Design Thinking Exercise

April 2018 | This project was for a Udemy course (Cooper Crash Course: Design Thinking in 3 Steps). This course focused on understanding the client’s target audience and their needs. The directive was to make the pre-flight experience more enjoyable for travelers.

I started by brainstorming ideas about pain points involved with travel in hopes of figuring out how to make them better. I landed on the idea of a suitcase that would make getting through security earlier.

After getting my own thoughts on paper, the next step was to establish the target audience for my client, UniversAir, and then define research objectives. I decided the best target audience would be travelers who fly regularly, but not too frequently, so they might describe the aspects of traveling that they struggle with without letting routineness impact their impressions. I refined research objectives based on what I wanted to learn from my target audience, then interviewed seven people ranging in age from 23-58 who travel at least twice a year for a mix of business and pleasure.

Once I had enough information from the people I interviewed, I was able to create a proto persona – Penny, the planner. Penny likes to feel in control, so she’ll do anything she can ahead of time. Minimizing the time she spends waiting at the airport is important too, since crowds make her anxious. Forming a proto persona with information gained from the interviews provided a lens to focus my ideas and solutions. I then brainstormed new ideas based on what I learned through the interviews.

From the list of ideas that came out of my second brainstorm, I chose one to expand upon. To help our users minimize the time they spend waiting at the airport, I decided it would be useful to combine traffic data with known airport wait times so users could know when they need to get to the airport. I created a storyboard illustrating this feature, then I was able to use the storyboard to validate whether or not this idea resonated with potential users.

This exercise was great practice in walking through the design thinking process. I enjoy getting to take the time to start a project from the very beginning. Defining research objectives and interviewing people to gather information was a great way to break down my own preconceived notions and design something valuable for users.