#SVtommies - Design Think Process

Today, UST entrepreneurship students in Silicon Valley moved on from interviewing local residents to the next step of the design thinking process where they process their findings to form a user point of view to address a product design. They were joined by cofounders of Job Portraits, Miki Johnson and Jackson Solway, who through interviews and photography, will develop a comprehensive “portrait,” highlighting the learning process and value of the course. They also led a guided discussion and workshop for the students about the startup culture in the Bay area and marketing an entrepreneurship degree.

The first two days of our journey through Silicon Valley gave us a fresh outlook on the contemporary methods of business functionality. We have been immersed in several exciting experiences thus far. Two of these experiences included visiting Mainsail Partners and Plantronics. The insight we gained from visiting with these firms prepared us well for day three of our excursion.

Over the past two days we have been interviewing, at random, a sizeable number of San Francisco and Santa Cruz residents. The information we gathered from our interviews was carefully documented and examined today. Having completed these Empathy Interviews, we continued onto the next step of the Design Think Process: Unpacking. We spent the first half of our day critically analyzing the most compelling interviews from the previous day.

The unpacking process was an opportunity for all of the groups to reconvene and offer constructive advice. As a group we were able to chat with Anna Love-Michelson from Stoked, who we met with in Minneapolis last week, about our progress. She gave us useful insight, which we quickly applied to our analysis. After we completed the unpacking process, we reached a point of view that clearly defined an issue that we hoped to solve for a specific person. Having reached our appropriate points of view, we prepared ourselves for the following step of the Design Think Process: Ideation.

During the evening, we were graced with Jackson Solway and Miki Johnson from Job Portraits. We were joined by several guests including Belo Miguel Cipriani (employment expert and writer of SF Gate's "Get to Work" blog), Lexi Hradisky (recent Tradecraft UX grad and former recruiter) and Talia Page (experienced startup team builder [including AirBnB's original photo department]).  We had a fantastic discussion over a lovely dinner Miki prepared, and received valuable advice about interviewing for various employment positions.

As a result of today’s experiences, we have prepared ourselves not only for day four of our trip, but also for our future careers.