How To Make ToastBy Greenfield/Belser
April 29, 2015
At Greenfield/Belser, we solve “wicked problems” every day. Mostly for our clients, for our business and every Friday when trying to decide what to get for lunch.
Earlier this month, as part of our weekly Friday Lunch series, my colleague and I presented on the basics of UX thinking. To get everyone’s brains revving, they were presented with a slide showing only a photo of toast and instructed, “draw how to make toast.” This was received with giggling, confusion and questions. Those questions were addressed by repeating the original task: just draw how to make toast…however it is that YOU would go about making it—draw each of those steps.
Upon the conclusion of the 3-minute drawing session, colleagues shared their processes. The interesting results of this exercise were that everyone had different steps. Each individual picked up on varying details/tasks in the process. The commonality between all of the drawings was that everyone had the same end goal with varying nodes and links connecting the tasks/steps taken to reach that goal.
When problem solving, getting everyone’s point of view and then combining them into one solid solution can make for exceptional solutions.
So, go ahead, “draw how to make toast.” Going through the simple process of thinking out, drawing out and speaking out loud each step in that process can help you solve some of your most “wicked problems.”
Tom Wujec, Fellow at Autodesk and author to several books including Five-Star Mind: Games and Puzzles to Stimulate Your Creativity and Imagination, coined this exercise in systems thinking and Wicked Problem SolvingTM. In 2013, he did this TED Talk on just that—it’s worth the watch. He has even created a resources website where you can find everything you need to hold your own toast session.
And for your enjoyment, here are some of our own toast process drawings. I particularly enjoy the sound effect included in the last one.