FASTLearn Episode 2 – Design Thinking in Real-world Projects


Can you share examples of real-world projects where design thinking was successfully applied and how it impacted the outcome?


I can tell you about 2 specific instances that I used design thinking in my work as an educator. So, I recently ran a course on Futures Thinking and Wearable Technology Design and I used design thinking to understand what the gaps were in the teaching process that I had. So, I was applying that compass framework. And I found out that in my curricular design. The part that’s missing was teaching the students how to communicate their speculative designs. And because of that I was able to identify a gap. 

Another interesting example of design thinking for me has been in getting students to really expand the notion of what is possible. And I teach a course in UI/UX design, and one of the things that I realized is that when students often think about solving a problem, they don’t often think about the problem from the user’s point of view.

So, for example they might think of teenage pregnancy as a potential problem space. And often, the students were trying to design a solution around that might think, “Okay. So how do I teach teenagers to do this and how might I get them to do what I want.” and it was very parang full of perspective of the outside from the policy maker, from the parents, as opposed to trying to understand, “What are the gaps in the experience of the users?” and when you understand, you’re trying to address a gap in the experience of your end user as opposed to trying to make them do something.  Then, it parang reframes the question quite a bit. 

I’ll give you another example. So, in this course, in UI/UX design that I was teaching, one of the groups that I was mentoring, they were interested in helping small and medium enterprises become more green.  And by asking them to really consider the perspective of the end users they’re targeting. They were able to come up with a better question which was, how can we help connect small and medium enterprise owners to suppliers of renewable sustainable products. Because that’s what they actually need, they’re trying to find sources of renewable, sustainable products or materials to able to make them help their own, their businesses better.

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