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Before you start reading this blog post on X-press Design Thinking Workshop, please note the following:

  • This is not a training material for Design Thinking.

  • The consultants intended to practice X-press Design Thinking must have gone through at least one standard Design Thinking training and have some experience on conducting a workshop.

  • This blog post explains how to utilize the concepts of Design Thinking when you are constrained by time and wish to extract maximum information in less time, which is a typical real world situation on most of the customer-facing projects.

  • The approach for the X-press Design Thinking is an outcome of my experience on various projects during all these years.


So, let's get started:

Why X-press Design Thinking Workshop?

  • Before we build it right we want to make sure that we are building the right ‘it’.

  • Learn the actual pain points of users.

  • Identify various hidden or unspoken requirements/expectations.

  • Use this to show immediate value add to the customers.

  • In most of the projects there is no scope to execute full Design Thinking cycle, due to Time and Budget constraints.

How X-press Design Thinking is different from the Standard Design Thinking?

Understand and Observe is being clubbed in one step Data Collection. There is not much difference from the standard DT as the user interviews, note taking and other observation activities will be performed. Additionally any existing flow charts, solution documents etc. would be asked for.

POV, Ideate and Prototype are being clubbed under Design Mock-ups step. Consultant will have to present his/her understanding from the Data Collection step. Tools like journey map, flow chart etc. can be used. Consultants would not  have a team to ideate. They will have to come up with an idea based on their research. The same idea should be presented to the customer as the very first mock-up.

Validate mock-ups step is to get feedback from the customer on mock-ups and then prepare a final mock-up. This final mock-up should get signed off by the customer and the same should go as an input to the development team.


Data Collection:

  • Interview the users/customer around the expected Design Challenge. Interview techniques from Standard Design Thinking workshop to be followed.

  • In this case the Design Challenge is the issue/problem for which a solution is being asked.

  • Make sure to get an understanding of all the screens and steps involved in the process.

  • Understand the Roles involved in the process.

  • Try to understand if it’s a multi-application scenario or not. If yes, then consider your application as a black box and find out the following:

    • Input to your application from the pre-step application

    • Output from your application for the post step application.

  • Any existing process flow diagram, crude wireframe could be treated as an input.

  • Below is an example of data collection template.

Design Mock Ups:

  • Demonstrate the understating of the Problem/Design Challenge to the customer.

  • Highlight all the pain points and the roles affected.

  • Use a process flow chart or journey map to demonstrate your understanding.

  • Idea is to demonstrate the understanding and not the drawing skills.

  • When the understanding on the problem is clear, start designing mock-up.

  • Mock-ups could be simple sketches using pencil and paper or any tools

  • The tool to be used for designing mock-ups should be decided based on the available time to present the first version of mock-ups to the customer.

  • Flow charts or Journey maps created should be the inputs for the mock-ups.

  • Mock-ups must clearly indicate the following:

    • Layout of screens

    • Fields(Primary, Secondary, Tertiary)

    • Position of fields and Action Buttons

    • Navigation among screens

  • Process Flow and Journey map could be expressed as shown in below samples.

    • Process Flow

    • Journey Map

Validate Mock Ups: 

  • Make an attempt to present the first version of Mock-ups to the customer as soon as possible.

  • Be prepared for lot of comments and even some criticism on the 1st version of mock-ups.

  • Lot of things which were untold till now will start coming out.

  • Don’t try to defend the mock-ups. Remember you are not there to sell these mock-ups.

  • Incorporate the comments and prepare revised version of the mock-ups.

  • This process is iterative and experience tells that 2-3 iterations should be good enough to get the mock-ups finalized.

  • Final mock-ups must get signed off by the customer.

  • Mock-ups should be the input for the development team and should be considered as a pre-requisite for development.


With the above approach, a successful Design Thinking workshop can be executed with the customer where time is a primary constraint. Also, the value of the workshop can be immediately showcased in an organized manner with the help of the example templates.
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