CHI14C15: Rapid Design Labs – A Tool to Turbocharge Design-Led Innovation

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Carola Fellenz Thompson  Splunk, Inc, San Francisco, CA, USA

Jim Nieters   Hewlett Packard, Palo Alto, CA, USA

We as researchers and User Experience (UX) designers want to identify and create products that change the world and therefore, we choose to engage in strategic research and design. In the real world though, coming up with a breakthrough idea or transformative design doesn’t mean it will automatically be accepted or get to market. By definition, innovative ideas represent new ways of thinking. Organizations by nature seem to have anti-innovation antibodies [1] that often kill new ideas [2] even disruptive innovations [3] that could help companies differentiate themselves from their competition. As difficult as coming up with a game-changing idea can be, getting an organization to act on the idea often seems impossible. Perhaps we find ourselves in work routines that do not provide space to think differently. Our experience is that practitioners and academics alike need new tools to meet this challenge-tools that empower UX teams in both business and universities to identify transformative new ideas, and then to get these big ideas and designs accepted. This course proposes rapid design labs-a design-led, facilitative, cross-functional, iterative approach to innovation that aligns organizations and generates value at each step. It provides tools and methods that turn attendees into catalysts, who systemically identify new ideas, and align multi-disciplinary teams around their ideas. Attendees learn how to lead workshops that foster ideation, collaboration, trust, and free expression. These workshops enable intensive brainstorming, purposeful play, design, user testing, and rapid prototyping. Learn how innovative companies and universities, such as Splunk, Deutsche Telekom Laboratories, the Berlin Technical University, Yahoo!, Mindjet, zSpace, HP, and more identify, design, and bring great products to market.

  • IDEO
    • Overlap skillsets, 4 days, 20-40 people 4-6 prototypes, 3 usability sessions
    • Day 1: Innovation Promise Pyramid
    • Day 2: 3 Design Concepts from Everyone
    • Day 3: Design Validation / Redesign
    • Day 4: Merge Best Ideas into One Design
  • Winning an argument is less important than coming to a solution – John Maeda
    • Day 1: Download, then consensus, idenfity problem statement and user workflow
      • Product Promise Pyramid: Pian Points -> Product Goals -> UI Promise
    • Day 2: Teams design
      • Sketch
    • Day 3: Refine
    • Day 4: Test
    • Day 5: Roadmap
    • Day 6: Digitize
  • Design Lab
    • Day 1: Understand the problem
    • Day 2: Brainstorm solutions (divergent thinking)
    • Day 3: Create design concepts (convergent thinking)
    • Day 4: Prototype, validate solution with users & refine
    • Day 5: Align around solutions and create action plans
  • Which best describes you?
    • Analytic: Value facts over opinions, waits to speak until facts are in cool, independent
    • Driving: Focused on task completion, care about results first, efficient, focused on productivity
    • Amiable: People-oriented, care about relationships first, warm, friendly, cooperative, look for consensus, trusts opinion
    • Expressive: Thinks while speaking, shares ideas to think them through, excited about the next big idea
  • Quick do’s Brian-storming rules
    • Quantity over quality
    • Non censoring
    • Be creative
    • Get everyone in on the process
    • Try to build on one another
    • Take risks and reward risk-taking

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