Design Thinking

The Building Personas of Design Thinking

Disclaimer: Kelley, Tom, 2006 The Ten Faces of Innovation

Welcome again!

Oof... We made it this far, we've finally reached our last category of faces... the building personas. I'm going to be honest, I really didn't expect how long this article would start to be. I can proudly state that you have finally reached the last article in the journey to acquiring the necessary knowledge on the 10 faces of design thinking. In the last two articles, we discovered the learning and organizing personas and let me tell you a little secret... I did bring up Bungo Stray Dogs again...


The first in our new category is the experience architect. These are the people that pull in the audience by providing them with an experience. I feel it's been too long since Bungo Stray Dogs was mentioned in this article so here is the perfect opportunity for me to bring it back as an example. OMG! How can I possibly bring it back again to Bungo Stray Dogs... well it's creating a full experience for the target audience. Well, an experience can be about engaging the senses and it can also be about engaging the mind. Bungo Stray Dogs achieves this by drawing in the audience with more than the beautiful faces of beloved authors. Asagiri Kafka creates puzzles through symbolism that gets his audience thinking and creates an empathetic connection by showing real trauma and mental health issues. He creates an experience in the manga and he also creates a community that wishes to understand it even more. It creates an interconnected experience with the characters and the others in the community. Other experience architects use the senses, tactile sensations, making use of sound, and looking for the opportunity to add in taste or smell.

Following we have the set designer, they are the people who set the stage that allows the team to increase productivity, interactions and a more relaxed collaboration. They spice up the environment that the team is working in. In this case, I will ask you a question... the environment around you, does it play a role in how motivated you feel? In my workspace, I like to put up the artwork I have completed, I like having an aesthetic bookshelf with my book collection, I consider the colours and how they make me feel... well this is what the set designer is doing for their team. They are taking a dull environment and upgrading it to further the progress of the design thinking process.

I'll keep this one short, the caregiver is the one who will receive a customer's needs and go above just providing the bare minimum of service to meet those needs. As Tom Kelley puts it, why wouldn't we want someone to be our personal trainer? The caregiver face makes their audience feel like they are the most important person in the world to them.

My god! We are finally at the last face... took us so much time to get here... I was beginning to think this article would go on forever. So let's do a short dive into what the storyteller does in the design thinking process. They are the people who make use of narrative to create internal morale and external awareness by communicating human values or specific cultural traits. The storyteller draws in his audience and makes a story around the product that will entice the audience's needs and wants. The best stories hold a ring of authenticity and an underlying truth, so to be the best storyteller strive to achieve the perfect balance within your narrative.

So to conclude, I would like to emphasize that the 10 faces of design thinking are not personality traits but tools that design thinkers can make use of to achieve innovation and reach their targets. Anybody can make use of these different personas and they don't only need to fit into one category. I hope that reading this article has explained the different faces that can be found in design thinking and how some of them can be found in the manga process. WooHoo! You've achieved the quest! Feel free to take a much-deserved nap and rest!

*Kinship: A person who kins may feel closely related to a character involuntarily, or they may choose to kin characters.

*Mangaka: Japanese word for a manga writer/artist.