WHAT IS THE DESIGN GYM?
The Design Gym is a company and community that empowers people with the tools to create change. It was founded in 2012 by 5 NYC friends who were interested in changing the education space, disrupting the traditional agency model, and in general helping people have more creativity and fun with the work they did.
What started as a workshop experiment over the course of a weekend, has grown to include a wide portfolio of public workshops and classes, private learning and development offerings for organizations, and a unique type of learning format called the ‘Studio Project’ that brings together professionals to learn about design by working on a real company challenge.
WHY A BOOTCAMP?
You can read all the cookbooks in the world and never become a chef. Design Thinking is the same saw. We wanted to offer a fast, easy way for people to get introduced to the tools and techniques of Design Thinking. The Design Thinking process is not a monolithic process that has to be brought in as massive expense, trouble and stress. It’s a toolbox of skills and mindsets that we believe anyone can learn, and start to bring into their jobs in many simple ways.
WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING ANYWAY?
Design Thinking is a process for solving problems and developing business strategy that puts an increased emphasis on understanding users and customers. In this process we balance quantitative analysis and secondary research with real human stories, real world observations, and a deeper level of empathy.
The process we teach is no different than any design thinking process you will find anywhere else….we just make it simple to use. We took a look at every other process we saw being taught and consulted with and boiled down to the simplest language possible. We work hard not to overcomplicate the process – it’s a tool to be adapted and molded to an individual’s situation. Design Thinking serves as a valuable common language that diverse teams and groups of people can use to effectively collaborate on challenges and projects.
WHAT WILL I LEARN?
We’ll dive deep into Examine. We’ll start off working with each other to hone our interviewing and observation skills, we’ll discuss and practice using research frameworks and doing experience inventories We’ll also discuss scoping and executing user research, from recruiting to facilitation skills.
In the Understand phase, we’ll discuss visual information frameworks, knowledge scaffolding and collaborative strategic development. We’ll take our data from the Examine phase and evolve that data into insights and hypotheses.
From there, we’ break for lunch and then move into Ideation. You’ll learn how to run brainstorming effectively for teams of 1 (by yourself!) to hundreds. We’ll cover prompt generation, the ideation mindsets and how to clarify and refine your ideas. Together we’ll beat default thinking methods and give you hands-on practice guiding a team through the process.
Ideas are great…but you have to Experiment with them, so we will then focus on Prototyping. As an old professor of ours said: “mock it up before you fock it up.” In the “Experiment” phase of design, we’ll cover various methods of prototyping and communicating design intent, iterative testing and how to guide users through a feedback session. Prototyping helps you and your team know what they want to make and why, and can also help you clarify and text your designs.
Finally, we’ll bring our designs into the Storytelling phase. The skills of the Distil phase of design are useful through the whole process, but at the end of a design sprint can help us enroll others in the work so far and help gather energy for the work ahead. We’ll iterate and innovate on our storytelling skills and get solid feedback on how we can improve.
WHERE WILL THIS HAPPEN?
We’ll host you at our offices in New York City at the Grind, our coworking space. You’ll spend your day surrounded by some of the most innovative and forward-thinking small enterprises anywhere, in the center of Manhattan’s Midtown. If you’re coming in from out of town, we can help you find a great place to stay within a reasonable commute.
IS THIS COURSE RIGHT FOR ME?
We run lots of workshops, and are proud to say that our participants have included everyone from CEOs of design agencies, EVPs of Fortune 100 banks, brain surgeons, design students, and 7th grade teachers. We thrive on having diverse mindsets in a room together, and have found that our participants do too.
This course is great for anyone who is trying to make change within their existing business, interested in starting their own business, or just curious about taking a more creative approach to the job they do. You will walk out with a language for problem solving, a set of tools to take back to your everyday life, and a whole lot of practice using it all. And of course, we will guarantee a lot of fun.
WHO’S TEACHING THIS?
Daniel started off as a Physicist, studied Industrial Design, then evolved into a User Experience Design Consultant. Prior to starting the Design Gym, he had the pleasure of working on product and service design projects at Fjord, as well as mobile, web and embedded interfaces for clients from Abbot to Yamaha. He is also 1/4 of GothamSmith, a line of 3D printed products. Tweet to him @dastillman
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