At Fair Haven Innovates, we are makers.
We make for others.
This is our design process.
We use our design process to create innovative solutions to our user’s tame or wicked problems.
Here are the simple rules for using our design process:
Our design process starts with Empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. We lead with Empathy to understand and share the feelings of our users, customers, and clients.
There are four simple rules, that are best followed in order, to develop Empathy:
The leaders in Design Thinking, the d.school at Stanford, say:
As a designer you need to understand the people for whom you are designing. In order to design for your users, you must build empathy for who they are and what is important to them.
Observing what people do and how they interact with their environment gives you clues about what they think and feel. It also helps you to learn about what they need. By watching people you can capture physical manifestations of their experiences, what they do and say. This will allow you to interpret intangible meaning of those experiences in order to uncover insights. These insights will lead you to the innovative solutions.
Engaging with people directly reveals a tremendous amount about the way they think and the values they hold. Sometimes these thoughts and values are not obvious to the people who hold them. A deep engagement can surprise both the designer and the user by the unanticipated insights that are revealed. The stories that people tell and the things that people say they do—even if they are different from what they actually do—are strong indicators of their deeply held beliefs about the way the world is.
Good designs are built on a solid understanding of these kinds of beliefs and values. Engage to:
In addition to speaking with and observing your users, you need to have personal experience in the design space yourself. Find (or create if necessary) experiences to immerse yourself to better understand the situation that your users are in, and for which you are designing.
In Fair Haven Innovates, we use Empathy Maps to unpack, reflect, and discuss the insights we’ve learned while observing, engaging, and walking in our users’ shoes.
Lead with Empathy and return to this stage often. Empathy is the key to designing something that changes someone’s life.
After Empathy, we move to the Define stage. In the Define stage, we will define our user and their challenge.
We define our challenge by creating a challenge statement. A challenge statement should explain, preferably in one descriptive and specific sentence, your user and their challenge. We must make a descriptive and specific challenge statement because it is the starting point for making an innovative solution for our user’s challenge. If we don’t get the challenge right, we can’t design the perfect solution. Your Empathy Map will be important in the define stage. Refer to it often.
As a Simple Rule, a challenge statement should:
We write it as (Re)Define for a reason. You will need to revisit the Define stage when the Testing stage doesn’t solve a user’s challenge. If you don’t understand a user’s true challenge, you probably won’t come up with a solution that works for them.
Here are a few simple rules when visiting the (Re)Define stage:
There are two phases to the Imagine stage. During the first phase, your job is to brainstorm a lot of ideas and diverse ideas to solve your user’s problems. Ideas change and grow as they develop so its important that you don’t throw out ideas in this stage.
Here are the Simple Rules we use when we have a brainstorming session:
Your brainstorm should have generated many, diverse ideas to solve your user’s challenge. During the selection phase, its time to harvest solutions to grow into prototypes during the Make stage. But how do you know what ideas are worth growing into prototypes? Sometimes it’s easy and most of the team will agree on the 2-3 ideas to turn into prototypes. If so, Great! You have your ideas for the Make stage! Sometimes it’s hard to pick 2-3 ideas.
Here are the simple rules to help your team select possible solutions to build in the Make stage:
Now that you have a few ideas on how to solve your user’s problem, it’s time to get the ideas off of paper and turn them into a prototype. Your prototype is the physical form of a solution for your user’s challenge. Machines, apps, games, pictures, videos, storyboards, etc. are all forms of prototypes.
If this is your first time building a prototype, keep the design and materials simple, make it fast, and keep it cheap because your first prototype will fail. Don’t worry! As long as you learn something from your prototype when you test it, it’s a successful failure. Successful failures are good.
You will come back and rebuild your prototype using the insights you discover in the Testing stage, so your goal is to get out of the Make stage and into the Test stage as quickly as possible.
Here are the Simple Rules to follow when making for the first time:
After gaining new insights during a Testing phase, you will most likely return to the Make stage to improve your prototype.
Here are the Simple Rules for making after testing:
Testing is an opportunity to get feedback on your solution and learn more about your user by engaging users with your prototype. The feedback and learning about your solution and user comes from observations, interviews, surveys, and experiments.
Here are the simple rules for testing with users:
Often, you will need to design an experiment to know if your solution is working. This is especially true if you have many users that you can’t personally interact with. Designing an experiment to test a prototype is a lot like the Scientific Method.
Here are the simple rules for designing an experiment:
After you finish the design process by solving your user’s problem, it’s time to tell their story. Storytelling isn’t as hard as it might seem. Stories are simply a person in a place who has a problem.
Here are the Simple Rules for storytelling:
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand pictures. Planning ahead, but staying open to possibility will give you the best chance of making an awesome video. Know what you are trying to do and be aggressive about communicating it in the frame. If it’s not in the frame, it doesn’t exist.
Simple Rules for shooting video:
Editing can make or break a video: the story is supported or ruined by the way a video is sequenced, paced, & scored.
Simple Rules for editing video: