MDI, week six

Notes from week six, dates: 23/10/17 to 27/10/17

23/10 – Covered emotional intelligence issues on the differences between a team, group and what an individual can do to be an effective team member. As research, we got a few papers to review in the subject area.

24/10 – New client project started on Cyber well-being for teenagers using ‘fun theory’ vs ‘nudge theory’.  Our group stated the brief back to each other, to ensure consensus, and started researching, interviewing people who ran a cyber hackathon on the same subject to get a good understanding of not only the problem statement, but also what kinds of answers were returned, what design methods they used to garner ideas.

25/10 – Continued client project, further researched existing answers from cyber hackathon using a pass-fail evaluation to try to evaluate ideas; also used “learning cards” to capture (1) our goals for the day (2) what we learnt and, (3) what we will do next.

26/10 – Continued client project, further researched existing answers; but we now need to move to actual producing ideas, storyboarding them and trying to make it either fun or nudge theory.

27/10 – Continued to refine ideas, picking out our strongest ones and move to storyboarding.

MDI, week five

Notes from 16/10/17 to 20/10/17, Week five

16/10 – Today we had a lecture on what individual learning, self-directed learning, looks like and what a Master degree level is expecting in terms of deliverables.

At a high level, a discussion on the exploration of critique, methods of learning, alternative modes, mental models, the relationship between divergent and convergent thinking.

Further, we looked at what a Master degree level would be expecting in terms of deliverables using Bloom’s Taxonomy (6 cognitive models of thinking) as a guide.

This was broken down as:

  1. Remembering
  2. Understanding
  3. Applying
  4. Creating
  5. Evaluating
  6. Analysing

It was described that a Master degree would expect the first three items by default; and would not be marked, whereas the last 3 (Creating, Evaluating, Analysing) should be aimed at, demonstrated at; and would be scored.

Further we looked at how we perceive, process and organise information; a VARK model was introduced as a multi-model to score learning activities against four scores/types of learners.

We also looked at Honey and Mumford (1982) learning styles model of Activists (Feeling), Reflectors (Watching), Theorists (Thinking) and Pragmatists (Doing)  and their relationship with each other.

We briefly compared Concrete experience vs Reflective observation vs Abstract conceptualisation vs Active Experimentation.

In a summary, this lecture was multi-fold;

  • Importance of reflective learning“: Emphasised the importance of documenting, and reflective self-directed learning and how we approach this towards our Master degree
  • What gets scored“; what our lecturers are looking for in our Master degree papers and documents and the levels of reflective learning, experimentation, etc being documented.
  • Empathy“; Understanding and empathy for other team members and identifying the divergent thinker vs convergent thinker within our team community and how one type of thinker can inform the other where appropriate.
  • Don’t wait“; At a Master degree level, do not wait for lecturers to fill in the gaps; I feel this will be important for us as a team to book guest lecturers, and even better would be on-site visits to companies to see how they approach the same problems that we as MDI students are approaching.   I am wanting to push this forward, and will raise it in our next unpack meeting.

17/10 – We did an unpack of our 5-day design sprint, reflecting upon what worked well, what didn’t work well and what can we can implement to make things better (how might we …).   

We also started to wrap up our documentation and following the unpack, I wanted to try out a basic, low fidelity Kanban board for the rest of the week to show visually the progress of work being done; but also helps my upcoming semester 1 assignment.

17/10 – We did an unpack of our 5-day design sprint, reflecting upon what worked well, what didn’t work well and what can we can implement to make things better (how might we …).   

We also started to wrap up our documentation and following the unpack, I wanted to try out a basic, low fidelity Kanban board for the rest of the week to show visually the progress of work being done; but also helps my upcoming semester 1 assignment.

18/10 – We continued to move our presentation and project work from note form into a report that we could hand in to the client and our lecturer.

19/10 – We finalised our report, however the amount of work, time and effort required and spent was perhaps under-estimated; I believe in future, in set-up stage a fair percentage of time must be allocated to how we ensure designers and all other members of the team are not overwhelmed.

MDI, week four

Covers 09/10/17 – 13/10/17

Regarding our client project with a utility company.

This week we’ve been doing exploratory work on what the user needs might be, customer segmentation, but also presenting back single product and marketing ideas back to the utility company in order to formalise a specific finalised presentation which we will be undertaking on this Friday; this is part of a 5-day “design sprint”.

09/10 – We did a presentation on our ideas on specific product ideas and marketing ideas back to the client, however our feedback was that we should focus more on the task of innovative ideas on how to make their 5-year strategy more customer engaging.

10/10 – We worked with a global modern furniture company in a challenge to explore what makes a great learning space and what research topics can be garnered from this.

11/10 -Worked hard on getting deliverables done, ready for a further client briefing and for reflective study purposes. We spent time actually doing customer engagement with the general public from Newcastle City Centre shopping centre; recording opinions, getting insights and reporting back stats so we can further align our deliverables.

12/10 – Further refining our deliverables and also identified what customer insights we retrieved from the public facing arena.

13/10 – Final presentation of the deliverables we created; wow – we did so much over the past five days; a lot to unpack: sales material collateral creation, USP generation, creating selling proposition, analysing business plan, talking with customers, strategy planning.

I’m confident that this will continue on into our next projects too!

MDI, week one and two

18/09 – 29/09, The first two weeks of the Multidisciplinary Innovation MA/MSc (MDI) course at Northumbria University have covered a lot already

We’ve explored the group dynamics, what MDI means, and worked on our first introductory project.

We covered IDEO method cards, paper reviews on what the different paradigms a company may occupy when designing/delivering products and services and What is it like to work as a Multidisciplinary professional in a Multidisciplinary group?

Due to NDA issues I cannot post further information about the week breakdown; however I am keeping an offline blog at it is my intention to post the full blog at a later date.

Started MDI 2018 course

In September 2017, I started on the Multidisciplinary Innovation MA/MSc course at Northumbria University

The 12-month course covers a lot of modules and learning areas on the subjects of design thinking, building value propositions for core subjects and working with other students, and their core backgrounds to drive solutions for specific real-world problems.

The modules covered are:

  • Design-led Innovation Practice
  • Responsible Innovation Practice
  • Strategic Innovation Practice

Although the course is taught, it encourages self-taught, testing ideas, and pushes you to think different on a project basis.

Being on the course for the past 2-3 weeks, we’ve covered areas such as practical involvement, engagement in multiple aspects of innovation, and working in design-led groups.

I’ve found it very useful and similar to what is done in industry, especially in technology (ie: mobile app and software) companies; especially the project scoping, planning, being agile and lean in design-led approaches to solving problems.

The course has also covered the macro and micro level; covering concept refinements, laser-focusing on specific issues, insights, ideation, value definition, pitching and reporting to clients.

Future blog articles in this category will report on weekly subjects, and insights.

Due to the nature and the contract of the course I cannot go into specifics until a later date.