Let's put Design Thinking to Work, Shall We?
While Design Thinking rhetoric has become more widely used by companies and organizations in the last decade, the practical application of this mindset is far more complex.
On this page:
My Design Doing philosophy
Teaching & Training Materials
To differentiate one from all others as a true advocate and leader for customer-centricity, one needs to demonstrate the ability to actually execute Design Thinking in their everyday work
DESIGN THINKING vs. DOING
FROM DESIGN THINKING TO DESIGN DOING
As an Experience Designer & Strategist, I'm often approached by my teammates and clients with the question of "How can we ensure everyone uses Design Thinking to solution great ideas?"
The good thing is that it shows we are moving in the right direction — people and companies after a decade of trial and error recognize the importance of Design Thinking and have consistently witnessed the power of this process in generating innovations. The tricky part, however, remains to be how to make it second nature: Instead of viewing every Design Thinking effort as a "new project", how might we infuse it into our culture as a standard practice?
My answer to their question? Experiential Learning.
IT'S LIKE LEARNING HOW TO RIDE A BIKE
That's how I see one should go about learning how to use Design Thinking to bring value everyday. You can read articles or watch Youtube videos that teach you the step-by-step process of how to ride a bike. But until you actually get on a bike, start pedalling, and continue to practise, you will never be able to actually cycle.
Design Thinking, though represented as a structured way to problem-solving, is an inherently messy process with unstructured elements. Learn by doing can help bring the theories to life and empower learners to develop transferable skills that they can apply in their day-to-day innovations.
That is why I'm a strong proponent of Experiential Learning for Design Thinking. Once you have experienced the process and consistently apply the skills, anytime you Design Do will feel as easy and natural as taking your bike for a morning ride.
TEACHING DESIGN DOING
SO I BEGAN TEACHING DESIGN DOING
To help my teammates and clients create a culture of Design Thinking that self-sustains beyond formal interventions and permeate across organizational levels, I dedicated myself to teaching Design Doing. My goal is to develop materials and courses to equip learners with practical tools and methods so they can confidently design customer-centric solutions with greater business impact, and to help companies become truly customer-obsessed.
For example, I created a Design Thinking Playbook for a major pharmaceutical company for which I oversee all UX and Customer Experience (CX) efforts. The Playbook focuses not on the theories, but rather teaches how to assess the business challenge at hand and adapt foundational principles and resources to address the specific design intent.
Note. Certain components are blurred out for brand & client de-identification purposes.
In true Design Thinking fashion, I am always looking for ways to evolve the Playbook. Currently, apart from providing support and mentorship to the learners, I am also developing a curriculum that comprises of a crash course portal (think Masterclass!) using Airtable and Confluence as well as on-demand bootcamp-style training sessions. These efforts aim to help teams get started and continue to foster problem-solving, creative thinking, and collaboration skills to demonstrate customer-centricity.
DESIGN DOING CRASH COURSE
TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM TRAINING
Since Design Doing focuses on the application of human-centered design, I find it also important for our internal and client teams to be familiar with the technology platforms that we use every day to personalize communications, track data & performance, and iteratively improve through testing with real audiences.
Therefore, I'm currently collaborating with Adobe Experience Cloud (AEC) subject matter experts to design training modules, learning paths, and materials for learners to learn about Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), Adobe Campaign Classic (ACC), Adobe Analytics, and Adobe Target. The video on the right shows a training registration email I designed on MailChimp.