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October 10, 2014 / cbkingston

Design Thinking and the USER model

A link to my PhD. (The USER model starts on page 45ish)

User: understand people in a way that you have empathy for them on three levels: cognitive, emotional, physical. Think of ways you can work WITH them as part of a democratic design thinking process.

System: you can’t really understand the User until you see how they fit within the context of the people, objects, roles/skills and laws around them. What factors directly or indirectly impact how they think, feel or do a certain activity?

Using the design thinking systems triangle simply helps you map out the context of the user in a way that helps you to discuss, debate and experiment with possibilities.

Establish: throughout the process you’ll start to draw conclusions about what needs to be done, ideally based on what Users need rather than based on you want them to do. At some point you need to decide what your focus is, based on a meaningful solution that you want to create. The Establish stage is the time for formalising your objectives.

Realise: With objectives and insight in mind, you then make your ideas as tangible as possible. Having a tangible idea enables you to interact with the idea in a physical way, that invites others to join in the discussion and solution as a team. This is different than talking about the idea, as you can’t hold, edit or add to an idea in a group as effectively. Think of this as the difference between having a map to discuss the best route to take as a team, versus someone describing the possible routes through words and trying to gain synthesis and understanding of the best routes to take. The Realise stage is about using/producing physical objects to lead/explore the team’s thinking.

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