Contact me at bala@balaramadurai.net.

Teaching

Ask the Design Thinking Doc - Are there 4 stages or 5 stages for Design Thinking?

I have always been enamoured by Mandala drawings, but never thought it was my cup of tea to draw one. However, when a question came up in an online Design Thinking live session came up from a learner, I ended up drawing one, or I think it looks like one.

Design Thinking, as a skill, can be learnt by practicing the methodology on real world problems. I run an online course on Design Thinking on a Govt. of India platform called SWAYAM where close to 32,000 learners have learnt Design Thinking already.

What I have got in return (apart from lots of love 😍) is the variety of questions that have been asked by so many curious learners. This Ask the DT Doc series can be helpful to anyone – a beginner, intermediate or advanced learner of Design Thinking. (Also checkout https://dt.balaramadurai.net for the book on Design Thinking)

This post will cover the question “Is Design Thinking a 4-stage or a 5 stage process?”

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How do we help an octagenarian remember better?

This is a guest post written by a team of enthusiastic people who got together for a Design Thinking workshop and worked on helping an octagenarian to remember better. You can read the list of team members in the author description. This case study is complete with a working prototype (Scroll to the end to interact with an embedded prototype of an app). Thanks Lakshay and team for your active contributions to the Karmic Design Thinking repository ❤.

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Ask the Design Thinking Doc - Why the question "Why" is essential in your life

An imaginary island. A handful of people forced to serve under an evil man. His compassionate daughter eyeing the leader of the forced labourers. Makings of a great masala movie.

Yes, this was the point where, the leader of the forced labourers, the Tamil Matinee idol, MGR (Actor MG Ramachandran) sang on screen “Yen endra kelvi ingu ketkaamal vaazhkai illai” or “There is no life without asking the question ‘Why’”.

This song was from the movie “Aayirathil oruvan”, the 1965 blockbuster.

The question “why” is very essential not only in that movie, but in Design Thinking as well.

Design Thinking, as a skill, can be learnt by practicing the methodology on real world problems. I run an online course on Design Thinking on a Govt. of India platform called SWAYAM where close to 32,000 learners have learnt Design Thinking already.

What I have got in return (apart from lots of love 😍) is the variety of questions that have been asked by so many curious learners. This Ask the DT Doc series can be helpful to anyone – a beginner, intermediate or advanced learner of Design Thinking. (Also checkout https://dt.balaramadurai.net for the book on Design Thinking)

This post will cover the question “How do I apply the Multi-Why technique in a complicated problem and in a large team?”

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How to convert your ideas into visual means by sketching

Visually, you can convey and retain a ton of information compared to printed or spoken media. Curious how you can achieve this?

Sketching.

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Ask the Design Thinking Doc - How to describe a conflict

Design Thinking, as a skill, can be learnt by practicing the methodology on real world problems. I run an online course on Design Thinking on a Govt. of India platform called SWAYAM where close to 32,000 learners have learnt Design Thinking already.

What I have got in return (apart from lots of love 😍) is the variety of questions that have been asked by so many curious learners. This Ask the DT Doc series can be helpful to anyone – a beginner, intermediate or advanced learner of Design Thinking. (Also checkout https://dt.balaramadurai.net for the book on Design Thinking)

This post will cover the question “How do I describe a conflict between the customer and the manufacturer?”

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Ask the Design Thinking Doc - How do I visualize the pet-hair clothes problem?

Design Thinking as a skill can be learnt by practicing the methodology on real world problems. I run an online course on Design Thinking on a Govt. of India platform called SWAYAM where close to 25,000 learners have learnt Design Thinking already.

What I have got in return (apart from lots of love :)) is the variety of questions that have been asked by so many curious learners. This Ask the DT Doc series can be helpful to whoever is either a beginner, intermediate or advanced learner of Design Thinking. (Also checkout https://dt.balaramadurai.net for the book on Design Thinking)

This post will cover the question “How do I draw out a customer journey map for a pet hair on a human being?”

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Knowledge Management - A tough nut to crack

Knowledge management is the preservation and continuation of knowledge with a group of individuals. This could be in a company, family/household, college, roommates, etc.

Larger the group of people, the trickier it gets to manage the flow of information and preservation of knowledge, as we in a company that I worked for, found out. This was the time when I worked for a high profile team in a large company, not so difficult to guess, considering that I only worked for a few companies in my adult life :)

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Is or Isn't?

Is or Isn’t is one of the core conflicts that everyone deals with. For example, “It is Monday or it isn’t Monday”.

Radically different, correct?

What if you wanted to find out if a wheel of a high speed train is cracked or not? The question to ask is - Is it or Isn’t it cracked?

But, how does one find that out without breaking that wheel? Simple solution - use a sound wave that no human can hear, but only those dangerous cracks can hear and reflect.

This sound wave is present, but isn’t going to harm the wheel. Cool, eh?

Now that I have your undivided attention, I am happy to tell you that Shyamsunder Mandayam not only bought my book, Karmic Design Thinking, but he seems to be impressed with the contents of the book. So much so that he invited me to give a talk on Attaining Innovation Nirvana through Design Thinking to the Indian Society of Non-destructive Testing (ISNT) on May 1, 2021, between 4pm and 5pm IST.

ISNT, of course, has many other techniques up their collective sleeves. Check them out at https://isnt.in.

The details of my talk and the joining details are here - https://isnt.in/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/ISNT-BNG.WEBINAR-01st-May-2021.pdf.

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I can't find a suitable book, so let me write it for you - SVEC Tirupathi

In September 2019, I got an email from Prof. Avanija from Sree Vidyanikethan Engineering College, Tirupathi. The gist of the email went something like this:

Dear Sir, can you please recommend a good book on Design Thinking that we teachers can use for teaching and may also be useful for the students to learn from?

When I read this, I was surprised, since so much of literature and books have been written on the topic of Design Thinking. So, I did a basic search for a book on the leading libraries of the world. It is not that I didn’t find any books. I didn’t find a book which could go alongside an academic course.

So, I responded.

“Dear Madam, you are right. Currently, there seem to be no books which match your requirements. However, are you willing to wait for 3-4 months?”

Avanija Madam kindly agreed to my weird request.

What I had in mind was what I learned from the writer community - “If you don’t find a book you want to read, write it.

Little did I realize that it would take 6-8 months and 7 iterations with my professional editor - Anita Nagarajan. The end result is here: https://dt.balaramadurai.net

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Design Thinking Faculty Development Program organized by CET, Trivandrum

How do you get to know about the life of a security guard of a University? What does their day look like? How can we help them stay focused on their job while making some of their troubles go away? I wasn’t thinking of these things. A professor, in my Design Thinking Faculty Development Program (FDP) organized by CET, Trivandrum, was wondering about these questions. When he heard about the phases of Design Thinking from my latest book Karmic Design Thinking - Empathize, Analyze, Solve and Test, he thought this was the best way to learn. He practised what I preached ☻. The empathy exercise led to some startling conclusions like the number of hours, this man (The professor had tracked a security guard who was a man) had to stand without a break, the kind of climactic conditions that they had to endure. He even supplemented the study with a few pictures for us to see what was it like to be a security guard.

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