Bootcamp Bootlet from Stanford’s d.school offers a unique and approachable means to understanding design thinking. The design-thinking method on interviewing for empathy gave solid insight into the qualitative research process. Interviews are meant to find underlying concepts or perceptions that are not readily apparent. In my research into technology-assisted collaboration in education, this might answer questions regarding best practices in team dynamics, communication issues, or diverse learning styles.
Some answers may seem readily apparent such as cultural communication styles (such as high versus low context communication). However, simply presuming these are the answers would be naïve. A skilled researcher could present open-ended questions that encourage potential team members to discuss previous collaboration experiences. By remaining neutral and avoiding leading answers, the interviewee might give subtle nonverbal cues in body language or tone that indicate specific issues or opportunity areas.
Using the collected research, an empathy map could offer a well-rounded understanding of the team members. The four-section trait map could dissect what the individuals say, do, think, and feel according to the interview analysis. The organized empathy map might point out needs, such as difficulty understanding their role in the group, or lack of motivation caused by a loose designation of roles. These types of insights could produce a potential direction and/or solution to the design research problem. In some instances an entirely new and unrecognized question/direct might arise.
There are quite a few methods within the unit that I attempt to use regularly including interview preparation, saturate and group, brainstorming, and storytelling. It was interesting to see some areas that were new to me (albeit a bit of common sense) such as the point-of-view madlib, or the prototype for empathy. This led to new insight for my personal research on how I might infer more accurate results and possibly avoid creative block through brainstorming activities. However, I would be hard pressed to play the “invisible ball” stoke game, a girl needs to draw the line somewhere…
 “Use Our Methods.” d.school Bootcamp Bootleg. Stanford University Institute of Design, 2013. Web. 30 Jan 2013.dschool.stanford.edu/use-our-methods/>.