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Client
Design Masterclass

Industry
Education

What we did?
Develop the educational program

Who did it?
Kaarel Mikkin
J.Margus Klaar
BDA
Design Minds

Design Masterclass

The Design Masterclass is a 6-month design thinking program, made for exporting companies operating in Estonia. Through a combination of lectures and mentoring, under the guidance of 15 experienced design managers, companies develop a user-centric approach in order to improve the competitiveness of their products and services. The Design Masterclass was created by BDA, Design Minds and Brand Manual.

The Design Masterclass helps address a univeral problem: namely, that companies often ignore the real needs of their customers and end users, avoid real change or innovation, and copy competitors instead.

The Masterclass solves the problem with a methodology that integrates design thinking into the everyday processes of the company. The key indicators are user engagement, progress in product development skills and real business results.

Corporate teams (incl the management) enter the Masterclass with an idea for a new product or service. During the program, they define the actual pain points of customers and users, introduce new business and service models and develop working prototypes for their product.  

The Program

The 6-month program includes a significant amount of intensive work under the guidance of trainers and design managers – conducting research, interviews, workshops, prototyping, testing, further development. The methodology of the program is divided into 7 stages:

1. Design audit by the design manager, who makes observations, interviews key people, validates the original idea/problem and redefines the initial brief

2. Design thinking and innovation course, development of business model and value proposition

3. Customer journey mapping, conducting user surveys, engaging real customers

4. Ideation and prototyping techniques, building lo-fidelity prototypes

5. Further development and testing of prototypes, collecting feedback, work on iterations

6. Service models, implementation of circular design, delivering the MVP

7. Final pitch to an independent jury to win a €10,000 investment

The assigned design managers guide companies in their practical independent work – at least 30 hours in workshops, 20 hours of individual work by the design manager and an estimated minimum of 70 hours of development work within the company. A total of 115 people participated in the first round of the programme, spending about 13,800 hours on learning and implementing design thinking. 29 out of 30 companies delivered a real product or service prototype during the program.

The Outcome

As a result of the program, participants have developed new competitive advantages, improved existing products, created new service models, and discovered customer segments and markets they were not previously aware of. The jury has chosen two companies worthy of investment:

Factory 7 – A manufacturer of ventilation equipment for large kitchens, who, understanding the needs of the chefs and owners of the restaurant, developed a new modular ventilation unit. The installation, ease of use, maintenance and efficiency of which were unrivalled after the program. This unique product is now in commercial production.

Dipperfox – A land improvement company developed a stump drill that is 5-15 times faster and more efficient than its competitors, crushing the stump in just 20 seconds. As a result, construction and land improvement companies save hundreds of wo/man-hours, wages, equipment rental costs, and do less damage to nature. Dipperfox launched its new product and brand even before the official end of the DMK program.

Make sure to check out Dipperfox case study here. 

The participants’ feedback to the quality of the program was extremely high, reaching 9.64 out of 10 points. The integrity of the program, educational workshops, extensive independent work, inspiring guest speakers and design managers were praised. The masterclass shaped a new, customer-centric way of thinking, which was immediately applied to partipant’s everyday work. Today, with the support of Enterprise Estonia and the European Regional Development Fund, the program has been run twice. In 2018/20 30 companies completed it and the program will continue in an improved form also in the 2020/21 season, reaching 40 more companies.

Client
Design Masterclass

Industry
Education

What we did?
Develop the educational program

Who did it?
Kaarel Mikkin
J.Margus Klaar
BDA
Design Minds

Design Masterclass

The Design Masterclass is a 6-month design thinking program, made for exporting companies operating in Estonia. Through a combination of lectures and mentoring, under the guidance of 15 experienced design managers, companies develop a user-centric approach in order to improve the competitiveness of their products and services. The Design Masterclass was created by BDA, Design Minds and Brand Manual.

The Design Masterclass helps address a univeral problem: namely, that companies often ignore the real needs of their customers and end users, avoid real change or innovation, and copy competitors instead.

The Masterclass solves the problem with a methodology that integrates design thinking into the everyday processes of the company. The key indicators are user engagement, progress in product development skills and real business results.

Corporate teams (incl the management) enter the Masterclass with an idea for a new product or service. During the program, they define the actual pain points of customers and users, introduce new business and service models and develop working prototypes for their product.  

The Program

The 6-month program includes a significant amount of intensive work under the guidance of trainers and design managers – conducting research, interviews, workshops, prototyping, testing, further development. The methodology of the program is divided into 7 stages:

1. Design audit by the design manager, who makes observations, interviews key people, validates the original idea/problem and redefines the initial brief

2. Design thinking and innovation course, development of business model and value proposition

3. Customer journey mapping, conducting user surveys, engaging real customers

4. Ideation and prototyping techniques, building lo-fidelity prototypes

5. Further development and testing of prototypes, collecting feedback, work on iterations

6. Service models, implementation of circular design, delivering the MVP

7. Final pitch to an independent jury to win a €10,000 investment

The assigned design managers guide companies in their practical independent work – at least 30 hours in workshops, 20 hours of individual work by the design manager and an estimated minimum of 70 hours of development work within the company. A total of 115 people participated in the first round of the programme, spending about 13,800 hours on learning and implementing design thinking. 29 out of 30 companies delivered a real product or service prototype during the program.

The Outcome

As a result of the program, participants have developed new competitive advantages, improved existing products, created new service models, and discovered customer segments and markets they were not previously aware of. The jury has chosen two companies worthy of investment:

Factory 7 – A manufacturer of ventilation equipment for large kitchens, who, understanding the needs of the chefs and owners of the restaurant, developed a new modular ventilation unit. The installation, ease of use, maintenance and efficiency of which were unrivalled after the program. This unique product is now in commercial production.

Dipperfox – A land improvement company developed a stump drill that is 5-15 times faster and more efficient than its competitors, crushing the stump in just 20 seconds. As a result, construction and land improvement companies save hundreds of wo/man-hours, wages, equipment rental costs, and do less damage to nature. Dipperfox launched its new product and brand even before the official end of the DMK program.

Make sure to check out Dipperfox case study here. 

The participants’ feedback to the quality of the program was extremely high, reaching 9.64 out of 10 points. The integrity of the program, educational workshops, extensive independent work, inspiring guest speakers and design managers were praised. The masterclass shaped a new, customer-centric way of thinking, which was immediately applied to partipant’s everyday work. Today, with the support of Enterprise Estonia and the European Regional Development Fund, the program has been run twice. In 2018/20 30 companies completed it and the program will continue in an improved form also in the 2020/21 season, reaching 40 more companies.

How the umbrella brand backs up the individual mall identities

We launched the identity not as a graphic update, but as means to communicate Astri’s values wrapped in new colours. Astri is about long term relations with tenants. About building living and breathing environments where the local community can come together. About everyone in the company having a role to play. All of this was supported by what we learned during our many workshops with management, staff and customers and is now supported by a story, tone of voice and visual identity.

There are only a few public carriers of the Astri corporate brand: the web shop and a gift card. That is why the “morse code” identity (dots and dashes spell out Astri) is built as a set of building blocks. It allows us to create strong identities that still feel part of a family. To demonstrate we also designed a few individual mall identities during the process, each one claiming one colour from the group palette.

The brand lives through real life applications

Brand Manual created templates for communication like advertising, banner layouts and mood boards for photography. Some of these are very unified, like way-showing in malls, while the mall brands are very distinct.

It’s fun to see the identity live in various channels and media. Astri’s communication is much more streamlined and marketing teams don’t need to invent the bicycle every time they need to say something publicly. Now they can use existing moulds, fill them with creative content and share the results between malls. That is money saved and earned as well, through more consistency, which drives brand recognition. Teams in different towns feel more connected and aligned. And it works on a fun level too.

The group of malls are more coherent now. People on the streets as well as prospect business partners see it as a network of talented and experienced people, not just a pile of real estate.