Core to design thinking is prototyping & testing. If you browse around the web you find many aspects linked to design thinking, one more fancy than the other. But central to all; prototyping and testing.
The reason is clear; designers think differently then the rest of us (let’s say the engineer). What differentiates a designer from an engineer is that an engineer creates a solution to a carefully analysed and understood problem, whereas a designer creates many solutions as a means to understand the problem. For a designer, a prototype is a hypothesis. Well, that is how I see it.
The image shown aims to illustrate my view on Design Thinking.
It tries to bring across 3 main points:
- Core to design thinking is prototype and test, serving the design process, of which evaluation (learning) is a core element. It does not say anything about time to market (speed to get it out there) nor about the quality of the prototype. This is a skill in itself. Talk to a designer to get a feel for this.
- Contextual to design thinking are the many tools and methods that you can apply to get a better understanding of the problem space and help you to identify the solution space. These tools are not core, and often distract from what design thinking aims to achieve, which is to make ideas tangible to find out why they do not work (which is a different way of saying “do I understand the problem”). Some even go as far to say that design thinking by itself may not be enough anymore. For example, “In the era of Living Services, Fjord have created their own design system – Design Rule of 3 – which consists of design thinking, design doing and design culture.” Yes, I agree. The larger the (scope of the) project, the more difficult it is to understand the problem space, so you need to scale up on your exploration, and manage expectations concerning time to market.
- Basis of any design project, at least in my experience, is a business opportunity and/or a business model. Only in rare situations, a design project is performed completely outside any business context. For that reason, I place the business model canvas as a leave of the root of the flower.
OK, I admit. I just wanted to create a nice illustration and immediately came up with a flower, so I tried to fit Design Thinking to the idea that I had and make it work. I think it does, more or less. What do you think?
In the process of digitization and automation, it is easy to loose touch with your customers, especially if the ‘stuff’ you are dealing with is something as abstract as an exchange item; money. Restoring touch-points becomes main focus.
Grocery stores went through the process of digitization and automation. Starting as small shops, they where used to serve each client in person, and would know their clients in person. Then, in the beginning of last century, long before digitization and big data, they went through the process of first introducing self service, and afterwards, with the introduction of digital tools, through the process of using data (and loyalty cards) to understand client behaviors. Grocery stores had the luxury of a step wise introduction, first automation/self service, and then the introduction of advanced analytics to understand client behavior from data by means of data collection and statistics.
Grocery stores have one big advantage; they deal in physical goods. You, as a client, need to go out and get it, or someone needs to pass by and bring it to you. In short, intrinsic (still) is a personal transaction. This means that the whole process of digitization and becoming a data driven industry was developed while having a personal contact with the client.
Banks do not have had that advantage. Banks deal in somesthing abstract; a means of transaction. In the process of digitization and automation has removed the need to actually visit a bank or talk to a bank agent. The ‘transaction means’ in the past may have relied on physical goods (paper money, coins, remember Scrooge McDuck swimming in his money) nowadays it is digital and growing more and more abstract. Clients have access without ever having to enter a bank filial or meet a bank agent. On top of having lost contact with their clients, banks also have 1000 and 1 technology driven start-ups with innovative business models eating away at the basis of the bank’s income. Ideas such as peer to peer lending and robot advice (where investments are driven automatically by computer models following market trends instead of by human analysts).
Not surprisingly, banks have two important interests: touch-points and big-data.
What I find surprising is that the banks strategies are technology driven. For example, the UBS (or here, see page 9; the great transformation) list the following as main trends; privacy, self fitting products, wealth assistant (robot advise) and decomposed wealth management, all of which increases the reliance on technology and reduces the need for personal contact. Credit Suise, another major Swiss bank, “… announced that it is committed to making significant investments in expanding its client facing technology globally”
Why is technology seen as the solution for a problem created by technology? I am assuming of course that the main challenge of Banks is the growing distance towards their customers, which was created by automation and technology. You may dispute this. But if the problem of the banks are lack of contacts with their customers, shouldn’t the strategy be ‘getting in touch with the customer’’. Yes, technology may be a means in itself, but certainly not an objective.
Maybe it is sufficient to reduce MBOs to the following simple questions; When did you last ‘speak’ with a customer and what did you learn?
Btw, I thought the cartoon at the top of this page was funny and original. I was wrong; https://youtu.be/gWzhHInOiaY
Fred Voorhorst works as consultant for the FinTech industry, focussing on optimizing/improving wealth management advisory processes.
Illustrations of space through movement, ‘3D’ on a single screen by linking action and perception, to insiders in Delft also known as the Delft Virtual Window System, (DVWS). This page shows some examples freely exploring around the topic of ecological perception and action/perception coupling, which was the basis for my PhD thesis work. An ancient archive of system designs, prototypes and experiments. Most movies are the result of a collaboration with ‘partner in crime’ dr. ing. Tom Djajadiningrat, the best industrial designer known to men, well, known to this man at least. Great times, great memories. Small and short movies. Remember, this was last century.
In this day and age, most of the illustrations below are mainstream ideas, and new technology would make implementation much easier. I mean, using two pendulums to measure the orientation of a monitor (which was an transparent LCD screen used to place on an overhead projector to share your computer screen – whoa…) ad link it back to the images shown on the screen. ‘Rocket science’ back in 1994….
|Depth through movement. This movie shows the basic principle. At the time created in PovRay, rendered on a Quadra (over-night), and then imported in macromedia Director to create a QT movie.|
|Just fun. Using a Mondriaan picture ti highlight the difference between static information and the ability to move. Without movement the image is perfectly flat. Add some movement and you see that it is actual a spatial structure.|
|Wobby – Exploring a spatial object by changing the orientation of the monitor. The orientation of the monitor is measured with two pendulums.|
|Exploring the spatial structure of a Rietveld Red-Blue-chair, showing what you see as observer and how you interact with the screen (inset).|
|Wobby – Exploring the depth map of the northern part of the Netherlands. One of the possible applications we were exploring. Again,shown is what you see as observer and how you interact with the screen (inset).|
|Interactive MRI. Moving the monitor allows navigation through the MRI slices, allowing you to get a better understanding of its spatial structure.|
|Wiggly – in most situations you sit on a chair behind a computer. The sensors or your chair can estimate the orientation of your upper-body, and therefore the position of your head position. Linking this estimation to the camera movements makes it possible to explore a virtual space in an elegantly simple manner; just sit down and explore.|