d.forum - Think. Do. Share.
Danny Pancratz
Manager, Communities—ASUG
The principles excited my desire to work smarter and more effectively.
Q:
What do you enjoy most about d.forum?
A:
It may seem cheesy, but I have most enjoyed the knowledge I’ve gained from d.forum: specifically, tools to maintain a focus on human-centered design. The fundamental principles of human-centered designed and empathy had already been part of my workstyle; I just hadn’t yet discovered how to speak the language or to put them in practice. Design Thinking felt like common sense. It wasn’t hard for me to get onboard because the principles excited my desire to work smarter and more effectively. It was very exciting.
We are working with our customers and volunteers in a new way and feel they can become part of the design process; allowing for buy-in and more empathy through testing of prototypes.
Q:
What is the most important thing you have learned from your d.forum experience?
A:
It was the lesson about the difference between presenting a shiny finished project versus a prototype. This is one of my biggest challenges as I tend to want to present finished projects and often lose sight of the importance of user feedback and iterating upon ideas/prototypes. This lesson helps keep me focused on the core principle of empathy throughout the process.
Q:
How are you bringing design thinking to your organization?
A:
The approach we Design Thinking disruptors have taken is to try to introduce design thinking components and fundamentals into our daily work, especially when working on team projects. We learned that sometimes formal workshops or telling people, “you’re learning design thinking now,” isn’t the most productive way to get others to catch on. We’re trying to slowly weave in an increased focus on empathy, as well as other lessons from Design Thinking.
Design thinking has allowed my team more opportunities to practice the design thinking mindset and to find the right problem to solve, rather than solving a problem too quickly.
Q:
What have been your AHAs! Ta Dahs! Lessons Learned and Best Practices/ Wins you’d like to share?
A:
There’s a big difference between what you want to design and the right design. Incorporating empathy and maintaining a focus on the user can very quickly derail a project from the path you thought it might take. You need to be willing to go where the Design Thinking method takes you: find the right problem, rather than “solve a problem” by forcing your opinion of the answer as solution.