I thought that when I left high school, I also left seeing bullies and what they are capable of. As an adult in a professional environment, I see all kinds of bullying – from students, to faculty, to management; bullying is alive and well. It can be easy to mistake bullying or even ignore it altogether, but for the people effected, ignoring is not an option. There are many factors involved with workplace bullying and apart from the obvious psychological and emotional issues which may arise, productivity and motivation within the workplace can suffer. “Teachers in schools with high rates of bullying reported weaker leadership, teacher affiliation, and collaborative activity than teachers at schools with low rates of bullying” (Ertesvåg & Roland, 2015).

Understanding the design thinking process was quite overwhelming at first, but reviewing the readings helped with direction, purpose and a plan on following through with creating a tool to combat workplace bullying. The first step in designing is understanding the end goal: “designers attempt to get closer to the lives and experiences of users, in order to increase the likelihood that the product or service designed meets the user’s needs” (Kouprie and Visser, 2009). By imploring an empathetic approach and using qualitative data collection, I must keep the user in mind to ensure appropriate, rational support of the learner. Reading Kouprie and Visser helped stress the importance of creating more useful and enjoyable designs, however Kimbell helped me understand what to take away from the design process. Kimbell seems to throw out the traditional rule book regarding design thinking by utilizing other designations and professions to help ensure a well-rounded product that ensures everyone’s interest is met.

Kimbell’s “design-as-practice and designs-in-practice” (2012) made me understand that I was imploring the design-as practice, which is actually quite selfish and strictly viewed from a designer perspective without “reference to the artifacts” (Kimbell’s, 2012). I noticed my design was based on my personal experience and what I personally have observed, not what the user may want or need. I should utilize the designs-in-practice to ensure the process is specific and clearly outlined so I have a strong, well researched product. Kimbell also speaks to the importance of structure: “structure is not located in organizations, or in technology, but is enacted by users in practice” (Kimbell’s, 2012). I was able to begin mapping my design and through the readings, I am confident in the direction I am going. I don’t feel it is possible to eradicate bullies, but I think I can now create a human centered, empathetic tool with the user in mind, which will be effective in reporting workplace bullying.

References

Kimbell, L. (2012). Rethinking design thinking: Part II. Design and Culture4(2), 129-148. https://doi.org./10.2752/175470812X13281948975413

Kouprie, M., & Sleeswijk Visser, F. (2009) A framework for empathy in design: stepping into and out of the user’s  . Journal of Engineering Design20(5), 437-448. DOI:  10.1080/09544820902875033

Sigrun K. Ertesvåg & Erling Roland (2015) Professional cultures and rates of bullying, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 26:2, 195-214, DOI: 10.1080/09243453.2014.944547

Please click the link to view my Empathy Map: Empathy Map