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Design


Activating Design Thinking

The Design Thinking Summit is a two-day conference on April 17 and 18 (with optional programming on April 16) that focuses on driving sustainable growth and competitive advantage through human-centered design. Want to learn more? View the conference details!

Introduction

We are excited to be at the Design Thinking Summit in Austin, Texas this Spring! Cantina is one of the event’s 2019 partners, along with Abstract, Balsamiq, Drawn, EPAM Continuum, IA Collaborative, IDEAN, Luma Institute, IN2, Stonehill, and Usabilla.

This two-day conference will be held at the JW Marriot in Austin on April 17th and 18th, with pre-conference workshops on April 16th. This year, the summit expects over 500 attendees to fill their workshops, keynote presentations, and panel discussions. With Design Thinking growing as a business philosophy, industry attendance has also diversified. The summit now includes industry experts from financial services, to healthcare technology, to the public sector.

This year’s keynote speaker is Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of PepsiCo, Mauro Porcini. Porcini’s will be discussing how he is changing PepsiCo’s culture by infusing Design Thinking into the core of their innovation approach. Porcini claims, “People, therefore, are different. They behave in a different way with our products and brands. They don’t buy, actual products anymore, they buy experiences that are meaningful to them, they buy solutions that are realistic, that transcend the product, that go beyond the product, and mostly they buy stories that need to be authentic.”

“People, therefore, are different. They behave in a different way with our products and brands. They don’t buy, actual products anymore, they buy experiences that are meaningful to them, they buy solutions that are realistic, that transcend the product, that go beyond the product, and mostly they buy stories that need to be authentic.”
Mauro Porcini

Conference Themes

The three key themes driving the Design Thinking discussion this year are:

  • Customer Empathy
  • The ROI of Design Thinking
  • Design Transformation

Cantina sees each of these themes as paramount in the work we do as Designers and Strategists.

Customer Empathy is at the heart of Cantina's approach to design research. We believe that understanding people's attitudes, motivations, desires and behaviors is central to creating meaningful design solutions across all industries.

A mindset of customer empathy is what will reveal the key insights and opportunities afforded through a design problem. Design thinking is a way of pursuing these new-found opportunities in a way that is fast and testable, to reduce the inherent risk in creating something new. Through our extensive experience in development and design work, we've seen that design thinking is one of our most powerful tools of risk reduction downstream. (You would much rather discover a major systemic issue while you are brainstorming with pen and paper, than when you are already in a round of product testing.) This upfront vetting of ideas and solutions undoubtedly has a positive effect on project success, and ultimately, on a company's return on investment. When Design Thinking reveals meaningful solutions early on in the design process, the end result will be far more effective and profitable. In fact, one of our favorite insights from the book Software Engineering: A Practical Guide is that “for every dollar spent to resolve a problem during product design, $10 would be spent on the same problem during development and $100 or more if the problem had to be solved after the product’s release.”

Tackling consumer problems in the early, abstract, iterative phases, not only provides a better ROI, but also, allows for a more comprehensive Design Transformation to happen. At Cantina, we’ve seen that design transformation happens at the critical tipping point between ‘Design Thinking’ and ‘Design Doing’--turning ideas into action. We use a cross-disciplinary approach to turn thinking into design doing. We combine both a Service Design and Experience Strategy, as well as User Experience Design and Engineering, to deliver the best possible solutions to our clients. Our SVP of Service Design, Shaun Gummere, explains, “I think service design is how we’ll deliver what your customer wants and needs. It’s a way of bringing to life the promise an organization makes in a holistic way."

“I think service design is the next wave toward delivering what your customer wants and needs. It’s a way of bringing to life the promise an organization makes in a holistic way"
Shaun Gummere

This year, the summit will pioneer its first Design Thinking Awards, recognizing thought leaders in the three conference themes. These awards will recognize “the achievements of design thinking enabled teams to create innovation and human-centered solutions across both corporations and communities.” Winners will be announced April 17th.

Where to Find Us

Experience Strategy Method Cards

Look out for us at the Innovation Drive event again this year and keep an eye out for our famous pretzel wall!

Additionally, our very own Director of Experience Strategy & Research Krista Siniscaro will be leading a workshop at the conference: “Brainstorming terrible, awful, no good, very bad ideas.” The workshop is for anyone who is interested or involved in brainstorming activities for design solutions (products, interactions and/or services.) In this workshop, participants will work individually, and in small teams, to prototype the worst ideas they can think of. Then we will learn how to take those bad concepts & turn them into good ones. Participants will be introduced to a fun new method of productive brainstorming and work hands-on to create low-fidelity prototypes of the very worst ideas they can come up with. If you’ve ever struggled to get past a creative roadblock and are looking for a new technique, this workshop is for you.

Brainstorming Terrible Awful No Good Very Bad Ideas with Krista Siniscarco

If you can’t make it to the conference but want to learn more about our method of Design Thinking, check out our Experience Strategy Method Cards! Cantina has created a flexible, customizable playbook by developing a set of methods that may be useful to your practice. By applying these methods, you’ll gain a better understanding of your customers, align your team, and identify opportunities for customer-centered growth and differentiation. After the conference, we will release a new interactive website which you can easily use to find methods that work best for you. Reach out to us for a physical copy of our cards at hello@cantina.co.

Experience Strategy Method Cards

How to Register and Get in Touch

To register for the conference go to designthinkingusa.com and use code 2019DESIGN_CANTINA to recieve 20% discount on conference passes. If you can’t make it in person, you can keep up with us through our blog, or follow us via the #DesignThinking2019!

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