My Favorite Toy and Design Thinking

My favorite toy as a child was a broken single reflex camera. It served as everything from my Star Trek tricorder to a spaceship for my little toy men.

My parents would have never guessed it. I wouldn’t have guessed it either.

But if my parents had observed my play and asked me a few questions about how I played and what I liked… they may have anticipated what my ideal toy would be. And if they ran some experiments – made a few prototype toys and tested them with me – they would have nailed it. They would have discovered a toy that I didn’t even know that I wanted!

That is Design Thinking.

Observe your customers using your products and services where they use them. Ask them questions about what they are doing (and why). You learn so much from this.

Based on what you learned, get a bunch of right people in the room and brainstorm how to make your products and services better for your customers. Prototype your best ideas. Evaluate your prototypes with your customers. Iterate…

You may find another product or service that even your customers didn’t know they wanted.

I did a talk about Design Thinking in Agile – comparing Google Design Sprints and IBM Design Loops – February 22 at a live online seminar for the Nielsen Norman Group. PURCHASE RECORDING ($99)