Design Process Tools: for Synthesis in System Design

I’ve been creating lots of tools & props for use by (beginner) designers in their attempts to understand a complex situation & craft good interventions, to improve the system.

The class I’m teaching on Plea Agreement Redesign has been the main prompt for these.  Understanding Plea Agreements, the system they’re embedded in, and the stakeholders involved is a very complex undertaking.  It’s a different scale of a design project from simply designing a product for a single consumer, to make their tasks more efficient, user-friendly or engaging.

The challenge of Plea Agreement Redesign requires the design teams to see the ‘problem’ from many different stakeholders’ perspectives, who define the problem differently, and who have different frustration points & aspirations from each other.

That’s why I’ve been creating some tools to supplement the basic user-centered design methods I’ve learned at the — which are aimed more at designing for a single user type.

Here are a first batch of the design tools I’ve been making for the students in my class to synthesize their understanding of the Plea Agreement System — and discover good directions for their design work.

Please go ahead & use them in your work, let me know how they help (or not).  I’ve included short descriptions along with the prompts on the sheet, to make them more usable to beginner designers.

Design Prop - Stakeholder Notes Decompress

Design Prop - Process Map  Design Prop - Situation 2 x 2

Design Prop - Stakeholder Map-01