The Hub's Super Bowl of Prototypes

To best view this blog post, please click here, as often in email form, the photos or text are distorted.

Also, an announcement: please come this Friday the 12th between 2:30-4:30 to give us feedback on the Patient Centered Room!  We will have some (fabulous) snacks, and we want to hear what you think of some of the recent things that we have come up with.  In the spirit of showing off prototypes, this post is about prototyping and the challenge of creating.  It has some great photos, so I really encourage you to click here to read the post so you can best see the photos!     

Left: the latest update of the Patient Centered Room with prototypes inside.   Right: our recently introduced HubKiosk, where you can come and try out some recent creations or technologies!  

Left: the latest update of the Patient Centered Room with prototypes inside.  

Right: our recently introduced HubKiosk, where you can come and try out some recent creations or technologies!  

After the blizzard, the Hub was back to normal last week.  We had a great d-team workshop with Doug Solomon, where a new group of the Sibley team learned about how they might use design thinking in their daily work.  Doug will be back again later this February to give another workshop, click here to look at or sign up for future workshop dates!  We will also be having a special event with Doug on the 25th for anyone who has gone through his workshop and would like some lunch and a chance to reflect on how they have used design thinking in their work.  Click here for that and look for the "special event"!

The concept of prototyping came up in Doug’s workshop as well.  Prototyping is really the second half of the design process.  The part where you create something—whether it is an object or new guidelines or something else—and put that thing in front of your end user. 

some prototypes from the d-team workshop

some prototypes from the d-team workshop

The creation/prototyping part of the design process marks an important turning point in the journey.  It is the point where the designers go from information collectors and processors to solution builders and makers.  More importantly, one has to shift from gathering ideas to putting your own on the line, which isn’t easy to do. 

prototype building for the gown project

prototype building for the gown project

In most of our design races or larger projects, we spend around the first 50% of the time collecting information through research and end-user interviews.  We get used to hearing complaints, compliments, and ideas.  We purposefully process these things with a “dream big” mentality and think about all of crazy and way out there possible solutions to the things we hear.  We get flooded with information, and continuously add our own ideas along the way.

Thus, it can be hard to suddenly turn from listening with such an open mind to a producing and creative mind that is willing to take risks.  Whether it consciously crosses our mind or not, I think there is a fine line between hearing all of that feedback as motivating and hearing it as an intimidating.  Sure, there are a ton of things that we can solve for, but wow, what if my one idea doesn’t solve much of anything?  I have questioned myself a few times, but the more I practice being willing and vulnerable to sharing, the easier it all seems to get. 

prototypes for the patient centered room

prototypes for the patient centered room

Recently, we have been working very intensely on prototypes for the patient centered room.  For those of you on some of the floors, you may have noticed an increased Hub presence seeking possible end-users able to test our prototypes.  Now, I must admit that I still get a bit nervous when I enter a room or speak with a staff member about an idea, but, through these conversations with end-users, I believe that I have found the beginning of a happy medium.  After having more of these conversations, I have realized how we are not just designing for the end-user.  More importantly, we are designing with them.  We are in continuous communication with them.  We are bringing our ideas forward as a response to what we heard in conversations with them.  They are sharing their reactions with us.  They are sharing some of their vulnerability with us, just as we are sharing ours with them.

This may not be a groundbreaking concept, but I feel that it is an important distinction to emphasize when it comes to prototyping.  As someone who prefers communal/collaborative projects, my whole mindset changes when I think of the design process as a very broad and long term conversation between the designer and the end user.  Both sides are working towards the same goal.  Instead of entering a room thinking about how I am presenting this to you, one can present what we came up with together—a combination of your ideas, my interpretations, and some added brainstorming.  Even better is the idea that what we actually do only progresses through our working together.  

Altogether, I think it is very important to think about both inside and outside of the Hub.  Thinking we instead of you or I has the potential to change a lot of things, as simple as it is.  That is what I loved about the blizzard, what we heard throughout the breast cancer journey project, what we can say to our teammates or family during tough times, and what we can bring to our everyday endeavors.  The power of thinking and living "we".

I started this blog with an invitation to come see recent Hub prototypes, and I want to say that our journey in the Hub is nothing without your help and feedback.  Help us all continue to move our care at Sibley to new levels by joining our prototyping session on Friday or simply coming down to try any of the things in the HubKiosk!          

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Andrew Yin

Hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed the Super Bowl!