The One Hour Design Challenge
Understanding the language, that we call Design or Design Thinking, is very important. The more fluent this language is spoken, the more you benefit from output the design process generates. We believe everyone can come up with good innovative ideas. Rather than telling our participants that in a lecture, we wanted to create an exercise so people really get to experience designing themselves and learn some of this language. We took the Wallet Project used by D-School as a starting point and altered it to create our version of the “One Hour Design Challenge (OHDC)”.
Are you ready to accept the challenge and be a designer?
Students from both the Minor Sustainable Leadership & Entrepreneurship at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and the Minor Responsible Innovation from the Universities of Leiden, Delft & Rotterdam accepted our challenge. Just as the original D-School exercise, we used the wallet as starting point for the students’ “One Hour Design Challenge”. The assignment consists of the following components: empathize, define, ideate, iterate, prototype, test, develop a business case, implement and evaluate. To start the “One Hour Design Challenge” the participants need a partner, a hand out of the OHDC tool and some art & craft supplies for building prototypes. The first step is gaining empathy, so we asked the participants to interview each other. Everyone needs to grab his/ her wallet to show his/her partner. This is a good exercise to get to know each other. They start asking each other questions like: Why did you buy this wallet? How do you use it and where do you keep it? What is in you wallet? The goal of interviewing is to really understand what your partner’s motivations & needs are. Creating a design challenge based on the insights gathered during the interviews is the next step. After this they create lots of ideas to for the design challenge and share these with their partner to get feedback. These ideas don’t need to be a new design of a wallet but can also be another solution for a need they found during the interviews. They use the feedback to work on one idea and they build a prototype for their partner to get feedback on the design one last time. Finally they will work on a marketing strategy by thinking of a target group, set a price and end the assignment by asking each other whether they would really want to purchase the end product for that price. Then the assignment is ended with an evaluation by answering the question:
Are you a designer?
These final steps are something we missed in D-School’s wallet challenge. Coming up with a design based on deep understanding is great but we missed the execution and business steps. So that is what we added to our one-hour challenge. The goal of the challenge is to give the participants a feel of how it is to really design something using the Human Centered Innovation steps in the same time it would take to explain them what the design/innovation process contains. Human Centered Innovation is about creating options and then validating those options by talking to the people that will be impacted by the things you do. The students where surprised about what they could accomplished in one hour. Although during the hour they felt like they didn’t have enough time and were still skeptic about their ability to design something. The challenge showed them that getting idea’s out of your head fast, by sketching, storytelling and prototyping, is an effective way to come up with solutions. Iterating along the way: taking one step back and two steps forward. Not being afraid of making mistakes and having to start all over again. Beside these students Jeroen also did the challenge with students from International Business & Innovation Studies at InHolland University. And with the whole AmIaDesigner team we also had teachers, managers and business people experience the “One Hour Design Challenge”.
If you also want to experience how it is to be a designer within an hour – send me (Juliette Hofstede) an email via firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Juliette Hofstede