EFFECTIVE & NUANCED INNOVATION WITH DESIGN BETS - TOBIAS ASHLIN - 13:30PM
Tobias is the Lead Experience Designer for Minecraft in Stockholm, Sweden. When he’s not working from the Mojang headquarters he’s spending his time as an Industry Leader at the digital business school Hyper Island, where he frequently lectures.
Prior to Mojang, Tobias was one of the first designers at Spotify, and was early on responsible for the UI design of all their apps. He went on to work as a Product Designer and Developer at GitHub in San Francisco, and later lead the design for the user testing company Lookback.
Tobias highlighted in his talk that we spend a lot of time working with tools and frameworks that help us work better together. We stay agile; we stay lean; we stand in circles; we avoid waterfalls. We ship MVPs, or maybe MLPs. We have a rigid set of tools and processes to make sure that we can ship something that works, and on time. We have agile coaches that helps us stay together, and move in the same direction. This is, essentially production management. But what tools and processes do we have to make sure we’re heading in the right direction? How do we know that we’re building something of value?
Tobias introduced us to his process of design BETs (Belief Exploration Trees). It’s an innovation framework that helps us have better ideas, stay nuanced, connect our ideas to business goals, and avoid getting stuck in local maxima. Rather than dictating in what order we do things, or how to manage the production, it focuses on quality; how to have original ideas of value, how to update our belief over time, and how to make better decisions in groups. Tobias gave an example of BET's in action for a coffee shop. Firstly begin with a idea to attract new custom within food, drinks or service. Say if we expanded the service branch, two areas to improve on could be 'personalisation' or 'speed'. An idea to personalise the service could be to write the customers name on the cup. You can then create a hypothesis, approach the issue or goal. Present the idea of doing "X' to succeed and back up your suggestion, for example "Starbucks have done this and it worked well for them". It's also important to mention why this may fail, and hear from the team their thoughts on the idea.
He feels that by presenting your ideas in this way you produce something of value, and how to fix a clients problem. It also helps to minimise and highlight risk prior to actions being taken. He outlines important characteristics that help to make this process more effective and characteristics that can result in failure or increase risk.