In the last months I'm all about Design Sprints.
If you haven't read it already go straight to Amazon and buy Sprint by Jake Knapp.
A Design Sprint offers a transformative formula for testing ideas that works whether you’re at a startup or a large organization. Within five days, you’ll move from idea to prototype to decision, saving you and your team countless hours and countless dollars.
While I love setting up 5 days workshops with clients and collegues, it is incredibly difficult to find a bunch of people that are able to free up a whole working week in order to lock themselfs in a war room for a Design workshop.
In Jake Knapp's book, a Design Sprint must last at least 5 days in order to work efficiently. While I fully believe in this statement I also think that it's possible to start a design process with some Design Thinking "appetizers" workshops that can last just a few hours.
Recently we were asked to set-up a Design Thinking workshop for a company that required Rebranding. Given the confidentiality of the assignment I can't share too many details but at least I can list the activities that we did in our two hour workshop.
1. Setting up the stage
The ideal team size is 5-8 people. Larger teams should be split into smaller teams working on the same challenge or separate challenges depending on your desired deliverables.
So start by identifing key stakeholders in the company with mixed roles.
Obtain the following material (I'll explain later what to do with it):
- Value Proposition Canvas 1*1m Poster (Download PDF template)
- Brand Personality Spectrum Poster 1*1meter (Download PDF template)
- Color/Emotion table (Download PDF template)
- Empty Moodboard Template (Download PDF template)
- A lot of photos (Download them from unsplash.com)
- Many Post-Its
- Colored Dot stickers
- Paper sellotape
Set up the stage at least 40 minutes prior the workshop and prepare the room. Maybe to a trial Run if you have new collegues that have never attended a Design Thinking workshop, it is vital that everyone feels compfortable.
2. Introduction on Design Thinking and Emotional Design
After welcoming participants, and doing introductions, start by explaining what Design Thinking is. Keep it simple, explain how design thinking is a process—applicable to all walks of life—of creating new and innovative ideas and solving problems. It is not limited to a specific industry or area of expertise.
I usually like to share a personal story about Design, passion and emotion. It is important to share how emotions have a crucial role in the human ability to understand the world, and how they learn new things.
For example: aesthetically pleasing objects appear to the user to be more effective, by virtue of their sensual appeal. This is due to the affinity the user feels for an object that appeals to them, due to the formation of an emotional connection with the object.
Check Donald Norman's Ted Talk to better embrace this concept:
3. The Value Proposition Canvas
Created by Alexander Osterwalder, the canvas is a simple way to understand your customers needs, and design products and services they want. The Value Proposition zooms in on only two blocks: Value Proposition and Customer Segment, in order to describe them in more detail. It helps the entrepreneur to project in the best way the business Value Proposition to solve problems, difficulties and needs of customers.
The Value Proposition zooms in on only two blocks: Value Proposition and Customer Segment, in order to describe them in more detail. It helps the entrepreneur to project in the best way the business Value Proposition to solve problems, difficulties and needs of customers.
The Value Proposition Canvas is organized as follows :
Customer Jobs: In this box you gather all the customer needs, the problems that they are trying to solve and the tasks they are trying to perform or complete.
Customer Pains: In the box ‘Customer Pains’ you gather all the negative emotions and undesired costs, situations and risk which the customer could experience before, during and after getting the job is done.
Customer Gains: In the box ‘Customer Gains’ you gather all the customer’s benefits and desires, and may span personal, functional, or economical etc. For example, this box could include positive emotions, functional requirements, or specific cost savings.
Product & Services: In the box ‘Product & Services’ you list all the products and services which your value proposition is build around. This includes for example the services that you offer or the help the customer receives either a functional, social, or emotional.
Pain Relievers: In the box ‘Pain Relievers’ you describe how your products addresses the challenges needs and the pains of the customer, how you eliminate negative emotions, undesired costs or avoidable situations.
Gain Creators: In the box ‘Gain Creators’ you describe how your product creates customer gain, how it offers an added value to your customer.
Explain the team how the Value Proposition Canvas helps you to challenge, design, and build the company’s Value Proposition in a structured and thoughtful way. It is important to create empathy with the stakeholders, start by providing some examples and stay assured that the whole room will start sharing their own point of view.
4. Brand Personality Spectrum
I stumbled upon an interesting article on bigbrandsystem.com
It is a clever exercise that will help how to discover the company’s brand personality so you can use this style in all the marketing efforts you undertake in the future.
Ask to the stakeholders to place dots closest to wherever the company falls along the spectrum. Explain that the must not over think this, and mustn't be afraid to envision where they'd like the company to be, even if it’s not there now.
5. Real-time Moodboard definition
This is when the magic happens. In this exercise you will create together the high-level mood-board.
For each adjective of the Brand Personality Spectrum print 3-4 photographs (I usually select a total of 48 from unsplash.com).
For each row of the spectrum, place a cluster of the relative photographs and ask the stakeholders to place a dot sticker on one preferred photo for each group.
Place the photographs with the most “votes” on the moodboard template with paper sellotape (Download the template)
Show the following color/emotion matrix.
Colors are used to represent emotions; especially in advertising.
PAY ATTENTION: depending on the country, some colors have different meanings.
Based on the Brand Personality spectrum, select with the stakeholders two colours.
If you want to do one step further, print a selection of trending logos for inspiration and vote together the most interesting. I've found a wonderful article by Logo Lounge that can help you: https://www.logolounge.com/articles/2016-logo-trends
There you have it, you have concluded your Design Thinking Workshop.
Now you may go back to your studio and elaborate your findings in order to kickoff the whole redesign process.
As a designer you must understand that to be creative, you must follow a design a process.
There is no such thing as creating a logo design out of thin air or even imagining what a logo will look like without first understanding why the logo is needed.
Last but not least you will be able to create a strong empathy with your client allowing them to have a sneak peek on your design process.
Do you have any other interesting Design Thinking exercises that can be done in under 2 hours?