Design Thinking framework is a theoretical framework which incorporates five stages that focus on human centred-design. These stages include empathizing, define, ideate, prototype, and test (Conway, Masters & Thorold, 2017; Warman, 2015). As a media design and developer over the years, I have been accustomed to various ideologies and frameworks that flow along a similar stream such as design thinking. The most recent framework, before my exposure to design thinking, was the use of a design brief. A design brief is a document that the is produced that includes a variety of stages of analysis used as an aid to designers and developers to create a client based product (Sadowska & Laffy, 2017). Cass (2008) explains that a “design brief should primarily focus on the results and outcomes of the design and the business objectives” (para. 6). The stages of some traditional design briefs, which reflect Cass’s (2008) sentiment, include company background and goals, target market, project details, competition analysis, budget, and timeline (Cass, 2008). The target market, or demographic, includes what Cass (2008) outlines as “age, gender, income, tastes, views, attitudes, employment, geography, lifestyle” (para. 19), and was used in the past as more of an analytical tool rather that and empathetic method. Until now, I would evaluate sub-categories of a target audience, but did not create an empathetic of the end user or learner.
While I was unable to make use of a sample of the population at Algonquin College, I was taken aback by the time spent reviewing, reflecting and empathizing with the learners from the Interactive Media Management (IMM) program. The empathy stage of design thinking has given me new direction and a sense of self-realization that I had been working with this lack of understanding of the user to “design truly responsive solutions to their problems” (Warman, 2015). The use of my “own experiences, observations, as well as online blogs and academic publications” allowed me to unveil deeper issues, which I would normally overlook, within IMM that included “language barriers, overworked students, and learning disabilities” (Faber, 2018).
As a side note, I also realize that empathy comes with age. As I have aged, I have become more malleable, and the more I understand the learner. The MALAT program has also significantly enhanced this understanding. AMALT came along just at the right time.
As the IMM coordinator and professor, I have pre-maturely introduced the design thinking process into my curriculum and to the other professors in the program. This next academic year will prove as the testing ground as we, as mentors to our learners, will pass on the design thinking framework to the next generation of designers and developer.
The Procrastinator’s Companion (TPC) remains a work in progress. As indicated before, “TPC will be tested within the 2018-2019 cohorts of the Interactive Media Management program at Algonquin College. Dependent upon the results of the completion of these tests, The Procrastinator’s Companion may be released as an open educational resource in 2019” (Faber, 2018, para. 13).
Faber, D. (2018). The procrastinator’s companion: A digital learning resource. Unpublished paper.
Faber, D. (2018). An approach to procrastination. Unpublished paper.
Cass, J. (2008). How to write an effective design brief and get the design you want! | JUSTTM Creative. Retrieved August 19, 2018, from https://justcreative.com/2008/09/26/how-to-write-an-effective-design-brief/
Conway, R., Masters, J., & Thorold, J. (2017). From design thinking to systems change: How to invest in innovation for social impact. Retrieved from https://www.thersa.org/globalassets/pdfs/reports/rsa_from-design-thinking-to-system-change-report.pdf
Sadowska, N., & Laffy, D. (2017). The design brief: inquiry into the starting point in a learning journey. The Design Journal, 20(sup1), S1380–S1389. https://doi.org/10.1080/14606925.2017.1352664
Warman, G. (2015). Using design thinking in higher education. EDUCAUSE Review. Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2015/1/using-design-thinking-in-higher-education