What Is Design Thinking?

Video Transcript

Transcribed from "What Is Design Thinking?"

What is design thinking? Once upon a time, an industrial designer named Doug Dietz stood beaming with pride as he visited a hospital to admire his brand new, high-tech MRI machine. But when the first patient, a little girl, saw the machine, she burst into tears. She didn't see a shiny new machine that could help her. She saw a terrifying monster. And she knew she'd have to go inside it and be very still, which for a very frightened little girl would be very hard to do without taking medicine to make her sleepy.

Doug knew his technology would be great at diagnosing a lot of bad things inside people that needed to be fixed. But he now realized what little girl's experience would not be great at all. To her, his creation was loud and scary. He needed to figure out how he could help her and to make her fear go away. So he brought together a team of experts, educators, pediatricians and designers to study how MRI machines trigger anxiety in young patients. They watched children play and noticed them use their imaginations to transform everyday objects into extraordinary things. They wondered, “In the hospital, instead of a fearful experience, could children imagine they were on a wonderful adventure?”

After a lot of brainstorming, the team worked together to reveal a newly designed MRI at a children's hospital, one that turned the MRI procedure into a grand space adventure. Now the loud noises are the spaceship going into hyperdrive, and the headsets they wear help them communicate with ground control while on this space voyage. Instead of undergoing a medical procedure, they are on an exciting mission to outer space. The number of children needing sedation has plummeted, and more scans can be completed each day.

After hearing a patient ask her mom when she could come back for her next MRI, Doug knew his human-centered design had made his corner of the world a much better place. And for thousands of children who have needed an MRI scan over the years since then, they lived happily ever after.