REFLECTION

May 23, 2011

DESIGN THINKING AND ENTREPRENEUR IN PRACTICE

One reason that I decided to go for Master in creative Economy is because I desire to be an entrepreneur. Although coming from a design background is beneficial,but it results to my lacking of the skills in the area of business. However, by taking this module ‘Design Thinking and Entrepreneur in Practice’ with Corrine, it is, indeed, bring me up the opportunity to a better understanding in running business since I have been able to experienced in the real business through this module.

BUSINESS THROUGH DESIGN THINKING

To me, the basic of design actually is problem solving, finding the best solution for the challenge. In order to find the answers, people have different methods of thinking style. However, in this current climate design thinking is claims as one of effective approach to create new solutions.

Today, design is not only focusing on the product or graphic. Design is more than about packaging. In order to innovate, Design is used in the process of thinking in order to achieve solutions.

“Thinking like a designer can transform the way you develop products, services, processes—and even strategy.” ( BROWN, 2008)  (1)

There are various definitions and principles of ‘design thinking’. To me, it is a cognitive process between the rational and emotional, linking both left and right brain thinking.

Somehow design thinking is commonly concerned with human needs as Tim brown stated on TED “Design starts with human”.

DESIGN THINKING AS AN INNOVATIVE TOOL

In order to stumble on the answers, Corrine usually encourages everyone to go out and experience, observe and ask people rather than sitting in the classroom. Through “Learning by doing”, ones are more likely to get inspired. People might realize the truth or discover new issues when they experienced the problems by themselves.

 “Insights are about getting out into the world, connecting with new things. Designers see the world as a source of innovation, not just validation. ” Tim Brown (2006) at MIT (2)

EMPATHY

In design thinking, empathy is claim as one of the most important principles of design thinking. According to Corrine (3), it is important to start with the customer’s need and answer those needs on emotional, cognitive and physical levels. It was used as a powerful tool to a great innovation in many organisations. In particular, If ones can understand the other’s feeling, we are more likely to arise with the precisely solutions.

By taking a “people first” approach, design thinkers can imagine solutions that are inherently desirable and meet explicit or latent needs. ( BROWN, 2008) (1)

However, some people argue that instead of begin with the customer’s needs, great brand lead users (4). It is possible that sometime a great innovation does not generate from human’s needs. Somehow, there is a fact that most of the great brands, such as Apple or IKEA, already know their customer’s need. Consequently, they are able to lead the customers by their design.

In the beginning of the first day, I had a chance to experience the empathy through the toilet activity, which allowed me to understand ‘users’ through the empathy. I had given a task of  ‘blind’ person that going to the toilet with the deft, robot and missing arms person. By this, I found that it seem very scary and difficult to move around without hitting anything. Moreover, the most challenging mission is when I have to use the toilet because I cannot do anything in a proper way.

Although it is very commond for every designers to know the basic design criteria for the disable, still,this mission offering me an opportunity to reach their feeling. With this empathy, i come across some issues that I have never been realized  before which provide me a better ideas in order to improve the toilet for disable.

Furthermore, by learning from ‘USER’(5) system model, it gave me a better insight in the context of user in more detail. To recognize the relationship between role, rule and object, the solutions are more likely to be clarify.

While many people start business with their passion, some may begin with their knowledge and capability. When ones doing something they really skillful or love, they can do it perfectly. However, as a fact that we are limited by the factors of time and capital therefore rather start from what we want, we looking from what we already have and know.

Our business ‘www.internationalstudenttollkit.com’ begin with our own experience and knowledge, we have faced many problems here, and that make us understand the feeling of other international students. Of course, the idea is a consequence from the empathy, which we are claim ourselves as a users as well.

In the first state, we went out to experience the problems by ourselves beside, tasting our ideas by asking and listening to many international students.  These are very important because it make us getting close to our users. For me, this process is quite challenging, I need a lot of effort and courage in order to speak with the stranger.

STORYTELLING

Storytelling is an effective tool to communicate with the users. It open a new dimension to design where the user’s needs are telling through the text, song, graphic, film, animation or event. One approach to the powerful storytelling is to play with people’s feeling. A good storytelling must engage with emotional and cognitive. I have noticed some lesson on the article ‘How the Best Storytellers Win’(6) by HARRIET RUBIN   that in the reality, facts do not matter, people decision has been made on the emotional.  There is no rules as great storytellers always dreaming and use their imagination to create their wonderful stories.

As graphic can tell the story, Logo is the first thing that we concerned for the reason that it is the first impression. We therefore try our best to send our message thought our IST’s logo and I think we did it quite well accept the missing part of London. Moreover, advertising is another storytelling that we used to communicate with our users. Both of our advertising(1 , 2), students are the actors of story. Meanwhile, by presenting through the stop motion, it is more likely to understand our product and service easier.

Somehow, storytelling is not just the approach to our target customer, but it also can represent our brand story. According to the article on fast company ‘Brand Storytelling’(7),  In order to position the message in the right place , the right story and the right time, You must understand how your brand emotionally reflects with customers

Although there are many ways to do storytelling, Perhaps persona is one of the effective methods that help create the customer and establish the target market.

And here is the story of  ‘Susie’, one of the IST’s target markets.

“ Susie, a 25-years-old Taiwanese girl, is a MA student in Kingston University. This is her first time in UK and she is totally got lost in everything. She needs to fine a room to rent but before that she wants to open the back account. Tomorrow, she has an appointment with the bank so now she is wondering that has she got all documents for the bank. Therefore, she tries to find the information on the Internet however it is very hard to understand because her English is not strong and many of information is not up to date. ”

PROTOTYPING

“Prototyping is a way of testing ideas and concepts for new products and services. A prototype is a small scale mock-up of a product, or a test run of a service, created to explore its viability as part of a research and development process” (NESTA, 2011) (8)

To generate faster solutions, prototyping is an effective method that use in the early state in order to transfer intangible ideas into tangible and test the concept before going to the next step

In the process of prototype, it does not have to be real but it must be tangible. You can create prototype from anything (also could be rubbish) around you such as paper, plastic bag marker or even play dough. It quite fun as you can express your imaginary through the things around you. And sometime it brings a surprising innovate outcome. I found the idea of Hanmail paper prototype was very interesting and useful for our design process on the webpage system as it is tangible and very easy to understand so we can immediately change or move the position of the webpage.

It is really amazing that while I was creating the lift button with the team, many ideas was flow out from one’s mind to the others and when the ideas collaborate together, it can create an interesting results.

In the same way, we did prototype with IST’s logo as well. After gathering many ideas from the team, I quickly come up with many of designs. Then each member took those designs and tested it by asking the comment from friends. And this is where I move from the roughly idea to the productive form before going to develop into next step, the ideas have shift from quantity to quality.

Actually,I was quite familiar with the process of prototyping. It is a basic practice for most of the designers. For me, it is very useful tool as it help you speed up the process.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is a tool or platform that allow people to create and spread the ideas or information to the others. Nowadays, people want to know what is happening in the word beside, they want to participate in forming the outcome, which is a beginning of the network culture.

In the same time, the advantage of social network is tremendous. In order to get closer and engage with the customers, many of the business now, already have a page on facebook or an account on twitter. However, I found that it also popular in the politic sector. In Thailand, many politician and party use facebook or twitter, Democrat Party, Thailand, #PM Abhisit, to promote their policy, plan and work. In my opinion, this strategy helps them get closer to the young generation. Perhaps, it is an easiest tool that helps them get a vote and win elections likewise Republicans did (9).

During the year, I have to reflected and narrated my experiences thought the blog and participated in social media .we begin with the blog twiiter delicious and so on. Normally, many of my inspiration are from  the blogs, The selby, Style Bubble, Dezeen. I love blogging but never have mine one. It, therefore, makes me realize that to blog is a hard working. You need to put a lot of effort on it.

Corrine introduced me many of new social medias that I have never know before such as, LinkedIn, delicious, ted. I found those are very useful tools as I can update myself with valuable information everyday. Moreover, I met a new people and new contact from those tools.

In our business, although we have page on facebook and account on twitter, we did not work a lot on it, as the fact that we spend most of the time developed our contents on the website. As I realize the power of the social media, I wish we could work more on that.

TEAMWORK

It was my hard time when we have to form a group for business because I barely know everyone at that moment and some of them had already form a group. Luckily, I found this three girls, Angela, Carolina and Lada.  They all have very interesting perspectives, which I can get along very well.

According to Belbin (10), effective team performance should have a variety of team member characteristics holding any particular role in team. Each role has different strengths and weaknesses, thus each role will be able to support each other roles. Fortunately, my team has got team members (Angela, Carolina and Lada) with various psychological characteristics, different backgrounds and career skills. I found that it was an essential factor to make a success of my team.

In case of my team experiences, I usually listening more than speaking (I have to admit that I am lack of self confident). Actually speaking and listening are equal importance in the team performance. Behaving only listening will not lead to the most effectiveness of the team due to the team will lack of suggestions as well as arguments. In such case, sometime it causes me very awkward situation as nobody spoke anything, it become a silent moment.

It is very important to have skills on working with collaboration. I now realize that effective team working requires capabilities of individual and communication within the team such as interpersonal, influenced and motivated skills, furthermore it is considerably important to understanding other team members as well as myself because we are in the same boat.

FUTURE

As a result of my experience, that I have an opportunity to practice and involve in the process of design thinking, it build me up a skill of entrepreneur. And most of all, I found my own innovative style.

So far, I enjoy all this fruitful and meaningful experiences. Lots of things that I learn from this course brought about change in my though. I have learned many things not only the knowledge in classroom but also the friendship and culture from different countries.

Many of my friends keep asking what am I going to do after finish Master. Now I am pretty clear that I do want to be an entrepreneur, a creative entrepreneur. By including design thinking to the core, It help business a competitive advantage (11)

However, today I realize that I should look from what I have ‘“Start with your means”. It is much more easier and more tangible.

  • Textile business family background.
  • Skill of design.
  • Friends, who are all a designer.
  • My friend’s furniture workshop.

It is quite clear to me now on what I am going to do in my mind. But the plan needs a lot of effort to develop. However, I cannot predict the future. Therefore all I can do today is doing my best. So finger cross and wish me a good luck.

REFERENCE

  1. Brown, T .(2008) Design Thinking ,Harward Business Review 2008
  2. Brown, T. (2006) ,Innovation Through Design Thinking,MIT
  3. Corrine. (2010) Empathy
  4. Jens Martin Skibsted and Rasmus Bech Hansen. (2011) ,User-Led Innovation Can’t Create Breakthroughs; Just Ask Apple and Ikea
  5. Corrine. (2010) ‘USER’ system model
  6. Harriet Rubin. (1998), ‘How the Best Storytellers Win’
  7. Melinda Partin. (2009), Brand Storytelling: Connecting With Your Audience
  8. Nesta. (2011),Prototyping
  9. Austin Carr. (2010) How Republicans Are Using Social Media to Win Mid-term Elections
  10. Belbin, M. (2010) Belbin Team Role Theory
  11. Idris Mootee . (2011) , Design Thinking for Creativity and Business Innovation Series

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Press Pause Play O II >

May 19, 2011

I found this film very interesting !

Press Pause Play  is a documentary film about  hope, fear, and digital culture based on interviews with some of the world’s most influential creators of the digital era such as Moby, Robyn, Sean Parker and Seth Godin, among others.”

The thing that happen to the creative world today is that everyone want  to be creative, everyone think they can be artist, musician ,writer or film maker, and that is the reason why there are so many bands, many books and many art pieces in the market. However, the reality  is that  there are a talent people and not talent people.


“Start with your means”

May 18, 2011

One thing i have learn in order to become an entrepreneur is to start from what you already know. If you do not know how to start business, it is much more easier to start with your means.

“FRIETAG” is one of the successful brand that begin with the thing they know, the thing they have beside,they work with people they know.From this three basic sources, FRIETAG created a brand new product which stylish and environmentally friendly.

FRIETAG is known as a famous recycling bags, using old graphical truck tarps,with the concept  that every bag is different.  The bag usually see  on the backs of many bicycle messengers and hipsters.

The story of FRIETAG start from a couple of swiss brothers,markus and daniel freitag. As they are both using bicycle in their daily life, this make them realize that existing ‘bag’ is not suitable to carry stuff on bicycle and not durable for the rain. However,because they can not find any suitable bag for bicycle,they therefore take this opportunity and start their new business.

As a results, they made a bag from the recycle material. Every FRIETAG’s bag based on same elements from truck, car and bike,Every FREITAG bag is made from original tarpaulins of different colors so  it make them unique and truly one-of-a-kind.

“The F – Concept”


The F-Production

“The F – Production”

The interesting point of this story is that Freitag start from the thing that they have in hand, materials that they can get it for free, equipments that already are available and finally with their own personal experience.

Many people spend a lot of time in order to come up with a new products by trying to examine others. But in the realaity ,a lot of stories behind the new products and companies that we know today are collected from the means. The thing that people have,the things that people know and the people that people know. Only thing that you have to do is put those thing together in a novel and creative way.

and with this video , the cute guy is clearly present the lifestyle of FRIETAG ‘s customer.

So far,even though it seem easy to create business from what you already have, but without creativity, the business would be boring,following the old pattern and not innovative.


TO STAND OUT ON THE FAIR

May 17, 2011

People went to this fair with different reasons .While some just walked around and checked without asking any question,the others shown their interesting by participated and asked many questions.From my point of view, people came to the fair because they want to seek  the opportunities.By this i mean, the chance to make a contact among those business people, update new trend and the fresh new ideas.From my experience ,i found that fair can encourage innovation, it is very interesting when you was inspired by others ideas,and come up with a new idea.

As i walked around to visit other business, each stand had presented themselves differently. Some  have a good decorating which very attractive whereas the others doing nothing,very simple,only a laptop and a logo on the table. I, personally, think that the booth is the first impression to people and it create an attention to others. However,in order to make it stand out only beautiful is not enough(even though it can get the attention from people to visit your booth), it must spoke to people. The concept and the message of the business must send to the people via your booth, otherwise you can lose your customer.Your brand is very important, without a clear identity of your brand, your business is weak.

One of my favorite fair is “the world expo in shanghai 2010”. around two hundred countries competing for the attention of  million visitors. It is very amazing to see how each countries presented their idntity though the architecture. However, UK PAVILION is one of my favorite .

“UK PAVILION”

The pavilion will house the largest collection of wild plant seeds in the world – Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership – displayed in the end of the transparent rods.

And some pictures from my friend ,how wonderful is it, you can see the union jack on the pavilion, thanks to the Thomas Heatherwick ,it was an amazing building !!


Brand “New” Starbucks

March 8, 2011

Really love the way they did it,
the brad “new” identity looks so young .
this makes me want to go and grab a cup of coffeee…..hope they make a cup more fatty 🙂


The way we present ourself

March 7, 2011

Yes, we are “international student toolkit .com”
The website for international student in London
and this is  our first presentation!!!

In oder to make the first impression through our first video presentation. We had a lot of fun doing!!
The model of london city
“bigben,london eye,red bus,and also  students”
After we created the city ,
We took a plenty of pictures for our latter stop motion.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


I have a great time with “Cash Flow”

November 25, 2010

Dragon’s Den

November 10, 2010
DRAGON’S PITCH – INTERNATIONALSTUDENTTOOLKIT.COM

1. Does the business have a strong USP?

Our Unique Selling Point is that we provide all the necessary information gathered in one place. The content is going to be presented in a clear, interesting and easily understandable way. In addition to that, all the information is going to be offered in 5 languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Tai and Serbian.

With the growth of the business we are going to expand it to more languages.

2. Is the target market well understood?

Our users are international students, but our ideal customers are companies, which offer services or products to them. Those companies are: Universities, English schools, banks, and mobile operators, renting agencies and travelling agencies.

We are going to market the business to them based on the number of visitors.

After informal conversation to the store manager of “3” and his positive reaction to our idea of advertising “3” in our web page, he provided us with the contact information of their head office in London. After that, we went to Orange where we got a similar response.

In addition to that, we made an online research on the pages for students. We realised that Universities are also willing to pay to be advertised on these websites.

3. Have key distribution channels been identified?

As the majority of the students are using some kind of social media, these are the channels that we are going to use as our starting points: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Once we have enough traffic we are going to call and get in touch with the previously contacted potential customers.

We will pay the webpage developer and after that we are going to add information and update it by ourselves.

Our potential partners are other websites that provide products or services for the students and we are going to share each other’s links.


4. Is the revenue model viable and clear?

Profits will be obtained by selling advertising to exchange agencies, banks, mobile operators, travel agencies, universities and English schools. The initial investment is 235£, it includes:

We will start having revenue in March 2011, after we get enough traffic to be able to market the web page. During March, April and May 2011 we would need at least 160£ to break even. That means we will need 6 ads per month, at a price of 30£, leaving us with 20£ profit. If we sell 7 ads per month, the profit will be 50£.


5. Have key business risks been addressed?

The things that can go wrong are not having enough page visitors and not being listed in top of the Google search.

The threats can be:

•The lack of time to build the reputation for internationalstudenttoolkit.com;
•Infrastructure failures such as crashes of server;
•Companies have their own advertising route; Internet, ads on television, leaflets, among others. Therefore, it can be difficult for them to invest on a small website which cannot guarantee increase in sales.


Personas….

November 3, 2010

A 27-year-old South Korean man, Known as ”Chang hun” study BA illustration in Kingston University. He lived in central London for 8 months but now move to Kingston to live in a lovely house that he has rented with his friends. He love cooking and spend most of his time on sofa watching TV with a glass of wine. Every morning he walks to the university and after he finish class, he will walk to Sainsbury’s buying some food then walk straight back home. This is become his routine. Since he moved to this town he become addicted to walk because he think this is the only way that he can exercise. So that what the story begin………………

As he trying to be a good pedestrian, Every time he walks across the street, he pushes the button for the green crossing light. However, he will look on the left and right and if there are no cars in his sight, he will suddenly run across the street and ignoring the traffic light. As a result, the coming cars have to stop for the red traffic light without people crossing the street. This kind of thing makes him feel very sorry for the drivers and feel guilty to push the button.

So should we improve this system to satisfy both pedestrians and drivers?
Anyway, do we need to push the button ? May be  the sensor system could help ????


On my frieze…

October 26, 2010


Frieze Art Fair 2010 in Regent’s Park, London

“Without art, Life would be boring.”

I went to frieze art fair last week. Actually, I never heard about frieze before so I was
very exciting for my first time. Even i don’t get it but it doesn’t mean that i don’t like it. Somehow, I was really happy and so inspired.

In big tent,there was a mix of people, students,curators,    collectors,artists,museum people……

…people with camera
…the lady with Hermes
…student with trendy outfit
… a man with black suite

they are all together surrounding by what we call “art”. There were so
many activities happen on the same time. Isn’t it amazing!.
… Students took a photo of new technique.
…The couple of old lady critic on the pus*y picture.
… The kids laugh at the big bunny.

However, the most significant purpose on this fair is about the “Money”. Dealers were trying to make sale. Here, “ART” was an investment and it was all about business.

Each gallery furnished their booth in different style. A well design booth can attract more people. The noticeable was the various styles of table and chair. Yet, there was one similar things “they were all using Apple stuff (Mac book or even I pad) ??