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Innovative Problem Solving: Design Thinking Process

Design Thinking is a helpful framework for how to approach real problems from a design perspective.

https://www.godfrey.com/insights/creative/how-to-start-designing-with-empathy


UrbanGo Case Study


UrbanGo is a public transit and mapping startup based in Silicon Valley. Their goal is to solve the problems of urban mobility by offering the quickest and cheapest public and private transport routes to their users. Design Thinking Process Design Thinking is a helpful framework for how to approach real problems from a design perspective.



The Design Thinking Process visualized by the K12 Lab.
The Design Thinking Process visualized by the K12 Lab.

1. Empathize Observe, engage, watch and listen

For this practice, I interviewed 5 people from my environment. Interviewees were chosen from people who are often using public transport in and outland. I tried to keep the conversations loosely bounded and kept asking the question “why” in order to understand the user as deep as I could.


2. Define Framing the right problem is the only way to create the right solution

After interviewing 5 users from my environment in order to find the right challenge to address, there are 3 patterns emerged and stood out to me when talking and observing people. Looking at the problem space while creating a feature for this app that solves the pain of having to purchase different public transport tickets by different channels:

  • Buying the correct ticket suiting the needs of the passenger

  • Validation of the ticket

  • Payment methods

3. Ideate It’s not about coming up with the ‘right’ idea, it’s about generating the broadest range of possibilities.

Majority of the interviewees often were complainant about not being able to purchase a valid ticket in terms of starting point, zone, duration. Some of them have had very unpleasant experiences about ticketing products and services in abroad such as being fined by the ticket controller because of having the incorrect ticket from a specific airport they landed. Interviewees expressed friction accordingly as this is about not having the ticket but not knowing what ticket to purchase suiting their requirements. For this reason:

Solution 1: Creating a unique QR code after checking the starting and departure point of the passenger Solution 2: Creating a unique QR code after checking the circumstances /needs/requirements of the passenger for the entire stay


4. Prototype If a picture is worth a thousand words, a prototype is worth a thousand pictures

Solution 1: By providing the start and finish lines, the app lists possibilities with the option to filter from cheapest to fastest (and vice versa) public transportation. After selecting one of the options, user is directed to the ticket options eliminating the pain of having to purchase different public transport tickets by different channels as it provides a unique QR code for the whole ride. User doesn’t have to think if they are purchasing a valid ticket as the app provides a QR code considering the ride of the passenger from given A to B. QR code prevents the user from annoying process of buying tickets (queues, vending machines that don’t work, etc.)


Take aways

  • Interviews are very important source of data and a way to empathise the user. We shouldn’t condition ourselves to a solution before listening to the pain points of the user.

  • Even tough the universe of the product is surrounded by several potential features, we should focus on our task and not get distracted.


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