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EXAMPLES OF DESIGN THINKING

 

MRI EQUIPMENT

Problem
A designer of MRI equipment was distressed to learn that 80% of all children had to be sedated before treatment.

Solution
He repositioned the MRI as an adventure game ride, so that it was fun and not threatening.  The MRI was painted with adventure characters. Children were told to “be quiet so as not to alert the pirates.”  The designer overhead one young patient telling his mother: “Mom, that was really fun. Can we come back tomorrow?

 

INCUBATORS

Problem
In rural Asia, expensive incubators (~ $15,000) were breaking down jeopardizing infant care and there were too few to meet the demand.

Solution
Reframe. Keeping the child warm is the objective; not building a better incubator. The team developed an inexpensive pouch for about $50, where hot water could be used to keep the infant warm for hours.

 

MEAL SERVICE

Problem
Improve meal service for senior citizens in Denmark

Senior citizens receiving meals suffered from feelings of disconnection and stigma. Also very painful to seniors was the loss of control over their food choices.

Kitchen employees were another factor of the problem: The decision to use one menu for three months made sense from an operational logistics point of view, but along with causing dissatisfaction with the senior citizens, it was terribly corrosive to the morale, motivation, and commitment of the kitchen employees as well.

Solution
The kitchen team developed simple comment cards that drivers began to carry with them and hand to the seniors, who wrote reviews of their meals and suggestions for how to prepare them. This immediate feedback enabled the staff to gain insights into the seniors’ thoughts and reactions to their food. The comments were read aloud at staff meetings and pinned up in a central kitchen location. The cards motivated employees and gave seniors the ability to influence their meals. Both groups loved the new feedback cards.

In order to change the negative kitchen culture, a gourmet chef was brought in to work with employees. Kitchen employees also received new uniforms that were much more “chef-like.” This was a symbol of their dignity and status, and it signaled a sense of pride and care to the their senior customers as well.

 

BURBERRY

Problem
The perception was that Burberry was a fashion brand of a bygone era, and not of interest to a younger generation of consumers.

Solution
Burberry cultivated a social media environment of digital democracy, where users and the brand could collaborate freely on its designs and new launches. It not only attracted new customers but also strengthened its goodwill. The outcome? From 2011 to 2015, Burberry posted a revenue growth of 68.1%

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