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Design Thinking for Business Innovation

Lesson 6 of 15

Applying Design Thinking To An Everyday Problem: User Interview

Lee-Sean Huang

Design Thinking for Business Innovation

Lee-Sean Huang

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Lesson Info

6. Applying Design Thinking To An Everyday Problem: User Interview

Lesson Info

Applying Design Thinking To An Everyday Problem: User Interview

Let's return to our design thinking process. I've already conducted two interviews, and in the previous segment, we talked about these three animal mascots in the morning in terms of silent sponge. So that's me as the interviewer just shutting up, letting the person talk. And then paraphrasing parrot, so really trying to paraphrase what I hear to make sure I'm understanding things correctly. But it also gives me time to pause, make sense of things, gives the person I'm interviewing some time to confirm or to clarify anything. And then probing puppy, which allow us to go deeper as well as wider in terms of our questioning, our contextual inquiry. So let's jump back into this design thinking process, which I mentioned before, it's not a perfect circle, it's not linear, we're gonna be jumping around. But for the sake of teaching it, let's look at each of these segments. We've talked about discovery already, and in terms of what we want to do in a user interview. As a reminder, we want to ...

think about what's in somebody's head, what are they thinking? What's in their heart, what are they feeling? And then what are they doing? So we also want to be observing the body language, what they're doing. Do they feel nervous, do they open up completely? Are they passionate about something? We want to observe that as well. So the head, heart, and hand is just a framework to help us make sense of our notes and our raw notes here. So what's gonna happen now is I'm gonna bring up one of our students, who's volunteered to be our client for the rest of this course. And when he comes up here, we'll talk more about our design challenge for the rest of the day. So we understand what I'm going to be interviewing him for, and then over the course of the rest of the class, we're going to be coming up with ideas and then prototyping solutions for his challenge. Alright, so let's come up and start our user interview again. Alright, how's it going? Pretty good. Pretty good. So I know you were up here before, and we met earlier, but can you just introduce yourself again for folks who might just be tuning in right now? And we'll just start from scratch. My name is Matt, and I'm a Designer. I actually work here at Creative Live. So super excited to be a part of this class, and to think about the design, thinking of framework. Awesome. Thanks so much for volunteering to be our client today Matt. So today I'm going to be demonstrating a user interview again, another contextual inquiry. So more in depth version of some of the quick 'Why are you here?' Interviews that I conducted earlier in this course. And this time I'm going to engage the students in the audience here today in Seattle, but also folks on the internet, to be note takers. So in a real world context, I'd probably go with an assistant that can take notes, or I'll probably record something as well. But in this case, we're all conducting the interview together, so look for things back to that head, heart, and hand slide. Think about, what are things that Matt is feeling? What are things that he might be thinking internally? And what are things that he's doing? So observe his body language as well, but also take down any sort of behaviors that he's doing when we ask him about his story and his experience that are of interest for us to know more about. So you guys are taking notes, and also if there's follow-up questions in terms of things that you want to ask Matt, we'll conduct this as a crowd-sourced interview. Usually when I do this in real life, we don't want to make somebody nervous by having so many people ask them questions. I wouldn't do that in a real life situation, I'm not gonna bring my client and two research assistants and a videographer to conduct this interview. But Matt, because he's a professional, he works here at Creative Live and for our pedagogical interest, we're just gonna make due with what we have today. But we also want to give you guys practice coming up with follow-up questions for this interview. So you'll see me doing it, but I really want to get your ideas as well so we can get the best interview possible with Matt here. So Matt, tell me a little bit about what you do here at Creative Live, but also we've talked about in our briefing meeting before this, you also have other creative interests outside of your day job here. And you're looking for ways to sort of monetize them or make them more sustainable. Right. So I am a Product Designer here at Creative Live, so I work on the website and the app. And I've worked here for quite a long time, worked here for almost six years. I'm employ number 10. Creative Live is a passion project for me, I spend a lot of time working on it. But I also have serious hobbies, I have two sort of serious hobbies that I spend a lot of time on. One of them is music, I play jazz guitar. And the other one is painting and drawing. I've been doing both since I was a wee little lad. And I think that for those hobbies, I spend a considerable amount of time doing those things too, and in different kinds of ways. And maybe I can talk about that during the interview, but for the overview purpose, I really am looking for ways to take those serious hobbies of mine and scale them up. This is what I do for a living, I'm a Designer by trade. But I'd like to scale my hobbies up, and perhaps do them in some professional capacity. Got it. So that's gonna be the focus of what we're doing here in this interview, understanding more about, what you've called your serious hobbies, and thinking about what scale up means. I think I originally used the term 'sustainable', but I like what you're saying about scale up. It could be about monetizing it, it could be about something else. There's different ways to interpret that, so now we don't want to be too specific, because we're gonna get stuck in some too narrow field. So we're still in this expansive, open thinking phase during our interview, and to bring back Benny the blowfish from earlier in the course, we don't want to be prickly, we just want to be pliant. So I'm just gonna go with the flow in this conversation. I think there was this other thing that you said, maybe it was just as a joke, but you said, "wee lad". Do you have like Scottish heritage or background? (laughs) No, I have, I think I actually have Hungarian heritage. But as a diminutive, yeah I've been doing this stuff for a long time. And I've been drawing and painting ever since I could remember, and got my first terrible guitar when I was like I think six years old, something like that. And I've been doing both of these things to some level of seriousness, art more than music, but yeah, my whole life. Yeah, great. So you see there, with the Scottish question. Maybe the wee lad thing was like a totally throw away line. I'm really glad that you're showing personality here, and these are the things that we're looking at. But you see how just asking that about whether or not you had Scottish heritage, got you to open up more about talking about the time frame of your life and your creative pursuits. So even things that seem like small talk or chit chat, are just ways of building rapport, to get your participant, your interviewee, to talk more about what they're doing. So I think there's two fields that I want to explore a little bit. There's your day job, but then there's also the music, the jazz guitar, and then the painting and drawing. Did one precede the other, or they were about the same time? I started painting and drawing when I was like, before I can remember really. I mean, I've see photographs of myself, I looked like I could barely walk or talk, and I'm drawing. That was the focus of my life, just growing up. All through school, I knew I was gonna grow up and be an artist of some type, and I even went to art school. In high school, I went to Franklin High School in Washington state, in Seattle, and I won the state art competition twice. I was really serious. Senior year, as soon I finished my educational requirements, it was all art classes, and I went to art school. And I was hot on the idea of just being an artist. I think when I got through college, then that's when I realized that I kind of fell in love with user-centered design and then started doing this kind of work and product work specifically at companies. So that was kind of the trajectory of art. But I think what happened is that through college, painting and drawing became the art side, design became a job, and the other side became sort of a side passion or a hobby. And so I'd spend considerable amounts of time doing that. It's kind of an interesting thing, because your mindset switches, and I start to think about art and painting and drawing as something that I really wanted to do more of, and I wanted to do better. There was no really clear next goal for that, I think it was very open-ended in and of itself. It's not like a career path where, "First I want to do this kind of work, "I want a little bit more responsibility, "I want to work on these sort of products.". Art and painting didn't really have that for me, so it sort of just treaded water for a long time in what I was doing, which is an interesting dynamic. At least to me, because it occupied such a large share of my thinking and hopes and desires and goals and dreams, all the way on up until basically midway through college, where it kind of forked off and then turned into this sort of sidecar passion that I had. Right. So I'm taking notes right now on this pad of paper. Often times when we're conducting these interviews, sometimes there's keywords or things that I really want to highlight, either I will do this or my note taker will do this, we'll just write it on a separate Post-It note to separate it out. Right now I'm just circling words, and you've given a few metaphors. First in terms of forking out, and then treading water. And I think these terms help me understand a little bit about what you mean by scale up. I think I really want to understand more from you what scale up means, because when you said something like you were super serious, you were really serious, and you won the state awards twice. That seems like pretty big scale for that point of your life, so I wonder what that means. Scaling up, I think if I were just gonna say... And basically if somebody said, "Hey, how would you scale up "this art passion that you have?", I think I would imagine something like, "I want to show in a gallery, "I want to maybe get more distribution for my work.". Maybe there's an online component to that, or maybe it's just I want to become a part of maybe a group of people that do that more regularly. It could even be in a teaching capacity, like maybe teaching art classes for kids or something. Taking the work and just doing it more, I hate to use the word 'formally', but essentially, the scaling up I think is a bit mysterious to me as well, just because, as you had pointed out the word 'treading water', it feels somewhat goalless. It feels like there's 360 degrees of direction that you could go with it, and I feel like all I have right now is just a strong desire to do it, and a lot of practice put into it. Yeah. So usually when I'm conducting these interviews, I'm trying to find different threads that I can pull out and explore more of. I try not to do too much interpretation while I'm doing this. You always have to do some sort of interpretation if you're going to do the paraphrasing parrot or the probing puppy. But for the sake of this demo, I'm gonna do a little bit more synthesis at the same time, that I probably would do less of in a real life scenario. And I think some of the words that I'm hearing here are, like around the distribution, and the interaction as well. I guess the progression of your career. And we can address each of these separately, but I think what I'm starting to understand in terms of scaling up is, on the distribution side you have getting access to galleries or just selling your work or people seeing it online. Sure. The interaction part I think is related to this work community that you mentioned, whether it's connecting with other artists or teaching your work and interacting with people that way. And then I think the progression part relates to this idea of goallessness. You really opened up and you seemed really proud of winning the state art awards. Right. Twice. But then once you're no longer in school, there's like getting an A in your art class, and there's winning the state awards, whereas being an artist, whether as a professional, an amateur, something in between these validators. There isn't like the Gold Metal of Art. Right. (laughs) That everyone is aspiring to once you're no longer in school. I don't know, let's talk about all of those. But does that jive with you a little bit in terms of understanding what scale means? Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I think the first two that you had said totally make sense, and the last one resonates. And there's no well-worn path to getting the finish line of art. To me, it feels like there's two, ideal with two parts of it. One if mastering, like I want to master painting, I want to master drawing. But then there's the other side of it, which is, mastery is this solitary exercise that you do, it's very internal. And I guess the scaling up part I guess mostly has to do with the external piece of it. So scaling up to me doesn't mean, "Oh I need more time to practice painting so "I can get better.". Scaling up means, I guess it's more about community distribution. How do I become part of a group of people or get my work more known and seen? Awesome. So as another pedagogical aside, I typically try to avoid these yes/no questions, which I just asked you a yes/no question, but I just want to justify it by saying that that yes/no question was really more about the paraphrasing parrot, it was more about making sure that I got something correctly as a yes/no. What we want to avoid are these sort of yes/no questions where it feels like I'm just checking boxes of... I'll just demonstrate a little bit in terms of what a bad interview would be. Matt, how long have you been doing art? 17, 20 years, 32 years I guess. (laughs) I'll just put 30, okay. And what medium do you work in? Paint. Okay, oil or water colors? I guess a little of both. Right. So you see that I'm just kind of checking boxes? Surely these may be interesting examples, like I need to have some sort of fact base in context to ask him more questions, but he's not really telling me a story, and he's not really opening up emotionally when it's just a yes/no thing, that it's like a sort of factual question where there's a one word answer. So can you tell me a story of when you felt like you had a goal? You mentioned there's often this goallessness. Can you tell me whether in your music or in your art where you had like a specific goal, regardless of the size? But you felt like you could work towards that goal, and not feel like you're just practicing or making art is isolation? There was a time where I had just happenstanced, come across, a client, friend of a friend, who wanted to decorate their office, their corporate office, with art work. One of the owners was a like-minded kind of individual, we both like jazz music. And I was doing a type of line drawing at the time, and they just put this challenge to me, they're like, "We'd like to decorate our offices with "these people, with portraits of jazz musicians.", that was the idea. So I would make line drawings of these jazz musicians, and do it there. So at the time it was a bit of a stretch, because they were large format, for one, hadn't worked that large. Two, there was 12 of them that they wanted, and I had to complete in a short amount of time. So that was a challenge that I remember was a definite goal. It had a beginning, it had an end, there was criteria for success, and for completion. And I remember taking that on and feeling like that was, I completed that project, completed the works, and they were very happy with them. I was happy with myself having completed it, and had enough follow through to sort of start the thing, end the thing, and have a final product, to get to see it. And the good part of it, part of the value or the benefit, the payoff for it, was having it all done and being able to go there and having the people enjoy it and really like it. And I felt like that was a moment where there was a challenge, there was a goal. I took it on and I did it. But I haven't really had any sort of large scale version of that that is a success story. I have some failure stories where I will create my own, create my own bars to jump over. Or I'll try and join a challenge, if we're gonna get real. Like with Creative Live, we've had challenges for Creative Live that will be like 28 to Make or those sorts of things. The creative photo challenge, I decided to do that as a painting, but I wasn't able to complete the challenge. I still, as terrible as this sounds, some of the paintings I was gonna create, I have them still up on the wall, I look at them every day. I wake up every morning and I look at the unfinished painting that I was supposed to create for that challenge that I never did. And it's like it stares me down every morning. How does that make you feel having that there? Because you said you didn't finish it, but you also left it on the wall. Yeah, I think in my head, I was thinking, "If I leave it there, it'll be easy to access and "I'll work on it again.". I think emotionally speaking, I wake up and look at the thing I didn't finish, I look at that little minor piece of failure that happened, where I promised myself I would do something, but then I didn't follow through. So there's this ambivalence there, right? So it does seem like you leave it on the wall as a reminder or as a penance, I'm not sure. Yeah. (laughs) I don't want to put feelings in your mouth. But just trying to understand a little bit of how you do this, or just to review and do a little bit more of this paraphrasing, you've mentioned, you've talked about having a challenge, having a goal. Like with the portrait project for the jazz musicians, you had like a commission or you had a client. So it wasn't necessarily about how much money you made from that, but there was some sort of structure. Am I kind of getting that right? That's true, yeah. From there I think the other interpretation or theme that I'm drawing out is something that's, any creative practice, whether it's your music or your art, is both practice based and project based. I know more about music, because I grew up on piano, so I'll use this analogy, but I'm sure it applies to your painting as well. Growing up piano, you have to play your scales and your arpeggios and your like Hanon exercises, or whatever those things are. And you are gonna learn a piece, and then you have your recital that you're giving at the end of the year for your piano teacher. And obviously, you want to look good in front of your parents and your friends and all of that stuff. So there's the practice based stuff of like your everyday stuff, that's like nobody cares how your chords and your scales sound, but you have to do them. And then there's like the actual piece with a specific timeline for that performance. And it seems like it's like that with your art as well, where there's all the painting that you're doing all the time for yourself, but then there's specific things where there's a project, there's a goal, there's a certain number of pieces and format and all of that stuff. There's some sort of externally dictated structure there. Yeah, that's very true. And I think it's the externally dictated structure that I think maybe characterizes the goallessness, because I end up having to creative a bunch of that stuff myself in order to follow it. But it's hard to follow it when it's just an internally created thing. One last question before I turn it over to see if there's other follow-up questions from students. But I think one thing this is pointing me to is also this idea of stakes. When you had that commission to do the jazz portraits, there's a specific deadline, but there's also somebody you know who's your client that you have to please. Whereas if it's some painting competition or some creative competition, you are kind of competing with yourself but with other people doing this, but the accountability or the stakes seems different. Yeah. Do you think that's the difference between like you finishing something or you not finishing something? Yeah, absolutely. Yes, I think that the accountability and the accountability required of having you being the person on the hook to do the thing is a huge driver. I'm motivated by that level of accountability, in all facets of my life. So yeah, that's absolutely true. Alright, so let's take a pause here. See, there's all sorts of threads that we've started to pull out here. And so this is maybe a time to tap into the collective intelligence. What are you guys curious about? What may I have missed, since I'm trying to teach an interview and take notes at the same time? Yeah, Dean. Lots of things caught my interest. One, where you talked about that fork in your career where you decided to kind of shift, put art on the back burner a little bit and focus on design. Can you talk a little bit about what that was like? Did you feel like it was just a practical decision, making money? Or was there anything else kind of driving that or motivating that? I think I was really into computers, and being into computers and being into art and really kind of being into design and the nascent, at the time the nascent field of web design, it all looked very interesting, related, and lucrative. And it seemed like the thing that you would build your job out of. But also captivating and interesting enough to have this leading edge tech component to it that was cool, and it felt worth spending money on in college, and it also felt like something to invest in career wise. Whereas painting felt very personal, and didn't feel like something that you would make a career out of at that time. I think that's kind of where the fork happened. Yes, Hose. At this point, I seems that scaling art in your life is becoming a priority for you. How does this priority align to other priorities you have in life, whether they're work or personal? Just to understand a little bit more how much wiggle room potentially you think you have. That's a great question. My day job is like a passion project. I work long hours on that, and it occupies lots of head space. I don't think I've had a shower where I haven't thought about Creative Live in six years. (laughs) (laughter) It's that big of a thing. And I think my serious hobbies occupy different types of time for me. So for example, music is the time where, I sit down and play music when I want to procrastinate. I pickup the guitar and I write songs and I play through charts and I make recordings. Or I'll have friends that will come over and we'll play music together and that sort of thing. That's my procrastination exercise. Art is a little bit different. Art is the thing that I try and make time for. I schedule time to make art. I'll say, "For this challenge, to cross this finish "line that I've created for myself, "I'm gonna take this weekend, these two days to do this.". Or, "I'm gonna do it by Tuesday.". And then I will schedule that time to do it. And I also have a little bit more of a desire for a scaling up of art in that way. And part of it is just that I had so much commitment to it as child, it was such a big part of my life, but it occupies that kind of space. So I don't procrastinate, I don't spend time doodling. Like when I'm doing art, I'm doing that thing, I've set this time aside to do it. And the unfortunate piece about it is sometimes I'll set the time aside, and then I just won't feel like doing it, for who knows what reason. So that's also a kind of point of frustration. But that's kind of the types of time it occupies in my life. Yeah, H.E. <v H.E.>This totally resonates with me, because I go through the same thing, I'm passionate about art and music, but it's not my day job. The difference is that with you, it's treading water, with me it's kind of holding your breath and slowly sinking. (laughter) So my question with regards to when you were defining what scaling up means to you, you listed a couple possibilities. Distribution, gallery, teaching for kids, some way to conduct it formally. In your ideal world, what would it look like, what would it be, what one of those things would it be? And why? The straight forward thing in my mind is to show work in a gallery, talk to people about art, become a part of community of people who show and display art. That feels like the, like if you were gonna just write it down, that's what it would be. But I also think that ideally, it could be a number of things. If we're just gonna toss out, another example is, maybe not showing in a gallery, but showing internationally. Maybe I travel to Spain and have a private show. So it's not like a, "Hey I'm in the Loove.", or the Kucera Gallery in Seattle or something like that. But myabe it's a group of 20 people that all just show their art and travel to meet people from a larger, broader community. And that could also feel like scaling up in terms of what I was doing. Just to pause before we take any future questions, I really like what you did there H.E., of like introducing some of your own personal story and resonating, that's kind of a variant on the probing puppy or the paraphrasing parrot. You've taken his experience, you've mirrored it in your own, and shown how it might be the same or different in your case. And you're always continuing to build rapport, which is really important for doing this well. You don't want it to seem inauthentic of like, I'm getting to know you and now it's all business time, and I'm trying to like pick your brain, which is like the nastiest metaphor ever. You're never trying to pick their brain about anything, you're really trying to understand and engage in a conversation. So even though this is like interview/pedagogies, we're always trying to build that rapport. Yes. We actually had a question for Matt from the internet. Stephanie asked, "Do you regret choosing the tech job over becoming an "artist or a musician?". I don't regret choosing tech and design, I really love it, it's a passion for me. I think that any feeling, any negative emotional feeling around not making art a larger part of my life comes not from having decided to not do it as a job, but comes from this sort of treading water that I have experience with it right now. If I spent so much time in my life on it, why do I feel so goalless about it now? Why do I have trouble characterizing what's scaling it up and what it would look like if it was a bigger part of my life? So the regret isn't so much as I didn't make it my day job, the regret is I haven't followed through on making it a bigger part of my life. Yes, Julan. Thank you very much, and congratulations, I'm eager to see what you've done. First of all, you're a lucky guy to be doing all these things that you're passionate about, to know what you're passionate about. And I understand scaling up, but what I've been hearing you say, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that actually an exhibit, for instance, would be a goal to work towards to populate it and to create a mission like that. And I've been thinking while you were talking of all the artists I admire, like Rubens, I just went to see an exhibit in Rubens. And he was the portraitist of the royalty of Europe, and it is art, it's extraordinarily beautiful, it also serves a purpose. But he had commissions, just like you were saying, and I know you have your painting hanging on the wall unfinished. But I'm wondering if having these kind of deadline and framework of a goal, of the purpose of your creativity might not be helpful. Yeah, that's a fantastic point. That's a great other way of looking at it. Sure, exhibiting, it has a deadline, but so does a portrait commission. Actually, I really enjoy portrait work. There's a sort of inside thing at my job, I draw people. I draw staff members and that sort of thing and make portraits of people. So yeah, that would also suffice, that would be another example. Suffice is a diminutive word it, that would be great, if I had some commissions to work towards and I was creating art in that way. It would still feel like scaling up the work. Yeah, definitely. So just a quick point about that. For this teaching demo, there's no off limits questions, unless there's anything that you don't want to answer. And there's no bad or stupid questions, even in real life. But one point I did want to make, Matt is super open to talking about his interest, but sometimes when you're doing these interviews, if you try to like pitch an idea or a solution too soon, it turns into like trying to solve that person's problem, which is not necessarily what we're trying to do. In this case, it was fine, because Matt just kept opening up about himself, so I'm not trying to say that was a wrong question to ask, it's not at all. But just be careful sometimes, depending on the context, you're not trying to solve the person's problem while you're having the interview. Yes, Carlos. Yeah, I'm just curious about expression and what expression kind of means for you, like in the context of maybe motivation. I feel like you mentioned procrastination and things like that. And some of the things I guess I was trying to focus more on was maybe the hand and the heart stuff, and I was noticing when you were talking at the beginning, there was smiling and kind of a playfulness and a comfort with yourself. And I think it's interesting, I feel like I see your hands kind of exploding, like in expression a lot, it's like a natural thing. So I was curious, I wonder what that means for you, because it's there, obviously with the artistic side of you. Yeah, I think that's an interesting question. Art feels like, I feel like I've gotten a certain level of expertise at it, just through years and years of practice. And I feel like people look at my work and they think, "Wow, that's pretty cool.". Especially when it's a likeness of a person, it looks like that person. So expression wise, I think that there's a technical facility that I have with art, that the expressive point is I get to share that with somebody. And also just making a connection with somebody through a skill, that feels like expression to me, as opposed to say, the clothes I wear, or how I look, or how I am in public or in general. I'll be more expressive when I'm talking one on one with a person, as opposed to, I'm not like the big party kind of person. Expression also, I find in art, I can do this thing, I can make this work, and I can share it with somebody. And the expressive part of it is how they receive it and what they think about it. You do a portrait of somebody and they look at it, and they're like, "That's a picture of me.". And that's greats, that's the great part. So I guess that's kind of what I think about expression and kind of my own personal expression. It sounds like this conversation about expression, it sort of reminds me of the conversation in the demos we did earlier in the class with the different types of creativity. You mentioned with your representational portraits of people and people say like, "Hey, that actually looks like the person.". To borrow from the business language, you've got the metrics, you've got the KPIs of, "This performed well because it's actually "representational enough that it's recognizable.". (laughs) Yeah. So there's that test, but then there's also the related test of like, "Does this resonate with my audience?". If somebody gives you a compliment, or your client who gave you the commission says, "I really like what you've done here.". So it seems like there are these kinds of indicators. Two I can say right off the bat. And yes, the business that I did the portraits for, they felt that, let me see, I don't remember exactly what they said, but I'll paraphrase, "It changed the tone of our meetings. "When we bring people into the room and "they see these portraits, "it says something about our business, "and it changes the tone of the conversations and "negotiations that we have with people. "We feel like they know us a little bit more than "had we just had a regular conference room.". So that was that example. And I think with portraits, like I'll draw, even just a quick pencil sketch of somebody, and then I'll give it to them, and then they'll make it like their Facebook profile picture. That's pretty awesome for me, because they're like, "This thing is so great and "I like it so much that I'm gonna make it my avatar for "some amount of time to the Facebook world.". Which is another kind of measure of how the thing that I've done has impacted somebody else, and they're doing the showing of it. Was that something that was defined as part of the brief that they gave you? Did they come and say, "Hey, can you paint something that "will change the tone of our meetings?". (laughs) No, it was literally just, "We would like some art work for our walls.". And the after effect of them saying, "No, this really has gone above and beyond what we wanted.", that's the high you get from it, because it was literally just, "Hey, can you create some stuff for our walls?". And then I put the stuff, and they're like, "Yep, that's some stuff.". That wouldn't feel like I had gotten the true value out of it. I think there's some interesting parallels to draw, stepping aside from just the interview and the demo, of thinking about your art practice and designed thinking. So obviously art and design are related, but not the same. But often times you do have your initial goal or brief of like, "Make some art work", or, "Design a tower that holds a cell phone.". Whatever that is, but then you realize there's additional purposes or ways of delivering value. You delivered this maybe unintentional, but unconscious thing of changing the tone of meetings, that you learn sometimes from just making the art, putting it there and testing it. It was like, "Wow, it changed the tone of our meetings.". Or maybe they were thinking that the whole time. Because usually, it's a good enough reason to say, "We want some art that looks pretty for our office.", that's totally valid as a motivation. But sometimes there's secondary motivations that you're trying to get our of your user that they're not always articulating to you. By asking why, of like why do you want that art, and what is the purpose of it? And that's what we're trying to do with some of this design thinking, stuff to of like asking what you immediately need, but then once we have that artifact, which in your case was the art work itself, and whatever we're gonna design for you, we also want to put it in your context, and maybe it kind of opens up new possibilities, which goes back to this opening and closing concept that we've been talking about. Okay. Yeah.

Class Description

You know that one of the top trends in business innovation these days is design thinking. Only problem is, you’re not quite sure what it is. You’ve heard it described in a bunch of different ways, and you’re starting to wonder if no one else understands it either.

But the truth is, design thinking is one of the most effective new methods and mindsets for framing and solving problems. Top businesses, organizations, consultancies, schools and governments are adopting it as a way to innovate their processes and service offerings, using human empathy, design principles, action-oriented solutions, imagination, intuition and systematic reasoning.

Taught by Lee-Sean Huang, cofounder and creative director of Foossa, a community-centered design consultancy, this course will help you understand what design thinking is and how to apply it to your own work and life.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Identify the key design thinking techniques.
  • Utilize design thinking in your professional life.
  • Get hands-on experience with design thinking principles.
  • Become an advocate for design thinking within your organization.
  • Separate the truth of design thinking from the media hype.
  • Use design thinking to innovate and create new business opportunities.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Design Thinking Resources

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Getting Started with Adobe Stock

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



I loved it! It's amazing how ideas can be built up : )

Carlos Encalada

This course was exactly what I was looking for! As a psychotherapist looking to enter the world of design and facilitation, this primer for design thinking set up the facilitation workshop perfectly. Dynamic workshop. Grateful to Lee-Sean for sharing his process.


I loved it : )