Design Thinking is Like Cooking

Design Thinking is Like Cooking


In teaching design thinking, as well as conducting
my research, participants always ask me how they can master design thinking. First thing’s first. I always say that we are called practitioners
for a reason. It is a practice. We are always evolving as we test different
methods and different contexts. Just like I wouldn’t go learn a new language
and then immediately expect to be able to present it in front of thousands of people
in that new language; it’s the exact same thing as design thinking. The first time isn’t going to be perfect. Mastering design thinking is a lot like becoming
comfortable in the kitchen as a cook. At the beginning you’re just learning the
basics: how to crack an egg, how to measure correctly, what tools to use, when. It’s the same with design thinking. First you need to learn what tools exist in
the toolkit– the basics. Then you slowly become intermediate; which,
in the kitchen, is following step-by-step recipes from cookbooks. You start out with recipes that have simple
ingredients and only a few steps. You can begin to step up your game and try
more rigorous recipes in cooking or involving others. Design thinking is the same. At this intermediate level, you try simple
recipes like empathy maps; starting first on your own, and then starting to expand with
other people and other teams. As you become more advanced, you start to
change those recipes based on your preferences. Just like I would adapt a recipe based on
what I preferred or what I have in the fridge, in design thinking I start to take those out
of the box activities and change them based on my needs and my audience. Once I’m in that master level, both in the
kitchen and in design thinking, you can really start to combine the skills, experiences,
and knowledge, coming up with your own recipes, and even starting to share those recipes with
others. Don’t expect design thinking to be an immediate
success. It’s going to take practice,
but that’s when the fun begins.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *