Event April 24, 2018

Design Thinking Meetup: The Recap

Tom Van Helleputte

Product Manager

Two weeks ago, 60 product designers gathered at the ITP offices for a joint meetup. The topic du jour? Design Thinking versus Design Doing. Because we’re all sold on the benefits of Design Thinking, but implementing the philosophy proves to be more challenging than anticipated.

That's why we welcomed two speakers to share their experiences. Gil Nimmegeers, Innovation Solutions Manager @ Belfius Studio, told us the story of Pengo: Belfius' payment solution that operates on Facebook Messenger. It was launched earlier this year. 

Lucas Caesens, Lead User Experience Designer @ MIT, introduced us to technical writing as a collaboration tool. Afterwards, there was an unconference experiment to engage the audience in an interactive discussion on challenges in Design Thinking. 

Read on to discover what we’ve learned!



The story behind Pengo

https://pengo.me/ originated from the Belfius Studio. Once the idea of paying using chatbots seemed viable, developers started working on a prototype.

After just one week, the prototype was promising enough to secure funding for three months of development. The close relationship with Belfius helped the team to finalise Pengo and after about four months they were able to launch the new payment service. The launch received quite some media coverage which really helped to gather an initial userbase.



Pengo's best practises

A major advantage of a chatbot as a platform is the direct contact you have with your users. Wondering why users dropped out or how they’d improve your product? All right, ask them. The Pengo team created an avatar with a range of emotions for the payment solution in order to engage with its userbase.

The team currently applies validated learning, which means they learn and improve by trial and error. For example: the team noticed a drop in user engagement when users had to enter their IBAN number. Now, they're experimenting with different flows to improve the user-friendliness of that process.

Last but not least, having sketches and wireframes on the wall enables clear communication between all team members. Communication is key in all processes when making and validating a prototype.


Succeeding in projects

Design Thinking is an efficient way to tackle issues, yet many projects still fail. These three tips are just what the doctor ordered:

  • Involve marketing in an early stage to convince your target audience before you even launch. 
  • Maintain one master document throughout your project. This helps to have all relevant information in one place for all team members.
  • Pick a solid design system and strong view templates. That way, you only have to design five screens of your product to cover all possibilities.


Discussion on Design Doing

To wrap up the session, we distributed a survey among the attendees to get some more information on the pitfalls of Design Thinking

These were indicated as the top challenges in the product designers’ day-to-day jobs:

  • A lack of regular user validation due to time or budget constraints;
  • Clients preferring business value over user value; 
  • The division between the design process and the engineering process;
  • Scaling Design Thinking beyond designers;
  • The day-to-day hurdle limits innovation.



On to the next one!

Hopefully our meetup helps you in the future to implement more Design Doing in your professional life.

Finally, we'd also like to thank the speakers and the audience for an interesting and energising evening! 

Interested in working at In The Pocket? Make sure to check out our open design positions!