My Whole New Mind? I’m Thinking I Don’t Want To Think Anymore

The journey is over. Another term is coming to an end. I’m sure most people have heard the phrase “It’s about the journey, not the destination” or something along those lines, but I am so happy to have reached the destination because Christmas (!!) and winter break! In all seriousness though, the road we have taken in creating design briefs and solutions was an adventure, and I am glad to taken part in it.

Life is a journey, not a destination. It's up to us to connect the dots.:

I had an epiphany when looking at the Compelling Experience Map when it was being taught in class, where I caught myself thinking “THIS is what I’m talking about!”. The questioning is where pain points and solutions present themselves, and being someone that prioritizes efficiency and presentability, the map gave me a way to name the process I intuitively carry out, while also providing me a detailed, step-by-step questioning that can help me refine the process. My group would always come back to the big WHY, the HOW, the WHAT as well. The Compelling Experience map evolved into what our design solution eventually embodied, taking the form of a data mapping system that placed emphasis on touch points at every interaction between the client and Creative BC.


Creating the design brief was the most difficult part of this whole project, because our topic of “sustainable business model” encompasses the entirety of Creative BC and its clients, the creative sector. The reading from A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the World categorizes our journey really well during the first phase of problem finding, because we essentially had to steer away from the left-brained thinking (facts, logic, analysis) to concentrate on the right-brained thinking (bigger picture, synthesis, emotional expression). We spent a whole afternoon trying to map out the possible design brief ideas, finally coming to terms with the scope of our topic by successfully envisioning and piecing together the whole picture. If we were too caught up in all the information and details of the project, we would definitely be swept away by the sheer amount of factors that contributed to the problem, instead of spending our time creating a solution. We decided to categorize everything we’ve learnt of Creative BC into key phrases to help us with our organization. The result was a presentable design brief, but even with all the information condensed into a 10 minute presentation and report, there was so much that still could be included. I feel this speaks to the cooperation or the simultaneous workings of left-brained thinking and right-brained thinking, because you can’t help but consider all the details, but synthesizing the data is what brings solutions to the table, tying everything together nicely.

[I’m right-brained, apparently. So… when do I get to rule the world? (; ]

Our process in collecting the necessary information for the design brief and mapping our possible solutions led to the simple and understandable design solution we provided Creative BC. The design brief was where we completed a large portion of the groundwork, and the ease of creating the solution was all thanks to that, and the experience mapping. The realization of left-brained thinking and right-brained thinking reminds me of the convergent and divergent thinking we talked about in the beginning of the term: the brain is constantly zooming in and out, focusing on the details then the big picture, but you need an equal balance of both, or the photo will simply be out of focus… So, what did I learn after all this? I learned that good design, really good design, solves problems (smartly, beautifully, easily). (:


problems become one, two, three, ta-da!

The “funnel” essay model––where big concepts are “funnelled” and become a single idea (thesis), which is then supported by several arguments, and is then followed by a conclusion that widens the scope once again. I think the funnel captures my way of thinking and information processing rather accurately. Whether it’s assignments or everyday problems, the model has become so ingrained into my thinking by English teachers throughout the years––thank you very much––that I naturally think through the steps of the funnel without realizing it. The idea of thoughts going from “big > small > big” mirrors the “general > specific > general” thinking that our minds go through everyday. Even in the realm of business, I think everything, whether it be products or services, is “concepts > details > concepts” turned into reality.

If I need to explain my thinking in terms of divergent/convergent thinking, I think my initial answer is selected from a quick diverging of possible options. This then converges into one single point to then diverge again to explore the array of solutions within that one point before converging again into a concrete answer… I’ve come to realize through this assignment that the way our brain processes information happens so instantaneously that explaining it step by step is a rather grandiose task. Nevertheless, I will attempt to explain the way my brain handles problems, how it makes its selection among the possible solutions, and how it decides to present that information.


Infographic of my thinking process

My thinking takes shape in the form of writing, if scribbles count as actual writing? My mind map isn’t so much a map rather than just blocks and points of sentences and thought segments that continue itself down the page. I guess you could say I organize myself with words rather than with pictures or by visuals (English major, go figure). Despite this, the way I present my thoughts could end up being very visual, as with the infographic I created in an attempt to explain the way my brain processes information (I hope it helps). As much as thinking and analyzing is involved to create a single idea, the effectiveness of transmitting the message is key if I want people to actually understand what I am thinking. No matter how efficient or how brilliant my ideas are, if I can’t translate that into comprehensible data, then all is for nought. Because of this, I consider being able to think through how to create an easy to understand and effective presentation is just as important as the whole thinking process.

Of course, showing is always more effective than telling, and luckily I have some outlines of previous papers lying around my desk. Exhibit A: Photo evidence shows an example of an outline to a research essay I had to write for an English course. The left page is my initial scribbling and brain blabbing on the possible arguments and theses, while the right is a more organized, well defined and explained version of the scribbles. Those are both incomplete as I suspect there was a third piece to the puzzle, but alas it is lost among the chaos of term papers and finals. Notice the use of colours too––I get bored easily and using colourful pens makes it easier to cope while making my thoughts easier to organize as well.


Exhibit A: My research paper outline

I look forward to the Business Innovations course as a way to further refine my way of thinking and problem solving, as well as finding effective and creative ways to present information to the world outside my consciousness. I am always for simple, beautiful and effective types of engagement, and if I am able to learn about design processes during my time in this course, I will for sure take advantage of this chance to further improve my skills.

As a wise woman (a.k.a my mother) once said: “We never focus on the effects of the problem, always on how to solve the problem. Because what is the point of getting emotional when you can do something about it?” And I truly believe this has affected my way of thinking way more than any other methods I was taught, because part of the fun of constantly thinking through problems is the smile on people’s faces once you’ve solved them, rather than being upset over how much the problem is well… a problem.