Design Thinking Project – Happy Birds

Design Thinking Project – Happy Birds

Budgies © Puppies are Prozac / Flickr (click image to be taken to photographer’s page)

I pulled out the giant Post-It board this past Sunday to teach our little one about the Design Thinking Process.

We decided to tackle a real-world problem: the fact that our parakeets are afraid every time we come near them.

So I sketched out 6 steps on the paper and we went to work.

I adapted the steps slightly because we were discussing how to modify a process rather than trying to create a product.

Understand: What is the problem?

Birds are afraid when we approach

Observe: Watch the birds

They seem to be afraid of the noise

Point of view: How does the user feel?

I find it challenging to interview birds, so we had to empathize by pretending to be the birds. We acted out various scenes. How did we feel when “being” a bird and a person would come close to us?

We felt that seeming really big was a possible fear factor. Also, sudden noises seemed to be a problem.

Ideate: Brainstorm solutions

Here is our list of brainstormed solutions:

be non-scary

be relaxed when approaching the cage

take it slow

seem smaller

Prototype: Make it happen

This would normally be the prototype step, but in this case since we weren’t making anything, we tried our new approaches to the cage to see which worked.

Test and Feedback

Did it work? Yes! We were successful in not scaring the birds when we approached the cage slowly and softly, and let them get used to us.

Now she is on a roll with the design thinking process. She has since redesigned a baby spoon, a pencil cover, and is working on her walking night light for her Invention Fair at school – all utilizing these steps.

Have a great day, everyone.

If you liked this, you also might like looking at the similar Engineering Design Process (Ask – Imagine – Plan – Create – Experiment – Improve). Check out the nifty poster and Invention Project eBook.


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