Suppose you are part of a thriving business and need to branch out and find that next big thing. Or say you want to change a behavior, like getting people...a lot of people...to use less energy in their homes. How would you go about it?
Design thinking is a powerful tool to tackle the unknown.
It’s a means of going on an expedition, without a map, without even knowing the destination, but with the confidence that you’ll end up somewhere great.
Let’s make it tangible with an example that captures the five key elements of design thinking. Daylight was given the challenge of getting kids in America to move more to help fight childhood obesity. The project started with an idea--provide kids with a digital music player that has a motion sensor, then give them rewards based on their activity.
But the big question was, would kids really use it? What could make the experience so compelling that they would use it long enough to see the health benefits.
Learn from people
We began by talking with kids. We spent time in their homes and schools, across the country. We listened to them share their motivations, habits, delights and frustrations.
The research included kids in the mainstream, but also incredibly active kids and the very sedentary. It turns out that those at the extremes are really good at giving a voice to problems that those in the middle might feel, but have a harder time putting their finger on.
We captured our observations on hundreds of post-it notes and laid them all out to make sense of what we learned.
Using informed intuition, we looked for patterns that pointed to opportunities.
Daniel said, “I get bored with solo video games, it’s the multiplayer ones that keep me coming back.” Meg said, “I don’t wear my ipod when I’m running because I want to talk to people.”
Define design principles
These quotes along with others, revealed one of the design principles that would help us get to a successful concept.
“Facilitate social interaction at all times”
Many such design principles emerged. Together, they formed the guideposts of an experience that we felt confident would resonate with kids.
We asked ourselves “How Might We” questions to bridge the gap from design principles to specific ideas and then quickly turned the best of them into rough prototypes.
Building physical devices out of simple cardboard and mocking up digital experiences with paper and pen allowed us to learn quickly.
With each prototype we tweaked and evolved the concept.
We brought digital and physical models to kids to listen and learn.
The concept evolved until we got to a compelling solution.
Where we ended up was not the original idea of a digital music player. It was instead a small activity monitor that kids could clip onto their clothes or slip into a pocket. It was a portal to an online world that allowed kids to share and celebrate their real-world accomplishments with each other and their families.
In a three month clinical trial, the impact was a 59% increase in physical activity.
Learn from people
Look for patterns
Define design principles
Whatever the challenge, design thinking is a powerful tool to reveal new ways of thinking and doing.
What in your world could benefit from design thinking?
You might also be interested in:
- smaply, our web-based tool to develop customer journey maps and stakeholder maps: smaply.com
- myServiceFellow, our mobile ethnography app and analysis software to collect customer journeys: myservicefellow.com
Pirata, working in partnership with Peak15, approached us to create a promotional animation for the launch of a new recruitment platform called ‘Krow’; to help explain the benefits of the tool and express some of the core beliefs of the brand.
One of the key objectives of the piece was to explain the sophistication of the platform in a easy to understand way, while also engaging users on an emotional level.
We were responsible for all storyboarding, music, design and animation.
A five minute animated short film, blending CG 3D and 2D drawn animation techniques, Meanwhile follows four people traversing a city, each lost in their own separate worlds, trapped in their memories, regrets and frustrations. Meanwhile uses bold colour schemes and fragments of narratives to examine empathy in urban insularity.
Winner Miglior Montaggio, La Guarimba Film Festival, Italy 2015
Winner Don Quijote Award for Best Animation, Galway Film Fleadh, Ireland 2015
Winner Best Student Film (Dušan Vukotić award), Animafest Zagreb, Croatia 2015
Winner Grand Prix Next Generation Brussels Short Film Festival, Belgium 2015
Winner Best Animation, Sehsüchte, Germany 2015
Winner Best Animation, The Smalls Film Festival, UK 2014
Winner Best British Animation, Anifest Canterbury, UK 2014
Winner Special Mention Animfest Athens, Greece 2015
Winner El Rey Award for Excellence in Animation, Barcelona Film Festival, Spain 2015
Adobe Design Achievement Awards Honorable Mention for Animation and Storytelling, 2015
Critics' Choice Selection Anifest Canterbury, UK 2014
Royal Television Society Award Nominated, UK 2015
McLaren Award Nominated, UK 2015
Official Selection The Smalls Film Festival, UK 2014
Official Selection Indie Cork Film Festival, Ireland 2014
Official Selection Anim'est Film Festival, Romania 2014
Official Selection Cinanima Film Festival, Portugal 2014
Official Selection London Short Film Festival, UK 2015
Official Selection British Shorts Film Festival, Germany 2015
Official Selection Ciné Privé Film Festival, Belgium 2015
Official Selection Landshuter Kurzfilmfestival, Germany 2015
Official Selection Flatpack Film Festival, UK 2015
Official Selection Monstra Film Festival, Portugal 2015
Official Selection Mecal Film Festival, Spain 2015
Official Selection Atlanta Film Festival, USA 2015
Official Selection Animfest Athens, Greece 2015
Official Selection Brussels Film Festival, Belgium 2015
Official Selection Festival du Cinéma européen Lille, France 2015
Official Selection Sehsüchte Film Festival, Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany 2015
Official Selection Friss Hús Film Festival, Hungary 2015
Official Selection Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival, Korea 2015
Official Selection Northwest Animation Festival, USA 2015
Official Selection Brooklyn Film Festival, USA 2015
Official Selection Edinburgh International Film Festival, UK 2015
Official Selection Anima Mundi Film Festival, Brazil 2015
Official Selection Maremetraggio ShorTS Film Festival, Italy 2015
Official Selection Galway Film Fleadh, Ireland 2015
Official Selection La Guarimba Film Festival, Italy 2015
Official Selection Rooftop Film Festival, New York, US 2015
Official Selection Anibar Animation Festival, Kosovo 2015
Official Selection Encounters Short Film Festival, UK 2015
Official Selection Aesthetica Short Film Festival, UK 2015
Official Selection Oregon International Film Festival, US 2015
Official Selection Red Rock Film Festival, US 2015
Official Selection Greenhorn Film Festival, UK 2015
Official Selection Manchester Animation Festival, UK 2015
Official Selection World Festival of Animated Film, Varna, Bulgaria 2015
Official Selection Wiz-Art Multexplosion, Ukraine 2015
Official Selection Mecal Chile Film Festival, Chile 2015
Official Selection Thessaloniki Animation Festival, Greece 2015
Score – Adam Cullen
Sound Design – Dan Larkin
Mix – Mike Wyeld
Lettering – Aoife Mooney
With the voices of: