Observe a field of focus, identify a relevant need to society and define the topic of your thesis. With that, accomplish a full design process with equal parts of secondary research, design research and evaluated design output (Master‘s Thesis).
Initial observations from feedback of fellow tech-founders and my personal experience within the TUM startup context point to teams failing due to problems in their team culture.
Further, Startup teams (from the TUM context) gain substantial benefits when integrating design as from the beginning of their journey.
Discrepancy between active “cultivation” of the team culture and the expectations of investors.
Brand core and corporate design are existing in many startups, but are rarely actively practised in daily doing.
The premises of startups are often not very individual (co-working spaces, little money, frequent moves, ...).
Design awareness in the startup environment is often strongly focused on the level of design being (meaning) and not on the levels of doing (implementation) and thinking (process).
Finding a promising need in all of the contextual insights by transforming observations to insights and then to underlying needs, which are thereafter filtered according to desirability and validity.
The concept of enabling startup teams to shape their team culture through co-creation, facilitated by a designer, comes to life. The co-creation journey is built on requirements of young teams, such as flexibility due to rapidly changing environments and high amount of self-contribution to keep costs down. The concept is iterated into tangible workshops.
Testing the co-creation journey concept with the tech-startup KUMOVIS from beginning to end. Finding out why which parts of the prototyped workshops, activities and materials worked well and where adjustments are needed.
The iterated offering includes a toolkit, consisting of a guide book and large worksheets for each activity and enables teams to continuously work on their culture.
In order to offer the co-creation journey to startup teams, a concept for the surrounding service was created.
The core of the service offering is to facilitate creating internal identity experiences that communicate the core values to all employees. It works in such a way that, after the initial run, the teams can repeat their team development without an external facilitator.
A unique appearance for a unique service. The identity design is based on a strong core of values, strategy and principles, all of which were developed in workshops. It was the goal to create a simple system that gives the service touchpoint a cohesive and unique experience.
Everything needed to facilitate the co-creation journey was designed in detail, integrating what was learned from user testing.
The facilitator’s guide book provides the co-creation journey lead with all necessary information to explain every activity to the team. The activity worksheets help to support each activity in detail, so there is no organisational distraction from the experience creation.