#ReThinkIt15 -User Centered Design Panel

Sean Corcorran, Steelcase Education

Sean Corcorran, Steelcase Education

Invited Panel – User Centered Design

Mary Ellen, Chicago Public Library
Sean Corcorran, Steelcase Education

What is Design Thinking? This panel explores the messy, fun process of Design Thinking – including the end user in the design process to produce innovative solutions. Panelists will give some background about how they got involved in Design Thinking and discuss its benefits and drawbacks. They will describe projects where they have applied Design Thinking at the Chicago Public Library and at Steelcase, including in a Design Thinking Toolkit for Libraries developed with IDEO. Panelists will address such questions as: How do you introduce Design Thinking to your organizations and its leaders? How do you use Design Thinking on a daily basis? How do you pick the right people for your Design Thinking team?


  • Definition, History, Mindset, Process, Methods, Case Study

“Design thinking (DT) is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirement for business success.” – Tim Brown, President and CEO, IDEO

  • Mindset of DT = Empathetic, non-judgmental, comfortable with ambiguity, collaborative, iterative, failure is OK.
  • Process of DT = Empathize > Define > Ideate > Prototype > Test

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  • Conversations rather than interviews… keep it informal.
  • 5 whys… ask them why and why and why and why and why!
  • Observe what people do along with what they say.
  • Look for work-arounds as this is a good way to find what isn’t working
  • Build to learn and before that… build to think!
  • Talk less and listen more…

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  • Toolkit for Libraries process includes
    • Inspiration – design for behaviors rather than services or products. User and expert interviews, observations, immersive experiences, analogous settings
    • Ideation – storytelling, organizing insights. intuitive, not obvious, generative, sticky.
    • Iteration – prototyping to mini-pilots.
  • Mindset and a process: say, think, feel, do are pieces of practice in empathy.
  • Mindmixer is crowdsourcing for ideas.

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