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Design Thinking

Design Thinking

Design thinking? What do you think of? Pictures of people playing with Sticky Notes, diagrams in a variety of colours, geometric shapes or exciting headlines that you found on the internet?

Sticky Notes born out of an accident or coincidence in the 3M lab, came to market after many failed attempts and have since found their way into many fields, workplaces and in methods or processes such as Design Thinking, Design Sprint and User Storymapping around a few to name applications.

The Sticky Notes Story

However, design thinking is much more than just organizing sticky notes and product planning. This article explains the design thinking process and how it can help us create innovative and user-centric solutions.

If you search the web for design thinking, you will find many articles and talks on the subject. In a few words, Design Thinking is an iterative and non-linear process that revolves around the interest of the user, trying to solve complex problems while offering a different mindset and practical methods to drive innovation.

Design Thinking is therefore a feasible approach that supports creativity, user orientation, innovation and unconventional thinking.             

Design Thinking in Action

Whether you believe it or not, in fact, big and well-known brands like IBM, Google, Airbnb, Uber Eats, American Express, GE Healthcare, Netflix, Bank of America and many more works with Sticky Notes. Here is just an example of how use sticky notes to collaborate with colleagues.

Creative collaborating

Sticky notes are particularly effective in a workshop or during a brainstorming session. They provide a way to present the team ideas while recording thoughts for later development. Because they are sticky, these can be moved around during a meeting to create categories or a flow of ideas. The best way to do this is to create an idea tree using a whiteboard or flipchart as a canvas. Then give each team member access to the idea tree and have them use sticky notes to hang suggestions or ideas like colorful leaves on the idea tree.

Project planning

Many companies provide their employees with a bulletin board where they can post ideas and track the progress of small and large projects. In doing so, they take advantage of one of the best features of the sticky note - its flexibility. A task or idea can be hung on the wall and either thrown away or reused once the task is completed. You can also use it to add or remove specific jobs and assign specific colors to employees so they can see what they need to do to contribute to the success of the project.

Assign colours

All these bright, happy colors not only delight stationery lovers - they also provide the perfect way to categorize and organize your thinking and planning. You can use different colors for each department, assigned task, or employee. If you're a business that works with multiple clients, you can even use sticky notes to organize work by assigning them specific colors.

Build timelines

To record the progress of a project, draw a timeline and then use sticky notes to show how different deliverables and tasks are progressing. Sticky notes are perfect for this because they are color-coded and can be moved up and down on the timeline.

Why not try sticky note hacks in your office?

  • Use sticky notes as a small to-do list with one task per note that can be removed when the work is done.
  • Put sticky notes on your desk to remind you of appointments and help you keep track of your workday.
  • Create a visual wall planner with a colored sticky note assigned to each employee - this will give you an overview of who is working on what.
  • Use sticky notes to color-code your computer, network or printer cables to ensure you never accidentally unplug devices again.
  • Write down less common keyboard shortcuts and stick this note on your computer.
  • Always keep a stack of sticky notes next to the office phone and write down important messages so that you can assign them to the topic later.

And if you prefer it the digital way, of course there are also a large number of Sticky Notes and Note-taking Apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux on the Net. Generally, digital solutions are more suitable for traveling. But on the phone, office desk or for collaborative teamwork, probably sticky notes are the solution unless you have a digital whiteboard.

3M Post-it App 

“Sticky Notes, the little things that make a big difference."


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