Can you teach the basics of human-centred design and get participants to design a prototype in one hour?
Team4Learning - Lincoln invited us to rise to the challenge and deliver two one hour long workshops. Team4Learning is a two day international conference that takes place in a different part of the world each year. This year taking place in Lincoln on the 8th & 9th February 2019 the event was hosted by the Business (Team Entrepreneurship) students at Bishop Grosseteste University. The conference brought together members of the Tiimiakatemia Global Network, local and national businesses and educators from as far as Peru and many places in between. It featured a full day of speakers including Colin Jones, internationally acclaimed Senior Lecturer and Entrepreneur Educator from QUT, Australia and Jo Keeler, Senior Partner from Belbin Team Profile. The second day featured a workshops on a variety of subject including our own.
Human-centred design is a fairly large field of study, in fact the world of design thinking and innovation is infinite! When we practice human-centred design we break it down into smaller chucks; we look at how we build empathy with the person or group that might be using the product or service we're designing, we look at how we can work together collaboratively to ensure that they remain in the centre of the solution, we look at working with personas, storytelling, ideation, prototyping, and iteration to really get to the heart of the matter and make solutions that work. Normally individual parts of this process can take anywhere from 24 hours to a month, meaning that this process is at times quite lengthy.
Team4Learning - Lincoln's challenge to teach the basics of the process and get participants to come up with some meaningful solutions in only an hour was therefore a little daunting. Would work? Could we give enough information to participants who may not have worked with this methodology to get them going and still have enough time to prototype something meaningful? Could we explain the process in a meaningful way for those who's first language wasn't English?
Thanks to the use of some brilliant videos resources from IDEO.org and Don Norman we were able to introduce the key concepts of human-centred design fairly quickly - within 10 minutes to be exact. Prior to the workshops we'd created a persona design brief for the participants to work with as well as some additional information about the person's design needs.
There's a terrifying moment after we give out the brief where the room goes silent. Have we done enough? Did they understand? Is this all going to end horribly? Then, a collective sigh of relief as the room erupts in conversation and people start sketching, writing out ideas and grabbing materials to play with. After just 30 minutes we asked each group to present back their ideas to the room. Without giving too much away, each group across both workshops came up with some radically different ideas. Some common threads emerged around use of new and improved technologies as well as some really innovative use of materials.
We received some really positive feedback from those who participated, as well as some thoughts on how we could improve the process. Most of all, we're proud to say that of all the workshops offered on the day ours filled up first!
If you're interested to find out more about our human-centred process and practice, or even to find out about the kind of workshops we can offer you to help boost creativity and innovation then head over to our online booking page to have a chat with us.