Design Thinking

IDEO U: Insights for Innovation UX Course

  • Empathy
  • User Insights
  • Interviewing
  • Design Thinking
  • UX Research
  • Wireframing

Course Prompt

How might we provide new products and services for the modern 70-year-old?

Project Scope

Explore the desire and challenge to embrace emerging technology at a late age.

To gain more insight into design thinking methodologies, in Jan 2019 I enrolled in an exploratory UX course by IDEO: Insights for Innovation.

L1: Observation

Practice observing behavior through an unbiased lens. Use the six steps of observation to look for: things that prompt behavior, adaptations, what people care about, body language, patters and the unexpected.

L2: Extremes

Understand how learning from extreme perspectives can stretch your thinking to go beyond assumptions and get to bold, new ideas. Learn how to identify extreme people and behaviors to observe and interview.

L3: Interviewing

Learn how to conduct a great interview so you can get deeper, more honest answers that inspire great insights. Prepare questions for your interview that sets the stage for trust, openness and sharing.

L4: Empathy Immersion

Design an immersive experience complete with emotional triggers to go beyond intellectual understanding and obtain a more visceral sense of another’s perspective.

L5: Crafting Insights

Summarize and share the compelling insights you gathered throughout this course to make sense of your observations, create a powerful call to action and inspire others to innovate.

The modern 70-year-old is less afraid of technology than his or her parents. Both shoppers I observed used digital smart phones throughout their shopping experience because they value convenience. While learning new technology can be more difficult for an older generation, these women were willing to learn if it meant saving money and time.
Takeaway #1

Let the conversation guide the questions

Takeaway #2

Remember the project focus

Takeaway #3

Don’t shy away from uncomfortable topics

To gain empathy for the modern 70-year-old, I designed an experiment to navigate driving with Google Maps through the lens of slower reactions. My husband facilitated delayed audio instructions to simulate cognitive delay. The process revealed how stressful driving can be for people with slow reactions.

Observations & Insights

IDEO is a renowned organization in leading user research techniques. This course gave me the opportunity to explore design thinking methods in depth and better understand my audience. This particular challenge, working with a user group over the age of 70 was fun and challenging. In tech, aging adults are often overlooked with new design and feature implementation. I’m excited to reflect on my current research processes and find ways to implement similar approaches to gaining insights.