The session at UPES started with an agenda to create a useable design for a product in two days. That we would start with a real world scenario and design a final prototype to solve a problem for that scenario. This would give the students a confidence that they created something and it would get them more interested in the process of creating it.
I wanted one of the key takeaways to be, that the students think around the core problem; even though they thought of many more problems to solve, we as a group, kept asking ourselves if solving that particular problem will help us launch, get started or get closer to the solution. Even though many problems looked exciting to solve we stuck by the ones that we really had to. This would help them be practical with the designs and make it for the real world.
Without understanding the problem well, the solution hardly holds any meaning. This is something a product designer must tackle before beginning to sketching the solution. As the saying goes, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. For designers, understanding the problem is that part of sharpening the tool. And that’s why we spent a good amount of time, extracting the problem from a scenario and gathering requirements for it.
If we all can be efficient designers, who can make any kind of situation better by really understanding it beyond what it appears to be, we can make people’s lives better.