Design Thinking is a methodology, a way to face challenges, focusing on understanding the real needs of users in order to provide them a solution based on 5 stages:
- Empathise or take the place of the user to understand their needs.
- Identify problems and relevant information through interviews.
- Generate multiple ideas, different approaches.
- To make a prototype. Bringing ideas to reality with prototypes to help us “to create”, because the only way to learn is creating.
- Evaluate. Provide users with prototypes and understand how they use them, detecting and correcting errors, improving the product. Checking if the success criteria have been achieved.
In the world of online training, often professionals address clients with the solution in our heads, before hearing from the client what is the problem, when the most logically thing would be to understand the problem first and then discuss how to fix it. This is not to make problems and solve it with our solutions, it is to ensure our solutions solve problems.
It is about placing the user at the heart of the process, not an authoring tool or a learning platform.
To solve a problem of a client, let’s say the change to the digital reinforcing capabilities of the organization, there are many possible approaches. The most logical approach is to understand the daily life of users, what they do, how they do, why they do it in that way. By collecting relevant information, opening a discussion, proposing solutions to be as creative as possible, building a prototype of these solutions to face real problems and checking how they solve the need. From here refine, iterate, improve.
Attending an e-learning course is not always the best solution, other possible approaches could be:
- To propose a gymkhana consisting of activities spread across multiple platforms.
- To create a gamified microsite.
- To create a project involving small groups which then serve as emissaries in an organisation.
Agreeing to this approach, an authoring tool or a training platform, shift to the background
It may not be a training platform, activities could be decentralised and objectives could be measured by Google Analytics, for example.
Imagine a company that wants to train its sales staff on new products. An approach could be to do a course, but it could be also an App for mobile devices similar to Trivial in which users compete against each other and against the system. Nor an authoring tool or a training platform is needed.