Interview with Loubna Ibrahim
March 18, 2019
On March 28, we are organising a training in Design Thinking led by Loubna Ibrahim. Design Thinking is a process of creating and testing innovative ideas to improve a product/service or solve existing problems in a collaborative approach with a human point of view and what is technologically feasible and economically viable.
To book your spot for this training, head over to Ihjoz to grab your ticket.
Loubna is a Human Centered Design consultant, she started her tech career in 2014 and founded her own tech startup. Being very passionate and an advocate of the Design Thinking process, Loubna became a Google certified Trainer for UX and Design Thinking. She is heavily engaged in the innovation and civic ecosystems in Europe and the Middle East where she has given and participated in many talks and workshops in DT, UX, UI and innovation for people. Today, Loubna is leading the Product & Innovation "LAB" team at Ideatolife.
1. How did you get into design thinking?
Back in 2014, my startup Top Shou was dying and I didn’t know what to do so I wanted to shut it down. I decided to join ideatolife at that time and to transfer my experience and knowledge into other products. Google came to the region and offered a User Experience masterclass. I thought UX was related to design and I wasn’t interested but my team wanted to attend it. They came back to me and told me that the founder has to attend. So I decided to do the training for the team and I fell in love with UX and I learned a lot of new things. The turning point was when one of the startups that I know shifted from being a hardware to a software company. I decided to help them with knowledge transfer to teach them what I learned during the training. I did the same thing for another client of ideatolife. So I went back to the Google trainers and told them about those two experiences and they asked me if I was interested in becoming an official trainer. Eventually, I went there with a couple of Lebanese colleagues and they trained us and we became Google trainers. So now we provide free trainings twice a year to teach the Google methodology of Design Thinking
2. How do you define design thinking?
Google took the design methodology of ideo and they designed google design sprints applied to technology. Design thinking is a creative approach to solve problems. Google took this creative approach and applied it on technology. So it’s basically a 5 steps approach: empathy, problem definition, ideation, prototyping and testing. What google did is they took this approach and made it into a one week sprint where startup founders can use this methodology to solve one of their problems. Empathy helps us define the problem and set the user centered goals. Then comes the prototyping phase where we actually use paper to design prototypes
3. How do you use design thinking in your work on a daily basis?
I use it all the time, for almost anything. When I started learning the process, they teach you how to think and how to define things to find a solution to a problem. First of all, I use it to empathise with my audience whether it’s a team members, a client or an end consumer. Based on that we define the problem and we start ideating to find solutions. So design thinking is a way to find a solution to complex problems in a systematic approach.
4. What can participants expect from the session?
The training will be very hands-on. I expect them to get their hands dirty and to challenge them to think. They will be coming up to solutions to a specific challenge in teams. The whole training is about creating, testing and iterating. This simple process is all about doing and practicing until it becomes second nature.