Design Thinking

The Organizing Personas of Design Thinking

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

Oh! Are you back to join us in the next part of this quest or have you recently found your way here? We gather here again to quest through the next part of the 10 faces of design thinking. In the previous article on the quest for knowledge, we learned about the learning personas.

Let's move on before this ends in a rant... Where were we again hmmm... Ah right! The organizing personas! Let's jump right in with the hurdler. The hurdler is a design thinker who has the awareness that the path to innovation will be like an obstacle course or a labyrinth that they will need to overcome to get to the final goal. They also know that some problems don't need to be faced head-on but can have a sly way to manoeuvre through the obstacle course. I feel that this would apply to almost any mangaka* alive and dead. Mangakas will go through many roadblocks to achieve even one successful product. Tom Kelley describes them as "Hurdlers can be savvy risk takers, and are often the most street-smart members of your team. Breaking rules comes naturally, and they know how to cleverly work outside the system. Give them a constraint, a tight deadline, a small budget, and they’re likely to excel." Personally, I would say the real hurdlers are you readers who have managed to reach this point in my article about design thinking personas and mangas. Just kidding! Shall we move on to our next face?

The collaborator, I am not sure if you recall from my previous articles but one of the main profiles for a design thinker is the collaborate. A collaborator is someone who brings a team together and gets everyone to work together to bring about innovation. I could bring in Bungo Stray Dogs and how Asagiri Kafka, even though he is an amazing artist chose to collaborate with Harakuwa Sango to be able to create the best product they could offer together... however, for any manga there is a team that works in the creation of the final product. Each panel can be worked on by a team of young future mangakas who are trying to learn how to design and create the best and most innovative story. With them are the editors and the publishers and how they work hard to make sure everything gets done on time and fits the storyline of the product and service they are selling their audience. The collaborator is one of the most important faces in the world of manga as they are usually someone who may be more of an honorary team member who is there to keep the team functioning and healthy. "The Collaborator is that rare person who truly values the team over the individual and project accomplishments beyond individual achievements." 

Following this we have the last but definitely not least of the organizing personas, the director. This face is the person who gathers their team and gets them motivated and thinking creatively to produce the best product. They are there to guide and bring out the best in each of their team members. In the world of manga, I would say that the manager and editor of the team would fit this role in the design thinking process of creating a successful product. Why do I say it's the manager/editor and not the author is simple, the manager needs to keep the author motivated and help guide them so that they are able to continue designing and hitting the deadlines to provide their audience with the most emotional interaction with the manga. Now if we were talking about the design thinking of the drawing process or the storyline then it would be the mangaka as they would be the one providing for their team. Though that may vary from team to team as in my own personal experience I would say the director of my process would be my best friend. He is a writer and it's through him I get new ideas and motivation as he provides the feedback I need to reconsider each prototype to achieve a manga that I am satisfied with.

Well, this adventure may have been shorter than the last, but we still haven't unlocked the achievement of design thinking knowledge! To get this achievement we must move forward to the final part of our quest! The Building Personas! I'm also sure I have you curious if I will bring up Bungo Stray Dogs up again~ Well only one way to know... Onwards with our quest.

*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.