On one rainy Saturday afternoon on December 6th, 6 people showed up to attend our session of the design thinking workshop out of the 11 that signed up.
Before our session, we set up the room into 3 groups by separating the tables. We were planning to have 2 groups of 4 and one group of 3. We distributed sticky notes and pads at each table and set up the technical equipment. We also made name tags for each person who RSVP’d in order to pre-arrange interdisciplinary teams.
Our plan for the workshop was to walk everyone through the steps toward a final product. We allotted about 20 to 30 minutes for each step and put up an outline of how the workshop would proceed on the board:
We officially began the session at about 2:10, hoping that more people would show up. We started the workshop by first showing everyone this fun little video about design thinking:
Then, we went on to explain OpenIDEO and the challenge they would be trying to solve that day, which was: How might communities lead the rapid transition to renewable energy?
Once everyone got introduced to the challenge, we taught them about interviewing. We performed 2 interview skits as examples of good and bad interviewing.
We also showed them the Empathy Map, Insights, and Point-of-View of the story, so they knew what their interviews had to lead to. Then, we broke them up into two groups of 3 and allowed them to start interviewing. At first, everyone was a little hesitant about going out in the real world to interview, so they all stayed within their own groups. When the groups weren’t able to obtain a great story from themselves, they decided to venture out into the Sage Atrium. Unfortunately, there weren’t too many subjects to choose from that day because of the weather outside. However, each group still managed to get a good interview out of their available options.
The interviewing portion of the workshop took much longer than planned. At this point, both groups were at different stages of the design thinking process. One group was able to come up with a Point-of-View fairly quickly while the other needed some extra time.
We allowed the groups to continue where they were, but we explained the next steps of brainstorming and voting. We made sure to tell them to be open-minded and supportive of each other’s ideas. Since the groups only had 3 people each, some of our own team members helped out with the brainstorming and voting.
Then, it was finally time to prototype. Everyone crowded around a big table and took full advantage of the supplies we provided. At this point we were already past the 2 hours that we had originally planned the workshop for, so we decided to skip the testing and re-prototyping phases. We still explained to everyone that in reality, there would be multiple iterations of the testing and prototyping stages until the final product was created.
Finally, it was time to present the ideas. We clapped for each group’s idea and prototype. One group even brought in their user to show her what they produced from her story. She really liked the idea. Overall, it seemed that both groups enjoyed the workshop and had a good experience.
Here are videos of the final presentations!
From hosting this workshop, we learned that trying to keep ourselves to strict time schedules at a design thinking workshop would not work out. It was a good thing we planned for only 2 hours because that gave us an extra hour to spare. We also learned that it would probably be advantageous if we had checked the weather forecast before deciding on a date. On the other hand, making sure that a member of Team 42 was listening to each group throughout the workshop was helpful to keep them on track. We provided advice and guidance along the way.