Design Thinking Process

A process cycle based in a 5 stages:

  • Empathize
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test



  • Understand customers’ needs
  • Deep insight into what they need and expect from the solution/product


  • Engage with stakeholders
  • Use innovative methods to collect information
  • Understand the problem/need
  • Record observation to answer what, how, and why

Guidelines to follow:

  • Adopt appropriate method to gather relevant information
  • Engage stakeholders positively
  • Experience the problem to understand the impact



  • To create a well-defined and meaningful problem statement to focus on


  • Information analysis
  • Collaborating observations that help define the core problem
  • Provide clarity and scope to the problem

Guidelines to follow:

  • Focus on the positive aspects of the customers’ needs
  • Eliminate negative aspects identified in their needs
  • Identify connectivity between problems by identifying similar context
  • Break down the problems into sub-problems
  • Define each problem to create meaningful problem statement



  • To generate and define multiple ideas


  • Collect as many ideas as possible
  • Think, think, think…
  • Brainstorming
  • Use tools like charting, mind maps, boards
  • Gather all solutions suggested by the team of thinkers

Guidelines to follow:

  • Don’t get into details, feasibility, and viability during this phase
  • Don’t evaluate ideas
  • Focus on generating ideas
  • Always create visualization of ideas



  • To testify an idea
    • Verifies whether an implemented solution is successful
    • Identify further problems with the implemented idea to refine
  • Gathering feedback from the users about their experiences with the product


  • Identify the type of prototype needed to illustrate the ideas
  • Capture all the key aspects of the idea and solution with the prototypes

Guidelines to follow:

  • Don’t spend too much time on the prototype always build prototypes with the intended users in mind
  • Checking feasibility and collecting feedback is the primary objective of prototypes.
  • Don’t focus on internal problems

Types of prototypes:

  • Basic prototype model: provide limited tested features, it’s inexpensive, may not be useful for some cases, you will get limited feedback.
  • Operational prototype model: operates like finished products, they are expensive, users can visualize how they will operate, you will get deep feedback.



  • Return to your users and test the prototype for obtaining feedback


  • Engage with stakeholders
  • Understand if the needs are covered
  • Collect as much feedback as possible

Guidelines to follow:

  • Focus on assertive and defined feedback
  • structure the test activities with the user stories.
  • explain what was implemented and not implemented in the prototype (set expectations)
  • Don’t focus on internal problems

Office365 on web

Today I started up my laptop and I found this message on all Office365 applications:

The operating system is not presently configured to run this application

So apart of looking into Internet for a solution and open a ticket to the service I have started to use all these applications through the web and some from the mobile.

The issue and the solution

Apparently the applications are trying to open in safe mode and they are not allowed to run properly.

The solution is to upgrade the Office365 from the web. A task that is taking hours.

The alternative, work on web + mobile alternatives

The Office365 upgrade blocks all the other activities of your computer, so this limits that you only can work with your browser.

  • I was fortunate as I had a chrome session opened and I can switch to it.
  • I can open Outlook, SharePoint, excel online, word and one-drive.
  • I cannot download files, but I found that this is something related to the block forced by the updated program.
  • I cannot open Skype call on the web as it tries to open an emergent screen, and the lock forced by the updated program.
  • I had to reboot the computer and now the OS works well, I tried to install Office365 again but a message that there is another installation in process showed up. I continue waiting.

Finnally, now it works again.

After 7 hours downloading and doing things on the background, a screen with the installation showed up. The process completed successfully but I had to re-start the laptop again.

Now I can comeback to my day to day.

Listen your customers

Listen your customers, they call it now Digital Transformation. The ability of an organization to discover, understand behavior patterns and then sell your products/services into that specific population is basically that.

Tonnes of PowerPoint flood the web talking about this, but it takes time that organizations rationalize all the marketing stuff and really define a plan.

Strategic plan to listen to customers reach my inbox this week, and they explained in a clear way the approach they want to take on the new way to listen to their customers, understand who individually want what and then promote their products.

Data life cycle is the key, turn data into information, and finally into knowledge is the key. The approach basically is to engage the right people to seek patterns of behavior, detect areas of population, financial situations, and once the segment of population is identified, understand their priorities.

Workshop on Digital Design

A nice workshop where some basis and theories about how the digital design influences on the decisions of a digital user. Presented by Brian Cugelman. Most of the participants were UX developers and consultants looking for the next pattern and ideas to improve their web and mobile applications.

What motivates in a positive and negative way to an user:


Five seconds test: this practical exercise was the best part of the session. After look for a web/mobile page, we replied to these questions.


Taleo Search Engine

Have you tried to use the Taleo Search Engine? You enter different fields to look for different positions, but the engine does not work.

I do not the reason, maybe is my computer, but I have tried in different places without success.

On the other hand the way you can search is very limited in comparison with other places where more ways to reach the information you are looking for. The user experience is not good using this search system and it’s not intuitive in the way we use to work nowadays. My reaction is “I do not want to use this system I will look in a different place for the same information”.

Yahoo mail Beta

Do you use Yahoo mail?

then you will be asked to move to a new faster and improved Yahoo email!!

please do not accept the change to Yahoo mail Beta,

it does not work  🙁

  1. I cannot reply an e-mail.
  2. I cannot copy the body of the e-mail.
  3. It’s slower than the old one,
  4. I cannot compose an e-mail.

Working on end-user adoption

We´re working on a project where a solution is implemented on SharePoint.

Last week I was on customer office assisting to the presentation of the solution.

Apart of the details related to the project, at the end of the meeting I had the opportunity to talk to them about the users and their feeling about the tool.

At this point they were seeing that the application still has some visual aspects to be improved, but in addition the usability seems to be one of the main concern. I was asking more about it and finally the main issue I see here with end-users is adoption.

I asked them: If this tool would be done in Lotus Notes, should we have any problem?

Answer: no, we have thousand LN applications, they know how to do it.

For me the obstacle is not the application, the obstacle is that this is the first SharePoint application for this 300 potential users.

Customer does not want to have thousand of help documents to introduce the application. I agree with them: they should not work on help documents to explain how to navigate on SharePoint and how to find the properties of a document, check out a document or other type of standard actions.

My recommendation was to work with the people to adopt the SharePoint environment before to start working with the application:

  • They should work on the SharePoint sandbox with users to get them used to the environment.
  • Do sessions to explain how documents are stored, approved.
  • Work in addition with people that has old version of MS-Office (they way to work in different).

In summary, make the users feel comfortable with the environment.

SharePoint: Convert Folder Structures to Metadata

This fantastic link resolves one use case that we have with our current users.

The point is that this is our first project with MS-SharePoint 2010 and we still have to learn how to resolve non inmediate user problems.

Users are used to navigate on folders, and try that they look into 100.000 documents searching is not a real solution for them.

This article resolves this and the important thing is the team has understood that we just cannot wait to the customer say us what they want to have: we can know it before because we know how they are currently working.

With this easy solution we are answering to the expected user experience the client is asking.