SAP Montreal

A Design Thinking Workshop
Yu Centrik Inc.
The Challenge

Is user research in design obsolete or is it more important than ever?
In 2014, Yu Centrik conducted a Design Thinking workshop in partnership with our colleagues at SAP Montreal to explore the role of contemporary design research in an age of data proliferation, at a time where it seems, increasingly, that the answers are available to us even before we ask the questions.
We considered a daunting and familiar Montreal situation: An unexpected storm occurred overnight.

The challenge: to design ways to make citizens’ lives better during and after a snowstorm.

Yu Centrik Inc.
The Solution

“Taking into account: The hopes and fears that this situation evokes. And facts about snowfall volume and frequency, snow removal costs, injuries associated with snow removal and municipal snow removal policy
We rapid-prototyped our design ideas by bodystorming: a role-playing exercise in which we enacted snowstorm scenarios. Participants assumed the roles of users e.g. a home-bound elderly person, elements of the environment e.g. an ice patch and design components e.g. a wearable airbag.
In giving each player a voice and agency to negotiate the interaction, the exercise surfaced unanticipated circumstances, obstacles and workarounds that inspired meaningful design refinements”
“Reflecting on how our design concepts evolved throughout the day, we saw how statistics pointed to us to aspects of the problem that needed design attention. But we saw also how the facts and numbers failed to capture the context and contingencies of the situation that triggered novel and effective design ideas.

Get a glimpse of the day from this video:

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