Member Month AMA: 🥳 What we need to know about Design Thinking w/ Manuel Busse

Meghan ✭✭✭
edited May 2022 in Café

In a recent May Member Month discussion, we spoke with @manuel, devoted Community member and Thinking Coach & Innovation Manager at NTT Data Business Solutions! Manuel, we thank you for your insight and powerhouse contributions to this space.

Read on for more of Manuel's insight!

Q: Favorite or last project in MURAL: 

Manuel: An internal Workshop with a focus group about improvements for their teams. 

Q: What’s currently inspiring you? 

A: I currently listen to talks with long distance cyclists and people travelling with their bikes. I like to watch documentaries about them, too. I find this very inspiring for future trips and how simplistic life can be at least for a period of time. 

When it comes to facilitation and workshop design, I draw inspiration from books, blogs and webinars and from what other people share about visual design, user experience design and methodology.

Q: As a design thinking coach, what are three tasks you’re consistently performing throughout the week?

A: Regarding Design Thinking and methodology in general, it’s something like conf calls about requested workshops (what’s the challenge to be worked on and organizational stuff), preparing (what are the steps of the workshop, how can I translate the process to a mural etc.) and facilitating workshops with MURAL or on-site and creating simple documentation of the workshops and their results and then restarting the loop ;-)

Q: What makes a product like MURAL necessary to your day to day work in Design Thinking? 

A: MURAL allows us to take on-site design workshops and short interactive sessions online and thus to allow people to participate independent of e.g. travel time, distance and expenses. 

It really helped us over the pandemic to continue and extend our business for many of us in a way that’s close to pre-pandemic times with on-site only events. We really like MURAL for all kinds of purposes beyond that, basically for anything that’s about working together and creating something together.

Q: How has async work shifted what you do? What aspects are easier virtually? In person?

A: I think most of us in our company use MURAL for online workshops that are not async, but I see lots of potential there in the future, e.g. to get rid of finding time slots where everyone has a free slot in their calendars. 

When it comes to online vs. onsite, both have their advantages: I think it’s possible to create the same magic online, it’s easier to manage larger groups online and saves lots of travel times and expenses and with the tools that MURAL has (privacy mode, take control, summon and follow...) It's possible to help people to better focus on the current task and to share their thoughts openly and anonymously if required.

 Preparing a great visually appealing mural usually takes me less time than creating on-site material with physical canvases, flipchart paper, sticky notes and pens etc. and carrying that stuff around to a workshop. I just miss building prototypes with physical things like LEGO bricks. 

And everyone can contribute online at the same time and zoom in as they need to etc. I think online workshops have a learning curve for participants and facilitators, but it’s really worth it.

And it’s so much easier to create documentation afterwards– no more taking and cropping dozens of photos and creating a plenty of Powerpoint slides with them. I just pass over the MURALl link or create exports in PDF and PNG and that’s it. Everyone can read everyone else’s sticky notes and we can easily copy their contents for further processing for example to Excel. It’s great!



  • Thanks for this peek into your brain⚡🧠, Manuel!

    Totally agree that MURAL is awesome for sync or async. The eco-friendly benefit of avoiding work travel (and paper!) also warms my ❤️.

    Plus, snacks are better at home.

  • manuel
    manuel ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2022

    Hej @Beth

    Thank you - the pleasure is mine. Which snacks should one combine with MURAL workshops + sessions? (maybe there's a niche for clever MURAL merchandising for fans?!) ;-)

  • @manuel I saw this awesome snacking tool recently and feel like every person in tech needs one. 😆

  • manuel
    manuel ✭✭✭✭

    @Beth No more sticky greasy fingers - yeah :-) thanks for inspiration.