Design Thinking for the Digital Workplace #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Title and Description: Design Thinking for the Digital Workplace

“Design” is a powerful word in modern business and a key element of a successful digital workplace (intranet). Design ensures that the right solutions are delivered and that they work in a simple and delightful way. “Design thinking” provides a toolbox of techniques for understanding needs, designing systems, and prototyping. This session explores these techniques and shows how they can be applied to the future of work.

Speaker: Rebecca Rodgers, Principal Consultant, Step Two

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2016 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Four streams of the digital workplace.  
    • Technology
    • Business
    • Design
    • People
  • Start with a deep understanding of the people you are serving. You can’t deliver effective solutions to people you haven’t actually met. You need to understand what they need, not just what they want.
  • How to research the people you are serving.
    • “retro” research methods don’t work
      • surveys
      • focus groups
    • modern field research does work:
      • one-on-one interviews: talking to them (at length)
        • ask them to tell you their stories – what is hard, what is easy, etc.
      • workplace observation: spending time with them as they work
      • co-designing with them
  • Emotions are critical. Explore the emotions that are behind the behaviors and actions of the people you seek to serve.
  • Be open. Channel your inner four-year-old — don’t start with judgment, start with inquiry.  Ask why, then ask why (many times) again.
  • Look for patterns. Expand your inquiry, look for confirming and conflicting data points from similarly situated people.
  • Capture what you learn. Document what they say, do, think and feel.
    • use quotations
    • use photographs
    • document their stories
  • Address the Fundamentals of Good User Experience.
    • Empathize — Start with needs
    • Define the problem
    • Card sorting — to understand how users group and label information
    • Create architecture using that card sorting, then test that architecture with more users. Can they navigate easily?
    • Ideate using all the rich research you have done — preferably put the results of that research on your walls — surround yourself with inspiration from your research.
    • Prototype – this is a manual process so get out from behind your computer, use your hands, use physical objects.
      • prototype with the user in mind
      • each prototype should answer a specific question
    • Test — repeatedly
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