https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-i2NWMomUw "Take it to the streets!" That's what we often proclaim as design thinkers. It means you show people your ideas while they are half-baked and that you learn and iterate quickly. But, in fact, it’s easier said than done. Convincing teams to take that risk -- to start with rough ideas and develop concepts with customers and in front of customers takes guts.
Last March, I helped a team of Fidelity associates, including a user researcher, a developer, a financial representative and a product manger take their ideas into a Fidelity branch office in San Jose, Calif. for our first ever “Fidelity Labs Pop-up Design Shop.” We were inspired by a similar effort we’d seen our design thinking friends at Nordstrom tackle with sunglasses, and inspired by the work I’m part of here at the d.school in my role as a fellow.
Over the course of three days, we listened to customers and, with their help, moved from paper-prototypes to working code on two applications. It was a great example of a variety of lean startup and design thinking methods and mindsets: radical collaboration, rapid iteration, low-res prototyping, build-measure-learn, show don't tell, card sorts, enactment, and experience prototyping, and that's just to name a few. We emerged much wiser after the three days from our customers' insights, had gained trust from the staff at our branch and had developed not one but two functioning applications from which to learn even more.
Not bad, for three days-worth of design work.