DEEP design thinking

Produce Mode: Testing Assumptions #DEEPdt Litter

Here is a link to this #DEEPdt Litter challenge for a little more context of the below pictures.

In the middle of their process of solving the issue of people not seeing “litter” around the community. The designers brainstormed all kinds of solutions but before taking on tangible prototypes, an intentional gut-check was needed. Did I really know & understand my user and the problem. Designers were awesome brainstorming solutions, “thinking outside of the box”  with laser beams, robots, sensors, alerts, special litter collecting shoes, etc. Yet, their brainstorm of ideas appeared to be missing their targeted problem that people just aren’t seeing the litter.

Students came back from recess and were told that I needed to stop at each teacher’s room to ask them a question.  I was “subbing” for the afternoon so the students were all too happy to walk about the campus with me.  I asked a student to lead the way wrapping around the hallways and to stop when asked.   Without the students knowing it, I took snaps of them when they passed by litter (I did not post all shots).  As you can see everyone passed by several (20+) pieces of litter. Only one student picked up a piece of litter (as seen below).

When they returned to The i.Design Lab, they were asked to recall their challenge, data collected, and Users needs.  “They don’t see the litter.”  Then they started saying, “I can’t believe it.”  “How do they not see the litter?”  It was here when I showed them the pictures…  Their mouths fell open.

How can you solve the problem if you are part of the problem?   How can you sit on the side of designer and User? How can you come up with solutions that don’t affect your litter collecting habits? It reminded me of the quote,

“You’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem.” Eldridge Cleaver

The students were told they were going to go back through the hallways and see if their perspectives had changed.  Every single one of them walked with their head down, scanning, and their pace was reduced drastically…  They returned to the lab and pretty much all said, “We can’t walk like that all the time. It takes too much time.”  And then a student began humming “All about that Base…” song and then another student switched the words to, ” All about the trash…”

In a span of 15 minutes, brainstorms, iterations, & testing throughout the hallways a prototype for solving the problem.  They sang their song to six different audiences, tweaking it each time.  If my phone had not died, I would have been able to capture so much more….

And just like that, a catchy tune plays over & over & over again, thus creating subliminal reminders for Users to scan and look for litter…  The song is in performance iteration mode collecting feedback on production and song quality… Stay Tuned.