The Art of Innovation
A Design Thinking Immersion
Spring 2013

Favorite Part: Seeing kids’ faces light up when we showed them our playful mascot and airport scavenger hunt.

Biggest Lesson Learned: Be prepared to change things as you go. One early idea for printing fun activities on the floor was quickly abandoned when we realized busy travelers weren’t in the mood to dawdle when searching for their gate.

Hardest Part: Keeping our team’s momentum going when we got caught up in the details of executing our ideas.

I joined a team of systems engineers, MBAs, city planners, and more to learn design thinking through trail, error, and swift adaptation. We traveled to jetBlue’s terminal at JFK to completely rethink their check-in experience. In just 12 hours we interviewed jetBlue customers and employees, dissected our observations, brainstormed innovations, created prototypes, and tested our ideas in the terminal with real customers.

The thrust of design thinking is learning to empathize and re-imagine the world as it might be: more human and less mechanical. When you put people—and their experiences, emotions, and unique circumstances—ahead of technical constraints and impersonal market research, you can create products and services that energize and delight.

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