How to Think Like a Designer | frog design
13 octubre 2020
What to Know about Knowledge
Now that it’s clear that different types of intelligence are in play throughout the design process, here are some considerations for how to apply this knowledge when forming design teams.
First and foremost, knowledge takes perspective. It’s critical to pack your design team with a diverse group of people with different training, roles, ages, abilities and viewpoints. You want as much diversity of perspective as possible to arrive at the most meaningful, relevant insights. There are also more tactical benefits. Inviting a range of people to the table at opportune moments keeps people informed throughout, allowing all team members to act more strategically in their individual contributions. For example, at frog, we’ve seen great benefits to having different business domains represented in collaborative work sessions, from design to marketing, finance and IT.
Secondly, intelligence requires the right conditions to thrive. To harness the brainpower of a team, people need the right climate to work in both from an environmental standpoint and on a cultural level. The act of generating ideas takes mental energy, and a vulnerability to express embryonic ideas with the rest of the team. It is important to safeguard this act. At frog, we aim to create mutually supportive environments where the majority of the team’s mental energy can go toward supporting the design challenge at hand—not feeling mired in thoughts related to unhealthy work dynamics, such as having to feel defensive of inputs or protective of ideas. It is important for team members to think freely, feeling supported by their colleagues and in a stable, secure environment for doing their best work.
Finally, humans need a break from thinking to go experiencing. Have you ever been sitting at your desk, sipping coffee and staring at your computer screen when an insight gently knocked at your door, floated in and fully materialized at your desk? Probably not. More likely, a striking realization came to you once you left the comfort of your desk, took a walk, talked to people, busied yourself with an uncomplicated physical task, or allowed yourself to mentally relax and explore in some way. Inspiration can come from anywhere, but rarely while you’re sitting down waiting for it to arrive. You need to go look for it. Allow yourself and your team space to explore and process information away from the desk from as much as you can.
How to Learn More about Insights
From a team and organization standpoint, understanding how people think can inform how business functions and teams are structured, the tools used and processes in place. Through frog’s Org Activation practice, we help companies form stronger teams that activate and organize around the customer to deliver continuous value over time.
Understanding intelligence can also inform the scoping of projects, specifically related to synthesizing insights from design research. Insights are invaluable to the design process—they’re a way of demonstrating clarity around the design challenge and lead to stronger, more viable concepts to explore. To learn more about insights, read my previous piece on the difference between insights and information.
For my guide to collaborating as a team to arrive at valuable insights, download How to Uncover Valuable Design Insights: 3 Steps to Understanding the Unknown.