The Design Thinking rules of interaction

Innovation is work and it is important to agree on shared rules of interaction when working on innovations together. That is why we developed the Design Thinking rules. For the innovation process, especially in the ideation phase, they proved to be very helpful. You can adapt them quickly and they help the multidisciplinary team to stay on their path of creating creative ideas.

Stay focused on the topic

Our brains tend to be distracted or misdirected quite easily. In the Design Thinking process we help each other to stay focused on the topic and concentrate on our challenge.


One conversation at a time
Sometimes teams are discussing several different topics simultaneously. We remind each other to only have one conversation at a time. Active listening improves the chance that all ideas are being heard.
Encourage wild ideas
We allow ourselves to be crazy, true to the motto „anything is possible“. To be truly innovative you need to deviate from the norm and have an open mind.
Defer judgment
Every idea counts and does not have to be judged immediately. Its value will automatically prove itself during the process.
Be visual
A picture is worth a thousand words. A visualized thought is remembered more easily and can be better identified among numerous Post-its than letters on a piece of paper.
Go for quantity
 "The best way to have a good idea, is to have a lot of ideas", said Linus Pauling (Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry in 1954 and Peace Nobel Prize winner in 1962). More than one-hundred ideas in thirty minutes? No problem for the lively teams of the HPI D-School.


Build on the ideas of others
Be inspired by your team member’s ideas and continue working on them! Every idea is a brick in the building of innovation.
Fail early and often

Michael Air Jordan (Basketball-Champion) said "I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." That is why we try and test until it works. An open culture of failure is central to our mindset.

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