DTBC Day 3: But it’s really about…

Last night around 8:30pm pacific time I walked through the Stanford quad and down Palm Drive with another coach from the d.school. We stopped at the edge of the oval to look back at the beauty of the campus. It sometimes seems that the temp is always 72F and the skies are continually sunny.

With the beauty of the campus as a backdrop, I kept coming to this phrase, “but it’s really about…” I want to spend sometime thinking what this week was really about, while introducing you to a new (and amazing) framework the d.school is using for storytelling.

As mentioned in the previous posts, we spent a couple hours of day 1 at SFO performing direct empathy interviews. This exposes deep user needs. Those needs propel us to explore several wild and potentially breakthrough solutions. We turn the ideas into something users can experience and interact with. Finally, we test with our users and iterate. This is design thinking in a paragraph.

Storytelling is a crucial element of design thinking, so the d.school has developed a framework to help guide us. Here’s the high level:

  • We met…
  • We were amazed to realize…
  • We created…
  • But it’s really about…

photo (4)

I love this last phrase so much. It communicates to me the idea of discovery and iteration. We had this great trip to the airport and we uncovered some deep needs. We then developed this amazing new service. We then tested it with users….that journey led us to realize that we had had missed, or that we hadn’t identified the correct need.

The design thinking process is all about getting to the “but it’s really about” moment. It’s so cool ideating, building and testing knowing those are just ingredients to determining the meta need and insight.

So back to Palm Drive…what was my “but it’s really about?” I had come back to the d.school to be stretched and to improve my skills as a design thinker – I did that (times 100!).

But it’s really about doing. It’s clear to me that my time at the d.school is only meant to be a blip when compared with a lifetime of doing. As mentioned above, the design thinking process is biased towards action. “The only way to do it, is to start doing it” – sign in the d.school.

As I leave the d.school, I feel more energized to make things, to spend time with users, to uncover deep needs. It was a great week and I feel incredibly blessed to be associated with the d.school!

 

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