Presenting systems thinking tools at EuroIA 2015

Thursday, September 24, 2015

In September 2015, Namahn held a workshop at the Information Architecture and UX design conference in Madrid. The session, named 'Design tools for systemsthinking', represented an opportunity to inform the design community about the potential of systems thinking tools.

After a theoretical introduction to Systems Thinking, its history and core concepts, the workshop structured itself into a set of hands-on exercises, during which participants could apply a set of techniques to better understand a complex system.

All the teams attending the workshop worked on the case of child obesity. To sketch a map of the system, they identified key variables and drew connections on large posters. This helped them clarify how the parameters would influence each other, but also understand the ch­­allenges in the system.

After making their design challenge explicit, participants moved on to the ideation phase. In this stage, they brainstormed and shaped possible solutions to tackle their challenge. The process of generating and selecting ideas was guided by a set of “paradox cards”, a tool designed to encourage paradoxical thinking. Traditional design thinking tools as scenarios supported the definition of the selected ideas.

The session highlighted the contribution that systems thinking can bring to designers when tackling issues with a high level of complexity. With its focus on information architecture and UX design, EuroIA revealed itself an interesting opportunity to look at the broader picture. By analysing the “whole” with its multiple facets and dynamics, participants could better understand the challenges to tackle, and bring on the table sense-making concepts.

Follow our progress, sign up for the newsletter

We will keep you informed about the latest developments on Systemic Design Toolkit, a library of tools and techniques to co-design system interventions when tackling complex issues.
Thank you for joining! A welcome email is on the way to your mailbox.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.