#Whatif the User was given the opportunity to lead the conversation?

In going through my files today seeking #DEEPdt artifacts, I came across an example of the Rose, Thorn, Bud tool found in the #DEEPdt Flash Lab.

Rose, Thorn, Bud tool can be utilized in various moments during the design thinking process (w/ Designers, Users, Design Teams). This image was used as a Discover launching pad for the topic of “First Week of School” (these are my reflections).  As a Discover tool, this helps the Designer get in touch with the design challenge.  It asks for a freeflowing of thoughts on a topic. It primes the pump of the designers and draws out areas of exploration to prep them for their needfinding with Users.

Now another way to utilize Rose, Thorn, Bud tool is how a User could use it to flesh out their thoughts, stories, feelings, and talking cliffs before they are interviewed by Designers.  Looking at the responses as a Designer, (& pretending they are not my responses), I see so many areas where a Designer could delve deeper into these words. Of course, the obvious for me is to go to the Thorns- the painpoints.  Yet, I will try to resist going there at least in the beginning of the conversation. It is an easy space to go towards and one as a designer, I need to not rely or pounce on too quickly.  As a designer, I want to learn about the Buds of the User (potential). The “fresh energy” makes me curious. What does that mean?  What does that look and feel like? Why is it important and how is it making things better?

Now, if I go towards the Thorns, the “unsure of parents” sticks out to me as an area I want to explore more deeply with my User.  What is it about parents that stick out for this teacher (User) during the first week of school? What stories about parents does this teacher carry around with her?  Why does the feeling of being unsure standout for the teacher? What kinds of moments does the teacher encounter with parents during the first week of school?  How do these moments play out?  What is the impact of these moments for the rest of the school year?

I think all to often we go towards Users and start the ignition button before the seatbelt is fastened. What if we slowed down?  What if we gave the User a moment to gather themselves, reflect, get their frame of reference and state of mind primed? What if the User was given the opportunity to lead the conversation?  I think the power of design thinking comes from the insights and aha moments, those empathetic moments between a Designer and User. The power comes from moments that bring about authentic, natural User-led connections….