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Author's profile photo Sarah Leukhardt

Design-Led Innovation: 3 Days Workshop

Three days…?

– to went from one first idea to one clickable prototype? In our way of thinking Digital Transformation needs more than technology. Based on this mindset we established this Workshop called “Design-Led Innovation”. The full Design-Led Innovation Workshop takes 3 days. In Several Phases (6), problems get analyzed, ideas developed and one clickable prototype designed. The basis for this workshop is an already worked out, specific challenge of the customer, which now needs a solution. In order to reach this point, we often carry out a Design Thinking Workshop.

After we had conducted one of our first “Design-Led Innovation” Workshops I knew: “We need more workshops like this!” That’s why I want to show you the process behind and the learnings we made.

Before starting our Design-Led Innovation workshop we prepared a short agenda for the workshop which helped us to create a great introduction of the challenge. Participants from different areas and roles in the company are brought together, in order to get different perspectives of the challenge.

1. Phase: Understand

Right at the beginning of the first workshop-day we made sure to clarify the challenge statement, which was the idea to develop an application on the SAP Cloud Platform for one logistical process which needed to get digitizes. We understood the business and opportunities of the challenge during 20 minutes pitches from the company’s division for this topic, the development team leader to understand the technological capabilities, and also reviews of the users’ feedback. After this first phase of understanding we sketch different process-models on the flipchart to get if we have the same right understanding of the processes and actual situation. After that, we changed settings – we had the opportunity to look inside these processes in a real environment. Thereby we were able to observe the end-user, how they work, which interactions are taken and what they need.

2. Phase: Define

After we had understood the challenge (and had enjoyed lunch break) we started by creating various personas that describe the products users. With the end-users in mind we created the first journey map where we discovered which functions at which time they need.

3. Phase: Divergent

Next phase we started throwing ideas and created many sketches to test different UI-possibilities. We generated many ways of solving the challenge – the different perspectives through the multidisciplinary team had been an advantage.

4. Phase: Decide

Together we discussed the different solutions and got step by step more defined. In the end, we decided for one idea to prototype.

5. Phase: Prototype

After deciding for one concept we were ready to start the next phase – prototyping. The prototype allowed us to test our ideas and thereby save time, money and other resources. Personally, as the UX Designer in the team, I finalized the sketches into one clickable prototype using the Fiori Styleguideline.

6. Phase: Validate

After the development of the prototype we validated, so the customer was then able to test the prototype with the end user. The validation stages required the technology team to review the solution and figure out its complexity and how much time it takes to develop.


Finished the workshop – what have we learned?

First, the engagement of the team was impressive. Obviously, it was a different and new approach for our client with new unexpected ideas and concepts. The workshop was an eye-opener and awaken curiosity – i.e. lot of questions came up how to prototype (methods, tools…). Also, there was one function which was considered as very important in the beginning of the workshop – through discussions in testing different solutions the function perceived to be unimportant. Otherwise, without testing different concepts it would have been developed and a lot of time and money wasted.

As a designer you’re often required to provide rapid solutions because of the lack of budget and time. This Design-Led Workshop allows us to solve these challenges without wasting too many resources.

However, we have to be prepared for a long journey – it takes time to change and influence the way how organizations work. But it’s an exciting time for me as a designer, because the industry is starting to see the huge value of design for a successful digital transformation.


Stay tuned for more articles – and leave me a comment!

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