Tag Archives: experiential learning

Let Yourself Draw Inspiration from Others

Let Yourself Draw Inspiration from Others

GUEST POST from Mike Shipulski

When you try something new, check to see who has done something similar. Decompose their design approach. What were they trying to achieve? What outcome were they looking for? Who were their target customers? Do this for at least three existing designs – three real examples that are for sale today.

Here’s a rule to live by: When trying something new, don’t start from scratch.

What you are trying to achieve is unique, but has some commonality with existing solutions. The outcome you are looking for is unique, but it’s similar to outcomes others have tried to achieve. Your target customers are unique, but some of their characteristics are similar to the customers of the solutions you’ll decompose.

Here’s another rule: There are no “clean sheet” sheet designs, so don’t try to make one.

There was an old game show called Name That Tune, where contestants would try to guess the name of a song by hearing just a few notes. The player wins when they can name the tune with the *fewest* notes. And it’s the same with new designs – you want to provide a novel customer experience using the fewest new notes.

A rule: Reuse what you can, until you can’t.

Because the customer is the one who decides if your new offering offers them new value, the novel elements of your design don’t have to look drastically different in a side-by-side comparison way. But the novel elements of your offering do have to make a significant difference in the customer’s life. With that said, however, it can be helpful if the design element responsible for the novel goodness is visually different from the existing alternatives. But if that’s not the case, you can add a non-functional element to the novelty-generating element to make it visible to the customer. For example, you could add color, or some type of fingerprint, to the novel element of the design so that customers can see what creates the novelty for them. Then, of course, you market the heck out of the new color or fingerprint.

A rule: It’s better to make a difference in a customer’s life than, well, anything else.

Don’t be shy about learning from what other companies have done well. That’s not to say you should violate their patents, but it’s a compliment when you adopt some of their best stuff. Learn from them and twist it. Understand what they did and abstract it. See the best in two designs and combine them. See the goodness in one domain and bring it to another.

Doing something for the first time is difficult, why not get inspiration from others and make it easier?

Image credit: Unsplash

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Developing Design Thinking Skills Through Experiential Learning

Developing Design Thinking Skills Through Experiential Learning

GUEST POST from Chateau G Pato

Design thinking is an innovative problem-solving approach that emphasizes looking for creative solutions to complex problems. It encourages people to rethink the way they view an issue, break it down into smaller components, and then come up with solutions that could be developed through experimentation and collective learning. It is an important skill to have in all areas of life, from business to education and beyond.

Fortunately, experiential learning is one of the best ways to develop design thinking skills. This hands-on learning strategy gives participants the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills through direct experience in a range of contexts. Through this approach, individuals can broaden their horizons while engaging in an environment of learning and creative problem solving.

Case Study #1 – StarDesign

StarDesign is an industry leading tech company that utilizes experiential learning to develop design thinking skills in its employees. The company regularly puts its staff members in various challenging situations and calmly encourages them to look for creative solutions.

In one instance, a team of five was asked to develop one brand idea into five operational models for a new product launch. To foster creative thinking, the team was given the task to brainstorm a range of solutions that could be implemented. Through the experience, each member gained an understanding of how design thinking can be utilized to create value and innovate in an ever-changing industry.

Case Study #2 – The Adopt A School Program

The Adopt A School Program is a nonprofit organization in California that is focused on educating and developing young minds. The organization has developed an experiential learning approach to build design thinking skills in fifth graders. Through the program, young students are put into various design thinking challenges that encourage them to search for creative solutions. The organization has also implemented group activities such as team building events and creative brainstorming sessions.

The Adopt A School Program has helped to build an innovative culture in the classrooms by encouraging students to take risks and think outside the box. Through this approach, students have developed a better understanding of “thinking outside the box” and have gained a unique perspective on problem solving.


Experiential learning is an invaluable tool for developing design thinking skills. Through hands-on applications, people can gain an understanding of the unique problem-solving method and apply it to their own life. By engaging in challenging situations, they can expand their horizon and innovate through creative problem solving.

Image credit: Pexels

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