Get Outside The Box: Using Design Thinking to Jump Start A Digital Strategy At Your Institution

Annie Conway, Chicago Architecture Foundation, USA, Jill Farley, Chicago Architecture Foundation, USA

In 2013, the Chicago Architecture Foundation led a successful initiative to make the “digital leap forward” during a period of institutional change and strategic realignment. In order to help staff radically reconsider their approach to audience engagement and learning and to prepare them to design and test new digital media in 2014, the Foundation took an unconventional approach to professional development that focused on design thinking and rapid prototyping.

CAF facilitated a month-long design challenge in which teams competed to design concepts for new digital projects around key engagement goals. The goals of the design challenge were to:

• Establish shared knowledge of major areas of digital media and their potential uses for CAF.
• Immerse staff in the design process and practice collaboratively designing experiences around specific learning engagement goals.
• Spark innovation and enable staff to break out of the box and consider their programming and use of technology in new ways.
• Ideate and produce a framework of new technologies to prototype in 2014 that are aligned to shared audience and learning goals.

The design challenge was highly successful in jump-starting CAF’s new digital strategy, in building design skills and confidence, and in getting staff to see themselves as a part of CAF’s digital future. This session will cover lessons learned in CAF’s design challenge, as well as the results of the 2014 digital prototype testing that came out of that process.

In this workshop you will learn how to use similar design thinking techniques to affect culture change at your institution and engage your colleagues in a collaborative design process. We will share activities and materials to practice target user identification, engagement strategy development, defining learning outcomes, and experience design. You will come away understanding how to scaffold a learning experience that supports even reluctant staff in the design process and leverages their st

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