach to follow. I understand that this thought process may always be applicable, but is it always the most effective? And if not, when?

However, with that, I believe this article is not only credible, but very insightful and informative. It is important for all employees, especially business leaders, to better understand the importance and impact design thinking or “outside-the-box” thinking can have on an organization. I understand most, if not all, business people are aware of this method of thinking, but I believe it is important to revisit and analyze the concept to better utilize its purpose – to define issues and reach solutions. Sometimes it is a matter of reading someone else’ story that triggers or ability to think and act more effectively. It is our responsibility to exercise this practice if we hope to be the best leader we are capable of being.

What I like about this article, and why I believe others should read it, is because it breaks a complex method of thinking down into five, simple, yet effective, phases. To me, this is one of, if not the most, important messages to exercise – in all aspects of life. So often, we believe to be the best we must be the most creative, the most innovative, and the most complex and we forget about how to get there – understanding and effectively performing the most basic and fundamental principles to the best of our ability. Doing so, in my opinion, turns small details and practices into large results and outcomes.

 

 

Resources

Dam, R., & Siang, T. (2018). Interaction Design Foundation. What is Design Thinking and Why is it so Popular? Retrieved from: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/what-is-design-thinking-and-why-is-it-so-popular

Response #3

Overview-

This week’s lesson and this article was the first time I have been exposed to design thinking.  I have been subjected to it before but never knew that it was called design thinking.  The article did a fantastic job of speaking on the history of how design thinking came about.  The article also did a great job explaining what design thinking is and how to implement it.  The article also laid out a few well illustrated charts that explained how the 6 steps are intertwined.

Analysis-

Like I said in the overview I never knew what design thinking was.  Now that I know exactly what it is the concepts are clear.  This article did a phenomenal job of really walking through the process.  Gibbons pointed out that throughout history business have traditionally applied human-centric process when it comes to products.  Things like making the packaging prettier.  However, for this approach to be adopted across large organizations, it needed to be standardized. Cue design thinking, a formalized framework of applying the creative design process to traditional business problems.

I loved how the article also laid out the 3 steps in the framework being understand, explore, and materialize.  The author then explained how the 6 steps fall under the 3 framework steps.  Those 6 are: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test, and implement.  Where the author really makes her money is she takes the time to explain out in detail how each step is done and how it nests with other steps.  When you see a list of steps you think you do them in order, one time, and you get the results you desire.  However, with design thinking it’s not uncommon to run through the steps, then have to go back a step or two to refine your ideas and plans.  The author does a great job explaining the “why” for design thinking, the main one being “It leverages collective expertise and establishes a shared language and buy-in amongst your team.”  The key takeaway from this article for me is that you just have to be flexible.  Design thinking allows for multiple ideas and multiple trips through the completion matrix.  Most likely your first idea won’t be your finished product.  Being able to take input from others and use it constructively will only empower the group and create a better product.

Lacking

The only thing that I’d say that was lacking is a practical example.  The author used a great example of human-centric thinking.  However, she left out a design thinking example.  I think a success story of using this model would really have capped off this article.

Author and Article-

This article is titled Decision Thinking 101 and it was written by Sarah Gibbons.  It was published on the Nielsen Norman Group (NNG) website.  NNG is known as a world leader in research- based user experience’s.  The company is headed by JakobNeilsen, Don Norman, and Bruce Tognazzini.  Bruce is well known for being the first human interface designer at Apple.

Sarah Gibbons is the Nielsen Norman Group’s Chief Designer. She has a background in design thinking, she works at the intersection of design strategy and user experience design.  Prior to joining Nielsen Norman Group, she worked at IBM.  At IBM, she served as the Mobile Lead for Project Toscana, now Watson Workplace.

I think it’s clear that Sarah and NNG form the perfect partnership to talk about design thinking.

Why should you read this article

If you are anything like me and had no idea what design thinking was before this week in the course, this article provides a very clear yet not overly in-depth look at design thinking.  It is written in a very clear and flowing format with fantastic visual aids.  You can spend 5 minutes reading and studying this article or 4 minutes reading out of a text book and I bet you come up with very similar results.

 

Resources

Gibbons, S. (2016, July 31). Design Thinking 101. In Nielsen Norman Group. Retrieved September 24, 2018, fromhttps://www.nngroup.com/articles/design-thinking

Response #4

How the team designs holistic experiences for music listeners and creators

I choose the article about Spotify as my article review. Spotify’s office is located on the third and seventh floors of a building in the Flatiron District of Manhattan. I am going to be talking about how Spotify uses design thinking process to reach its audience. With over 100 million users worldwide, the product has reached a music streaming milestone. Spotify’s mission has been to give people access to all of the music they want, all the time in a legal and accessible way.

Spotify is made up of different tribes, alliances, and C.R.E.A.M as they called them in the article. A tribe is made up of several squads who are all working on related products within Spotify. An alliance is made up of tribes who are working towards the same broader goal.  The C.R.E.A.M tribe works on projects that range from exploring new ad formats to automating ad delivery, and converting free users to paid ones. All these tribe’s falls under the Revenue alliance, which is responsible for all products that maximize the revenue potential of Spotify.

Before a squad starts working on something they’ll work with Product Insights to determine what they already know about the area of the product. Researchers and data analysts work to provide a mix of both depth and reach when it comes to Product Insights. Being embedded into squads give the Product Insights team an idea of what they should solve for, and helps the team balance between being proactive and reactive.

Analysis: Yes, this article meet the concepts that I understand. Spotify used a pretty standard product development cycle process, which had four steps or stages. Think it- where you are basically exploring a lot of ideas, picking a direction and then going in it. Build it– before you were really rolling up your sleeves and actually making things, now you actually have the intent to have this product launch out to real customers. Shipping it-this is when it is actually going to real users and they usually start with a small percent to make sure they are not screwing anything up. Tweak it– fixing issues that come up and optimizing it even further.

Identify: What I feel that was missing from the article was they did mention some of the artist that they were working with to get the music to the consumers and music listeners. It would have been nice to hear how they feel about Spotify helping them get their music to users in the world. Spotify is dealing with a two-sided marketplace: both music listeners and the artists who create the music.

Identify Author: Amandah Wood is the author of this article and it was published year of 2016. She is the founder and editor of Ways We Work. Amandah went straight to the source so her credibility is good. She went to New York City where the Spotify office is located in the Flatiron District of Manhattan. Amandah interview Sally, Brent, Doug, and Daniel who are all product designers under the C.R.E.A.M tribe and they explained to her what exactly alliances, tribes, and squads are, and how they frame everything at Spotify. She was told that Spotify works in cross-disciplinary teams that focus on a specific feature, which means that squads are made up of varying combinations of engineers, designers, and product owners. Others should read this article because it identifies the layout on how Spotify determine what songs and what artists they play and they really research on what their consumers and music listeners what to hear. In my personal opinion I think Spotify is better than Apple Music. Spotify has been around longer than Apple Music and Spotify in my opinion is better overall when it comes to listening the music.

Reference

Wood, Amandah (2016) Spotify How the team designs holistic experiences for music listeners and creators. Retrieved from http://wayswework.io/features/spotify-how-the-team-designs-holistic-experiences-for-music-listeners-and-creators?utm_source=mybridge&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=read_more

Bottom of Form

Response #5

The article I reviewed was by Cahyadi and Prananto, titled “Reflecting Design Thinking: A Case Study of the Process of Designing Dashboards.”  This piece discussed how important it was for organizations to use dashboards to monitor performance easily and efficiently (Cahyadi & Prananto, 2015).  This concept is not to be confused with vehicle dashboards.  It is a concept that businesses use to run smoothly.  The article states, “dashboards aggregate all the information throughout an organization and assemble it into a single display” (Cahyadi & Prananto, 2015, p. 288).

This case study used design thinking similarly to what my understanding of the concept is.  The authors discussed the importance of gaining empathy.  This allowed them to truly understand the need of the user.  From there, the researchers developed a problem statement which clearly defined what they needed to study.  When it came to creating ideas, the researchers discussed how important it was to leave room for multiple possibilities (Cahyadi & Prananto, 2015.)   For these three steps, the article did a good job at explaining how the researchers used design theory to create a solution. These steps matched my understanding of the concept and allowed me to gain a better understanding of design thinking through a real world example.

In my opinion, the article was missing some important steps in the design thinking process.  It failed to provide prototypes, testing, and iteration.  I was hoping that the researchers were going to discuss the various prototypes they used in reaching their solution.  There was some discussion regarding testing different designs of dashboards but I felt the article lacked in this aspect.  The article also indicated that these findings were only from one case study.  In design thinking, it is important to iterate a study many times in order to truly attain the best solution.

The article was written by Amelia Cahyadi and Adi Prananto and published in the Journal of Systems and Information Technology; Bingley.  I conclude that this article is credible due to it being published by a reputable business journal.  The information was relevant since it was published in 2015.  Using relevant data is very important.  The authors also cited their sources from other journal articles and researchers which gave me the impression they had done their own research on the matter before writing the article.

Others should read this article because it did a good job at applying design thinking to a real world business example.  While it may have lacked in some aspects, it gave me a better understanding of what the steps in design thinking are.  I believe the article was more focused on gaining an understanding of empathy and developing a problem statement than developing prototypes and testing.  That being said, these initial steps are important to grasp an understanding of; someone who needs a better understanding on these steps can gain clarity through this article.

References

Cahyadi, A., & Prananto, A. (2015). Reflecting design thinking: A case study of the process of designing dashboards. Journal of Systems and Information Technology, 17(3), 286-306. http://dx.doi.org.proxy.davenport.edu/10.1108/JSIT-03-2015-0018

Response #6

The article I read was ‘What is Design Thinking and Why Is it Popular’ by Rikke Dam and Teo Siang. The literature focused on the fact that design thinking is essential for problem-solving. By definition design thinking is “an innovative problem-solving process rooted in a set of skills” (Dam, R., & Siang, T. (2018)). Designing thinking has been around for decades and over the years has helped to expand the human mind where it has been applied to developing new products and services, as well as solving various ranges of problems. For example, design thinking was used to create the Airbnb operations.

The literature goes into the steps that are involved (at high levels) in the design thinking process:

· Step 1- Fully understanding the problem at hand.

· Step 2- Exploring various ways in which the problem can be solved.

· Step 3- iterate extensively through prototyping and testing

· Step 4- Implement through the customary deployment mechanism.

The skill set that comes with each of these steps as stated by Dam and Siang help people apply creativity to effectively solve real-world problems better than they otherwise would. These steps can be learned but do take a bit of work and effort. For example, when one is trying to understand a problem, setting aside your own idea of what it should be is very important, and as we all know this can be very hard at times. Going back to our week one discussion, creative brainstorming is needed to help develop possible solutions. However, studies show that a lot of people are unable to do this very well, which is why it is important (in a business) to brainstorm in a group setting. This helps those that are struggling to get creative unlock themselves and set aside their own biases. Also, throughout this process, it is critical to engage in modeling, analysis, prototyping, and testing. Remember the main point of all of this is to also learn.

The article also talked about the problems we may face when we approach creative (design) thinking from what we already know and patterns in which we make have developed. Pattern thinking is used when facing similar situations, it makes for quick and decisive actions. It, however, can potentially prevent us from quickly accessing or developing new ways of seeing or understanding how to solve a problem.

One important topic that the literature did touch on was that design thinking is often referred as out of the box thinking, which as we all know applies to those who are attempting to create something fresh, new or never seen before. Design thinking is about improving upon what is already present or creating something new that is better than what is already present. So, it is always important for one to understand how the users will interact with the product and to do this one must analyze and understand the users. One way to think outside the box as the article states is to “falsify previous assumptions – i.e., to make it possible to prove whether they are valid or not” (Dam, R., & Siang, T. (2018)).

The main point the article attempted to make was that design thinking is a problem- solving approach which is specific to design. The process of design thinking counteracts human biases that prevent creativity while addressing the challenges typically faced in reaching superior solutions. By viewing an organization as collections of human beings who are motivated by varying perspectives and emotions, design thinking emphasizes engagement, dialogue, and learning.

 

Reference:

Dam, R., & Siang, T. (2018). What is Design Thinking and Why Is It So Popular? Retrieved from https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/what-is-design-thinking-and-why-is-it-so-popular.