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Five design thinking mindsets

  1. Be curious. Curiosity makes everything new. It invites exploration. It makes everything play. Most of all, curiosity is going to help you “get good at being lucky.” It’s the reason some people see opportunities everywhere.

  2. Try stuff. When you have a bias to action, you are committed to building your way forward. There is no sitting on the bench just thinking about what you’re going to do. There is only getting in the game. Designers try things. They test things out. Designers embrace change. They are not attached to a particular outcome, because they are always focused on what will happen next -- not what the final result will be.

  3. Reframe problems. Reframing is how designers get unstuck. Reframing also makes sure that we are working on the right problem. Life design involves key reframes that allow you to step back, examine your biases, and open up new solution spaces.

  4. Know it’s a process. We know that life gets messy. For every step forward, it can sometimes seem you are moving two steps back. Mistakes will be made, prototypes thrown away. An important part of the process is letting go of your first idea and of a good-but-not-so-great solution. And sometimes messy designs can emerge from the mess. Design is a journey; let go of the end goal and focus on the process and see what happens next.

  5. Strive for radical collaboration. You are not alone. Ask for help. The best designers know that great design requires radical collaboration. It takes a team. A painter can create a masterpiece alone, but a designer cannot create the iPhone alone. Design is a collaborative process and many of your best ideas are going to come from other people. You just need to ask. And know the right questions to ask. When you reach out to the world, the world reaches right back. And this changes everything. Design is a team sport.

Source: Burnett, Bill and Dave Evans. Designing your life: How to build a well-lived, joyful life. Knopf. 2016.

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