A Short Introduction to Design Thinking with Dawan Stanford — DT101 E32

Welcome to the Design Thinking 101 podcast! I’m Dawan Stanford, your host. This episode is a short introductory to design thinking through the lens of seeing, solving and acting.

Listen to learn more about:

  • The fundamentals of design thinking
  • Dawan’s definition of design thinking
  • Design thinking in three pieces: process, methods and mindset
  • Fluid Hive’s design thinking process: Seeing, Solving and Acting
  • Fixed mindset versus growth mindset
  • The mindset of a designer

Show Highlights

[00:47] Dawan likes to introduce design thinking by recounting a story from Doug Dietz, a designer and engineer at GE Healthcare.
[02:01] Doug witnessed a frightened child coming in for an MRI on the machine he designed.
[03:05] Statistics show that most children are scared and have to be sedated when getting MRIs and CT scans.
[03:09] Doug recognized a problem that needed to be solved.
[03:22] Doug talked to experts to better understand how to design for children.
[03:39] A cosmetic “facelift” turned the MRI machine into a pirate ship, and the room into an ocean.
[04:14] Parents received a storybook to read to their child before the appointment.
[04:33] The MRI appointment was turned into a game.
[04:47] Result of the redesign? A drastic reduction in the number of children needing sedation.
[05:33] Seeing and making sure we understand the problem is a fundamental part of design thinking.
[05:52] Breaking down design thinking into process, methods, and mindset.
[06:07] There is no one, single correct process to design thinking.
[06:35] Inside the process is where the design methods live.
[07:12] Mindset can’t be taught; you have to practice your way into it.
[07:44] The “definition” of design thinking.
[08:08] Taking a deep dive into the definition.
[08:30] It’s the discipline of helping people.
[08:36] Design methods help us explore.
[08:58] What problem are you trying to solve?
[10:40] The tricky aspect of “newness” and “not new enough” when designing.
[11:20] Ideas are not innovation.
[12:00] Fluid Hive’s process is three steps: Seeing, Solving, and Acting.
[12:56] Your solution has to be good for the people you serve and the people who have to deliver the solution.
[13:19] Knowing which questions to ask when in the design process.
[14:04] Fixed mindset versus growth mindset.
[16:19] What does design mindset look like?
[16:37] Everything is a prototype.
[15:56] Embracing the emotions.
[17:22] Designers are always curious.
[17:42] Designers are listeners and questioners.
[18:16] Designers are intentional about their actions.
[18:33] Designers like to dive in and try things.
[18:50] Designers are always changing and adjusting their work as the world around them changes.
[19:53] Taking a second look at Doug’s story, from a design perspective.


Elon By Design and The Center for Design Thinking, Elon University
Fluid Hive
Dawan Stanford on Twitter
Book Recommendation: Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs, by Larry Keeley, Helen Walters, Ryan Pickel, and Brian Quinn
Book Recommendation: Mindset – Changing the Way You Think to Fulfill Your Potential, by Carol Dweck

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Resources — Thinking and Solving Like a Designer


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