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Designing the right thing

Donna Spencer
September 29, 2022

Designing the right thing

When we have a good idea, we often just want to dive in and get started. But how do we know the idea is actually good? Learn some design thinking methods to help you 'design the right thing' instead of 'designing the thing right'. We'll explore some simple ways to make sure you are on the right path, and be confident that it is the right path.

Donna Spencer

September 29, 2022
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  1. Designing the right
    thing
    Donna Spencer

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  2. About me
    ● Principal Product Designer at MakerX
    ● 20+ years of design experience
    ● Author of 5 UX books
    ● @maadonna
    ● Linkedin: Donna Spencer

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  3. It’s easy to design the thing right…
    It’s better to design the right thing

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  4. A design funnel instead

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  5. Research expands our options

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  6. Customer / user research lets
    us check fitness of the idea

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  7. Idea generation

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  8. Generate more ideas from the
    original

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  9. Select some to continue with

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  10. Idea exploration

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  11. Deepen the ideas by going
    into them in more detail

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  12. Select ideas to prototype

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  13. Prototypes test feasibility and
    desirability

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  14. Idea generation methods

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  15. Brainstorming
    Free-form idea
    generation
    No critique/judgement
    Doesn’t happen
    naturally
    Structure and prompts
    can improve outcomes

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  16. Paperclip
    brainstorm
    Give people a
    paperclip
    Think about how many
    uses it could have
    Good warmup before
    brainstorming

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  17. 3-12-3
    brainstorming
    3 min: write starting ideas
    individually and throw them
    in the pool
    12 min: pair up, draw 3 ideas
    and develop a concept
    3 min: report back Needs
    strict timekeeping and a
    ticking clock.
    Another good warmup

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  18. Collaborative
    sketching
    Sketch an initial idea
    Share with the group
    Using the ideas shared,
    sketch again
    Variant – pass your idea to
    someone else and they
    revise your idea (this is
    also called brainwriting)

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  19. SCAMPER
    Substitute
    Combine
    Adapt
    Magnify/Modify
    Put to other uses
    Eliminate
    Rearrange / Reverse

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  20. Reversal
    A specific version of
    SCAMPER
    Ask people to create a
    worse idea than the
    starting prompt
    Good for loosening up
    a group
    Always fun!

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  21. Keyword
    combinations
    Create a list of words
    related to the problem
    Technology,
    adjectives, different
    markets
    Use these words in
    novel combinations

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  22. Idea exploration methods

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  23. Bodystorming
    Brainstorming in
    physical space by
    acting out an idea

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  24. Elevator pitch
    For (user or customer)
    who has (a particular need)
    the (thing – idea, feature or
    product)
    is a (category – broad idea that
    describes these kind of things)
    that (main benefit).
    Unlike (closest competitor if
    there is one)
    the thing (unique differentiator).

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  25. Newspaper story
    from the future
    Imagine it’s 3 years
    from now. What would
    put your product on
    the front page of the
    newspaper?

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  26. Design the box
    Design the box for a
    product
    ● Name
    ● Tagline
    ● Features
    ● Description

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  27. Prioritisation and selection methods

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  28. Prioritisation
    matrix
    2x2 matrices to help
    determine priorities

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  29. Divide the dollar
    Give everyone $100
    They can allocate
    features to that $100

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  30. MoSCoW
    Must: essential to the product, legal
    requirements, safety requirements
    or that other features are dependent
    on.
    Should: provide significant value.
    Could: technically feasible, but may
    need more research to determine if
    they are valuable.
    Won’t: technically not feasible, that
    yet have no known value, are
    included in a different product or
    are otherwise out of scope.

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  31. Thank you!
    Find me at
    ● @maadonna
    ● Linkedin: Donna Spencer (tell me you met
    me here)
    ● Work: makerx.com.au
    ● Methods at designmethods.com.au (very
    unfinished)

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