There is not a human being on this earth who doesn’t have a story, which means everyone has a purpose for living and, by the fact, is creatively contributing to life. David Kelley, founder of IDEO, stated, “Design Thinking is a process of empathizing with the end user.” The Design Thinker listens first and foremost to the customer, who is telling a story of personal need, how he wants to get his job done.
Listening to the end user’s story, the Design Thinker re-writes the customer’s story through the process of storyboarding. The Design Sprint is storytelling.
What is storytelling? It is the process of setting an issue in a context, presenting various elements of the issue, looking for possible resolves, and finally bringing a reconciliation or resolve to the issue. Throughout storytelling, there are relations that are brought together as participants in the story, either as actively involved or viewers of the drama, with all participants having an emotional connection to the development of the story. Storytelling is dynamic, no matter how simple.
Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habits relates the simplest story that summarizes the whole topic of habit. “Two little fish were swimming along a river when an older fish swam by. The older fish asked, ‘How’s the water? ’ One of the little fish responded, ‘Okay. ’ A little further downstream, the second little fish asked, ‘What the heck is water?’”
In Design Thinking storytelling, the Designer listens to the inspiration of the issue or challenge of the end user/customer. The empathetic openness to the needs of the customer takes in the divergent factors of the request that involve asking appropriate questions to gather in need details. With that input, the Designer then “ideates”, searching for tentative solutions to frame the challenge/problem in order to arrive at the implementation or “denouement” of the story.
The process of Design Thinking begins with searching for an understanding of the customer’s request to frame the story in its inspirational context; a story has a beginning. Storytelling continues to look for the supporting elements of the issue; this is the middle of the story that is filled with what is possible. The story finally comes to an end with the implementation of an appropriate solution. The storyboard of Design Sprint is the heart of the process of Design Thinking.
To understand the importance of Design Sprint as storytelling is to engage in an exciting process that is truly a win-win experience for designers and end users.