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Design Thinking for Business Innovation

Lesson 13 of 15


Lee-Sean Huang

Design Thinking for Business Innovation

Lee-Sean Huang

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Lesson Info

13. Prototyping

Lesson Info


Just to recap a little bit, of what we've done so far. At the end of the previous segment I showed some examples of prototyping and if you've been watching since the morning, you'll know that we've already done a little bit of prototyping, using the mini design challenges we had early on in the day in the class, where different groups had different design challenges and they just had to make something in six minutes. We're gonna have a little bit longer than six minutes for this prototyping, but the idea here is we went wide earlier. In our ideation we had a whole bunch of different ideas, then we presented these ideas and themes back to Matt. He gave us some feedback and now we've arrived at this idea of designing some things, or how might we design something for artists like Matt, that's a challenge, it's a game, and it somehow involves geocaching or some sort of location-based play. That can be a challenge, it can be a dare or something that's connective, that connects him with a lo...

cal community, or maybe even an international community. That's this new question, that we've arrived at, through opening up and then closing a little bit, being a little bit pliant and just going with the flow and then being a little prickly and really making some decisions to prioritize. In this segment I'm gonna bring up my team, that's gonna help with the prototyping. I'll bring back Rajesh, and Jalone and H.D., to come help with the prototyping. You guys have all experienced this making and prototyping before, we have the same craft supplies as earlier in this course. You guys can come on up here and we're just gonna build together. We have a little bit more time, we have about 20 minutes to build something here and don't be afraid to just grab things that compel you, and similar to what happened earlier, with the challenge I don't know what these fluffy balls things might be, but maybe they're just points in the geocaching. Maybe they're something else, or maybe it's a pointillist portrait, or something, right? We can do a lot of these things. In Doug Dietz's talk, Doug Dietz is the guy, who worked with GE Healthcare on the MRI scanners for kids. He talked about, he asks his audience in his tech talk, what are two chairs and a blanket. For kids, that's like a fort, that's a castle. All we're trying to do is make something, that sparks the imagination. We've got these supplies, we've got this table. We just need to tell as story in the same way as Sandwich Squirrel of how Matt is going to interact with this game or service, or experience, that we're gonna design together. Since it's time bounded, we're just gonna have to make something, and maybe the materials will inspire us as well. We don't have to determine exactly what's going on, but we'll just divide up the work and figure it out from there, and then we'll just talk through what's going on as we do it. Alright, similar to earlier on. In the early challenge, grab some art supplies first, that are most compelling to you, that you might want to be playing with. I really like these dots, and they're not just for me, but that's the thing that's most interesting. This is this idea with design thinking, being about a method and a mindset, right? I don't have to teach any of you guys how to use these materials. You might have just played with them before in school, or maybe you already have craft skills, but it doesn't really matter what your craft skills are, it's just being accessible to everyone. With this challenge or a game with the geocaching, what are some starting point? It's helpful when you're designing a new service to have some sort of trigger. In the case of Sandwich Squirrel the trigger was I'm hungry, I notice the time, I don't have time to go out and that was triggering event for that story. What's a possible triggering event for Matt to engage with this thing, that we're designing, given what we've learned about him. With regards to the geocaching idea, i think in order for the game to start before the search to start, he would to have planted this art work at this spot, at a particular point in time. That's the deadline for him to have it there. Cool, maybe to build on that, maybe he's the mastermind and maybe he's not the user. What if Matt sends some letter, almost a ransom note or something. You say, H. D., you're one of the users and there could be multiple users. Maybe you get this ransom note, that's a letter and then that gives you instructions of where you need to go or maybe it's a hint for where you need to go to get your first clue, does that make sense? does makes sense to get a letter or does make sense to get it as, I don't know, on your cellphone. It could be the way, that geocaching, the company does it, they actually have an app, that you can use, that would give you the geocache coordinates and then you would feed those, you'd either use your phone's GPS or you feed that data into your own GPS. Sounds like we need a smartphone of some kind for this thing to work, should we make a prototype smartphone or can we just borrow somebody's phone as a stand in prop for this? You can borrow mine. The point of this prototyping too, since we have a little bit more time compared to this morning's challenge is, that we wanna make it, we're not gonna make slides, like I did with Sandwich Squirrel, we're just gonna make this as a little skit, since Matt's in the audience, we don't have to prepare for a performance, we just have to make this idea come to life. We've got the phone, maybe we'll cast H. D., he's the user for this and the rest of us can be either manipulating props or building things there. You guys have both been compelled by these materials here, Jalone, what are you doing there with? I don't know yet, I'm thinking about it. Okay, that's cool. Then you're making something here, Rajesh. Rakeish. Rakeish, sorry. That's our geocache. Okay, that's your geocache. Maybe there can be some sort of setting, is there a tree here? Besides the coordinates, that appear in your phone or that you're going towards, is there some sort of landmark, that we're looking for? A path here, this is the path. Maybe our prototype will be some map. H. D. Is the user, but maybe we have an avatar, maybe our prototype is like a board game. The actual thing wouldn't be a board game, we're just using this table and this board game as a way of bringing it to life, would that make sense? Do you wanna make an avatar for yourself there, H. D.? Even if you're making something, let's think about what happens next. We know in the story, that H. D. here, he's our main characters, he's our avatar, he's gonna get some letter, a ransom note or some challenge, that's coming from Matt. What does that letter tell you or what do you have to do once you get that letter? I guess it could tell me GPS coordinates, where I need to generally be to start, at a particular point in time. Why don't we say, that you're an artist too and maybe the point of the geocaching, this is a scenic spot, there's something of interest there, that he wants to challenge you to paint. That's the landmark. That's the landmark, that's the magical tree, that's an awesome. Let's hold this up so everyone can see this. There's this blue duck avatar. You've got your challenge letter, Matt is challenging you to go to this location and paint something, paint the scenery there. If we wanted to follow the pattern of the more traditional geocache, you would find the geocache, you would take something from it and leave something. What's the give and what's the get here? Maybe to start off we'd have a seed it, but then maybe it's a leave a piece of art, make a piece of art and leave that. You take a piece of art from it and then leave your own? Maybe going to the geocache is what opens up, unlocks his art, he's hidden his art there, maybe it's sort of a pirate adventure. He's made something, it could be a digital representation of it or it could be a hidden, physical art object and then maybe the challenges, you can see it and then your challenge is to leave something there. Should you maybe make your art first, so you can bring it there? I've got a frame for the artwork. That's his artwork. You see, as we're prototyping this, it's all of these what ifs surface, because it through while we're making it. There's almost instantaneous making to figure out what's needed in this story. It's a little bit like a role playing game, but we're just building it along and then we'll play it back when we're ready and then we can show this to Matt, and he can give us feedback about it. Another idea is, that we could combine with the chain letter concept. Instead of just take a piece of art and leave one of yours there, you would take the piece of art, you add something to it. Since it's visual, you eventually run out of space on the canvas and you have to swap something out. Maybe it's like a digital thing and you could remix it or something. You can make the art as analog thing, but once you've gotten to the geo-coding thing, it's a digital remix of that piece and then you can pass it on, does that make sense? It could, yes. Do we need another character to help this come to life? Maybe I'll make another character here. I think it needs more, than just a mastermind, cuz part of the point in something like this is, that it's not just one or two people, the whole point is that becomes a global community. But the word we're trying to assimilate is this part of the game is, that involving multiple players at the same time or are we talking about the mastermind sets in motion a single chain with a single player and that triggers down. One of the thing Matt mentioned, that appealed to him about this concept was, that you could have a geocache in Japan and a geocache in date, those are the locations he happened to mention, but what if we have a geocache on the Vinson Massif, we have a geocache up in Tuvalu. We can think about this in different scales. The idea of this concept is we an go super big and ambitious and there could be multiple geocaches or maybe this prototype is just illustrative of one particular user journey and then we just voice over, hey this could happen in Tokyo too. That's a design choice, that we could make, but do we need? I kind of like the idea of telling the story of the very beginning. Matt is putting the first piece of art in there and mister Duckey Face is the first one to use the app to find it. Because that's the genesis. Matt and his art. I really like what we're doing here with this game, kind of board game like way of demonstrating this. That's almost the prequel. Matt avatar here has made his art, does he take a picture of it and then it's geo tagged there, geocached there and then he sends it out to you, H. D. or to his other artist friends as a way of starting things in motion? Does that make sense? That part of the story makes sense so far. He has to start somewhere, so we need to start with a piece of art. Would he have planted his artwork already, before he sends me the message? I think that would make the most sense, because that would basically be a seed. He's planted here or underneath this thing or something. Then posted that online, right? No, he sends me the letter or some kind of notification through the app. Then the geo tag gets you to it then 10 or 20 meters of the actual geocache, typically. Before I get that letter, do I have to have a piece of artwork ready before I go out there. It depends on how the game's designed. If it's using the current geocache model, that would be the best. That's also the way to make it involve the community, cuz part of why geocaching is fun is, that because people come and take something from the geocache, then puts something of theirs in it, things get passed on and you might take a piece of art, that you picked up in Japan and leave up in Stehekin. Maybe people are more likely to purchase a paid, if they only have to visit the geocache once or is there some sort of incentive, that gets people to return? Or is just about, oh, there's something fulfilling about going there the first time and then they get something and they give something. It depends of whether the goal is the journey or the cache. Or it's the making thing. Or both, I think if i leave something behind, I can also take his and then I'll have to plant it somewhere else. By me contributing now there's two pieces of artwork in this game and we can get more people involved and the more people we get engaged, it becomes-- A community. That's really cool, maybe that's the way to do it, Matt sends it to you and his other friend, this guy, Bert here and then he also goes. Maybe that's the competition, right? Whoever gets there first takes the virtual art, you can see it and you would deposit it somewhere else. You go on a trip to Vancouver, you can leave it in Vancouver. Maybe in order to take his art you have to leave your art and that unlocks his art. Your friend over here now has his own piece of artwork. Should we make a different frame, we could do a Popsicle stick frame just for fun. Can you hand me some glue too. Do you have anything to make right now? This is hard to do on camera, while we're doing this creative live class live, but the point here is, that I like how everybody's building stuff. Jalone's off doing her thing, which is great and what I'm facilitating this, people just think it through. You don't even always know what you're making. I think this is how the Lee Kim and the hat thing started too, sometimes when we're facilitating this, as facilitators, even if we're not in a team and doing something, let's make silly hats or glasses too, because you're building this mindset of play so even if my glasses have nothing to do with, there's no augmented reality for this, that I was making the glasses, because I think it'd be fun and just builds this whole culture of making things, especially in these corporate contexts, where people are very serious people, who wear suits and think it's really weird, that we're playing with this molding clay and pipe cleaner stuff. But by the end, this happened once in a corporate gig, where we were doing this, playing with these supplies and there was this guy, who was not into this at all, it's like this is so weird, what's wrong with these people, why are we doing this? By the end of this he was like dressed up in drag in some skit using these materials with rags, that we had, because we had created this cultural dynamic, where it was okay. You wanna create permissions for this, if you're facilitating this, but also, when you're at groups. If you bring this back to your organization and you've experienced this, there's things, that you can do with your behavior, we're just gonna make things, even if you don't know what it is, while we continue the conversation and build that culture around this. We've got the glue so I'll make a frame, while we keep on talking. What other props do we need, are we okay with the props or do we have to figure out more of the plot now? I guess we need a second location. This I think might require scissors, why don't we just do? Maybe grab some tape, we can tape it up. Tape works. Let's review our plot, while we're talking about it. We zoom back to the beginning, Matt has created this piece of art and then he deposits it at his geocache and then he sends out letter to his friends, saying, "Hey I've left, if you wanna be the first and only person to see my piece, you have to make some digital artwork and leave it there and then you can view my piece". Maybe anybody who goes there can view the piece, but if you wanna take the piece, you have to drop one. I think that's good. That's the rule. Then it's more democratic. Even if you're not artist you can see it, if you're the first one to get there. You can see it even if you're not the first one, it's just that If someone has taken it. Taken it wherever, exactly. Take it somewhere else and then you'll see artwork, that somebody else left behind. Is that the artwork. I think this is the geocache location. Don't you have to have a piece of art? Yeah, we just made the frame. They're virtual, let's see if we have enough props, I'm making one more frame. Can someone write down the story beats so we remember what we're doing, just a little bit of teamwork here. This is another frame, that we're working on. I love the idea of the geocache, probably, because it gets people traveling and it gets them outdoors and I don't think it has to be limited to the way the current geocaching system is, where it's almost all outdoors. Most of the geocache locations are in somewhat remote locations. This is somebody's artwork too. Some of them are actually difficult to get to if you aren't a hiker or a climber. Who's the first one to pick up the piece of art? Maybe we need a more a structurally sound Bert here? The first step is that Matt drops off his piece of art in the geo location. Move the game piece, animated that. There we go and then who comes to pick it up? The first participant. <v H. D.>He sends the notification, right? Sends out some sort of text message blast to some other local users and friends, cuz you could see it at scale, you could then bring in more famous artists, where they're dropping something off somewhere, not where you would have to travel or look for to see it. But I think it's compelling in this way, that it's created this system of digital art objects, that can be moved around in a way, but not physically owned. The idea is these are all digital artworks, but the fact that you cannot steal it, but take it and then move it here, if you contribute something else instead. I'm not completely sold on the idea of it being digital, because of the fact, if it's digital, then you don't get the same feeling as when it's an actual painting. The part of the point in painting is the painting itself. Would he leave his painting there? Yeah. That is the point in painting. That's what I thought it was. Oh, yeah, I'm not gonna judge this and maybe we'll leave it up to Matt to see. I guess there's street artists, who paint murals and don't expect to last forever, but then how do you take it and move it then if it's a physical thing. Because people come and get it. They're gonna replace their physical artwork somewhere. They don't need to be big pieces of art. It doesn't have to be huge to be art. a good five by seven painting is still a piece of art, that's a piece of your artist. Matt comes in and leaves his painting here and then Lee Sean, you receive the information and you say this is cool, it's in central park. You can move this to the east coast. You quickly collect your piece of art and you go and you get, and you drop yours in. Then I take Matt's piece. Maybe if this happens in Seattle and I take Matt's piece back to New York and I hide it in central part? Yeah, that's right. Okay, that's awesome. Not just Lee Sean, but I think all the users in that local area get notified and it starts a competition. Not just all the users in that area. Lee Sean response. I'm sure Matt already knows people in other countries, if he tells all of his friends and associates about it, there's probably somebody in Japan, China, somebody, that would pick up and receive that message, they might decide, I'm visiting US in a few weeks, I'll take a trip out to this geocache and bring a piece of art. That's really interesting. Or somebody, who's not an artist might just go to see the piece of art, get a selfie with it. So he could say, "See, I found it" and they put it back and continue. It's almost art, that's meant to be stolen or moved, that's the game dynamic of who can get there first? It's not really being stolen, it's being created, cuz if you take it, you have to leave something, then that way also it grows, because now you've built a community of artists and art appreciators, who are going out there. Okay, I need to make an avatar for myself. We can use this one. I'll make one here. When people go to visit, they have something to look forward to and because of the fact, that someone might grab it and leave their own, there's incentive to come back. Cuz you still get a reward if you come back, something different, potentially. This green and purple thing here. Then you drop off, let's say, that this is in Seattle. You know the tree looks like a green Joshua tree. Starting to lose structural integrity here. You drop off Matt's piece in central park. Why don't we just do a magical barrier here, this is the west coast, this is the east coast and we can just make this jump. Use this as a Mississippi. That's the Mississippi river. These are all of the fly over states, I'm allowed to say that, cuz I'm from Arizona. One really important piece, that we haven't done yet is every idea, we're just focusing on one idea, because of time to demo things, but what I find really helpful in this design thinking stuff when you're developing concepts, your concept should have a name and it doesn't have to be the final public facing brand name but it makes it more real beyond all of these great crafts, but to just have it as a concept. Then in the case, where we had this versus some other concept, we can just talk about them as name, rather than the game thing and the app thing. I like this idea of art heist, even though you're not really stealing the art, there's is this mission there. I don't know, I'm open to other names, we could totally do a little branding session, but having some sort of name is really helpful. I like that. You like that, okay? Why don't we just make a little. One of the things, that appeals to me about this concept is that it combines a couple of things, that Matt liked, because it gives you a challenge, since in order to start it, he would have to go out and pick a spot and make a piece of art and stuff in a box. Then tells friends about it, so that gives him a challenge there, but also as this grows and more people start creating these geocaches, it starts turning into a walkabout, you'd end up having an incentive to go from geocache to geocache. I also like the idea, you're leaving something behind, if the second user comes there, he or she is not empty handed, if they come there first, then they get Matt's or they come there second, they get Lee Sean's. Very cool and then is there an end to this game, cuz I think of the insights, that we talked about earlier was this idea of accountability. I think in this concept it require Matt to be a social instigator. Presumably just keep on going forever as people make art and leave art places and then start bringing it to different places internationally, but is there a way to make it end? Maybe it's just a summer thing. People could still keep doing it, but able to just naturally if this allow, like Pokemon did? Does it need an end? I don't think it needs an end. Geocaching has been basically a sport for decades and it's become so big, that there's a company based in Seattle, that has built around the concept of geocaching. It's the building on existing things, which I really like. That goes back to the framework, that I mentioned with Benny the blowfish earlier today, when we've looked both historically at the history of geocaching and also looked around just locally, that there is a company, that's doing stuff like this, we're building our design, we're building our innovation on top of these things, that already exist, but also addressing some of the needs, that we're surfaced by Matt's story. Maybe there isn't an end, but is there an end to this story so we can see, can we somehow demonstrate, that there's perpetual motion? This is the statue of liberty. Oh, cool. She's french, like you. Perhaps there's an aspect of accountability, that's like a time sensitive thing, maybe when he sounds out the blast, he's giving them a time limit, which they need to accept or decline the challenge. If they accept, then they have x amount of time to produce a piece of artwork and at which point in time that location would be presented to their phones and then they'd have to run there and place it. Is it just an honor system of being able to swap out the art or is there some sort of physical mechanism there, that forces you to be able to take it? That gave me an idea. The concept that was pioneered in the extreme ice survey, James Baylock actually staged cameras all over the world to do a two year long time lapses of glaciers, what if we built a camera into each of these, that when you open it, you get a photograph. You be able to see essentially a log of all the visitors and all artwork they've brought. It could also be like a selfie thing, I think that's an interesting viral marketing dynamic to get more people into the game or into the story world. When this character goes and sees the art, then you can take a selfie with the original artwork and then post it as, hey, I'm here, whether or not you're leaving your artwork or not. Maybe that's just an intermediate step in the user journey. Just add some appeal to it and make him more, make it appeal to people, who are tech savvy. It just opens it, it adds a tell a friend aspect to it, once you take the selfie and maybe there's a specific art heist hashtag, that allows you to figure out the instructions or play yourself. Another aspect to consider is the feedback component, maybe the Lee Sean, have you or the user, who finds Matt's artwork and you plant it somewhere else, there's some kind of feedback mechanism, that you can comment on his artwork and tell him where you've left it. He knows where his artwork has traveled. It goes back to, there's Matt right there. Six would be. that idea is really cool, because as an artist, you can get a sense for where your art's been traveling around the world. <v H. D.>If you're going into Japan, you can bring it, oh, my painting went across the ocean. You could pull up a web app, that shows you where your artwork's gone, path of your work, seems like that would be a rewarding thing for an artist. This person enjoyed my art, they pass it onto this person and then this person. Maybe there just has to be something on each of these art pieces, that allows me to identify, that it's Matt and then I can contact him, when I move his artwork somewhere else. Or if ID tag. Or if ID tag, or just the username for this game, we don't have to decide that now, but maybe we note that as a mechanism. One of those QR codes? QR code. Like a QR code on the back. Or just his Whatsapp number. That works. Or just the image itself, there's technology in apps to recognize the image. We don't have to deal with the design as there's something, that identifies the piece and that closes the loop, which I like for this story and then we can assume, that it spirals out. Why don't we review the story as a rehearsal one more time and then we'll bring Matt up here to show him the story. He's seen us come up with this so far, but let's just do the canonical dry run version and then we'll bring him up here and then we'll get some feedback. Hold on, one step that's missing, which is once you've dropped off Matt's painting in central park, you pick up whatever was there. Okay, so do we need to make once more artwork? Yes. Okay, do you wanna get that, H. D.? I love that, because it's also how these things grow, basically you have to have a piece of art in order to bring or take one out. We'll need to tape it or we'll just have to get some tape here. Where's the Lee Sean avatar, it's right there. Alright, why don't we do the dry run through. I guess you're gonna play yourself, I'll play me, do you wanna play Matt? You're the am-nish narrator, that just jumps in and explains some things. Do you have an avatar for Matt? Matt's here. I was looking at the back, but didn't see that. Why don't you kick off the story and then we'll cut to Matt. Okay, we're in Seattle, there's a geocache location, Matt comes to the geocache location with his piece of art, picks up the existing work of art. He's starting it, though, right? Oh, he starts it, so there's nothing there. Why don't you just narrate for us, tell us what's happening and what you're doing. Matt is dropping off his first piece of art to see the whole thing in his initial geocache. Then he goes back. Sends the notification. To everybody, everybody he knows. Then H. D. Is next. I produce my artwork and then I receive the geocache location on my phone after I had confirmed, that I'm producing my artwork. You as well. Yes, I've also made an artwork here and I've received the message as well and that's kind of like a race to see who's gonna get there first. We start running. My avatar's going here, you're going here. <v H. D.>I guess you find it before I do. I find it before you do, I drop off my artwork. First I take a selfie of myself with Matt's artwork and then I put my artwork here, and then I'm traveling back to New York. While you're traveling, I arrive to the coordinates and find your work. I take a selfie with your artwork and I replace my artwork there. And you send a notification. Yes. Yes. And I've sent a notification to Matt as well, saying, "Hey, I'm taking your artwork back to New york". I've found this geocache, I create a geocache in central park or somewhere in New York city, I drop off his artwork there and then he's notified, but then other players in this system are also notified, that there's a new location with artwork there. You can add your comments about what you think about his artwork. Totally and then it just spirals from there. Does that make sense as a story? I think that really brings this idea to life. Why don't we just reset the game. I like that. I like that, you see how just having objects to play with has helped us design this game. Obviously it's version zero of a game and we're gonna get some feedback from Matt in a sec on this game, but now we have a story to pitch and it's not just a bunch of bullet points, we don't have a Power Point slide of something. He might have some ideas for us to improve it and iterate upon it, and do stuff form there, but you see how that was relatively simple in a short amount of time.

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 : )