3 Design Thinking Tools That Will Change Your Work

Design Thinking can help to create solutions at the sweet spot between business, technology and user. Particularly in the not-so-innovative corporate world it has been very successful and helped to kick-start many new projects. Still, everyday-work stays the mainly unchanged. And this although elements of Design Thinking can be used in all our day-jobs. I came across many helpful tools in my past Design Thinking projects and would like to share three of them with you: Something simple, something delightful and something radical.

#1 Something Simple: Idea Parking Lot

How often does it happen that you had a great idea, but never followed up? Feels like a billion times, right? As I got annoyed with myself because of this, I set up an idea parking lot next to my desk – a method I stole from Design Thinking. In this parking lot I put Post-Its with ideas, so they never get lost and are ready for use any time. A neat side-effect is by writing the idea down, your mind will not be occupied with that idea but instead you can focus on your actual work.

#2 Something Delightful: Sketchnotes

How often do you read your conference or meeting notes? Rarely, probably. This is because most of us write too much and as a result we don’t make use of the material we’ve gathered. As sowing without reaping doesn’t make sense, I started to use Sketchnotes. As the name suggests, its nothing more than drawing and sketching around your notes. By drawing banners, characters and speech-bubbles, the notes become much more appealing to use. Here is a nice tutorial showing you how to do it properly. Also, you process and think through better while listening, which helps to remember and understand things. Almost like in school, when you didn’t need the cheat sheet anymore after creating it.

#3 Something Radical (or not?!): Work with the Time

Calvin & Hobbes say creativity comes out best under time pressure. And Design Thinking research is confirming: Time pressure is forcing us to follow our intuition and be more creative. Thus, when discovering a new topic or generating ideas, being in intuition-led explorer mode can help a lot. Take a Time Timer, set way too little time and force multiple teams to present results afterwards. This will boost creativity. Guaranteed. However, at some point all results of creativity need to be filtered. For this the insight-led decision mode is more helpful. Taking your time, carefully checking for technological feasibility and economical viability will ensure success. Managers being clear about what they need and the appropriately using time pressure will benefit from better business results.

Photo Credits: thisiscolossal.com

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