Observe, guess, prototype, test, blog

So, last Friday, this happened:

You’ve been warned…

In class, we’ve continued to unwrap the tools and methods of design thinking, and to expand our understanding of how design thinking can make a difference – in impact-driven challenges as big as Open IDEO challenges and in smaller challenges like our Smart Bag challenge with Laura Ferrarello.

Laura introduced some innovation criteria that needs to be considered regardless of the size of the challenge (and which you must keep in mind for your businesses):

Social Environment: which is your social context? How does it relate to the area you are targeting?
Patterns: your guideline reference to understand existing conditions and how to challenge them
Available technology: which is the infrastructure that supports the existing product?
Manufacturing techniques: how it is currently produced? Which are the machines?
Costs of production
Social Impact: Networks. Products live in a specific meshed context


The most immediate objective of our Smart Bag challenge was to learn to observe, guess and test our ideas without spending too much time or money, and to communicate through prototyping. You need to implement this observe, guess, and test exercise in your business team meetings so it becomes a habit!

What Laura and I want to read on your blogs is a complete journey – from going out of the classroom to presenting and testing your prototype ideas in class.  As our example, we showed you what happened when I went out to talk to students about their shoes. We also asked you for a post with examples of quick and dirty prototypes – we will want to discuss these in class.

It makes a great difference to have something physical in your hands to use to communicate your ideas, and it was good to see you all enjoy the process.

The class was also a lesson in using Twitter to create buzz – remember this for your businesses and use the power of your class.

Having read your blogs, I know you are starting to realise that the key to design thinking process is to start by listening to and observing people no matter how big or small the challenge. Sakib recognises how difficult truly connecting with people is since observing people can be misinterpreted as creepy by the society, and Michelle explains why and how she decided to ‘face the inevitable – actually talking to people’.  Some of you embraced blogs wholeheartedly and I am truly enjoying your stories. No more spoilers so make sure you visit the following blogs: Fernando, Luke, Lee, Michelle, Pakornkrit, Sakib, Grace, and Aye (in no particular order…). I have and will be leaving comments so you know which way to go. You are welcome to leave us comments too. You know what to do.

We will be choosing a student blogger to write a guest blog post – a review of ‘Creative Confidence’ – for this blog next week. All fame, no pressure.

See you all Friday!

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