Inspired by Design Thinking

By Kate Howell, Project Manager

“What is Design Thinking anyway?” Dan Goods asked, having demonstrated that his work is just that – the intersection of design principles and strategy work. You can see his Ted Talk here.

Goods went on to tell us that the first man-powered spaceship was designed without a window. “Put an artist in the room of the planning meeting and you will have a picture window installed in the spacecraft.” That’s the best tangible example of how creativity plays an important role in every workplace. An engineer is focused on creating the most effective and efficient technology. That doesn’t usually mean it is also user-friendly.

To Simply Strategy, finding a way to present our research findings in a digestible format is an ongoing challenge and opportunity. Give five people the chance to reflect on the data, you will likely get five different perspectives on what is important and how to present it. So how do you design something that everyone understands?

Today’s go-to data visualization tool is an infographic. Infographics became popular with the rise of social media. There a lot of good ones and lots of bad ones.

But what we learned from Dan Goods is that getting at the very essence of a thing is the best way to understand it. Drill a tiny hole in a single piece of sand to illustrate how little we know about the whole universe.

An infographic, pie chart, or bar graph may not get to the real answers we seek.

Let us all challenge ourselves to get to the essence of our work. It will probably take time, but is worth the exercise. We’ll let you know when we have discovered ours.

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