Hiccup had that essential reflex in Design Thinking. He always used to carry his drawing pad to take notes, whether to establish a map or to make a sketch of a dragon. This approach allowed him to define the problem of the dragon and understand why he couldn’t escape. He lost his ability to fly because his rear wing got torn. This conclusion came from his anatomical observations of how dragons fly and his knowledge of the dragon’s recent past. He gathered everything he knew to define a problem statement.
In his mind he might have defined the problem statement like: “How may I help the dragon to fly again.”
Hiccup didn’t have the leisure to take advantage of collective ideas as he was secretively working alone and hence the Ideate stage in the film was rushed a bit. They started showing him gone back to his drawing pad and creating a leather prosthetic wing. In this case, this might be the obvious answer, but in most cases, this step can be longer and required real brainstorming sessions. Design Thinking is a methodology that adapts to both solo and group work. Hiccup didn’t get the luxury of allowing multiple ideas Yes…and Yes…and Yes…and Yes…and Yes.
Once he was satisfied with his research processes, with sketches, drawings, and models, he started quick prototyping. Please take a note, Quick Prototyping helps one to fail fast and address issues from the beginning itself. Hiccup as I told earlier was a maker, a craftsman capable of working with iron, leather etc. to create the object he needed. A tail fin made with leather.
And thus, he entered the final phase of Design Thinking – Test
This phase is a very important element of Design Thinking, and one must avoid losing touch with reality at all costs. Like the stage of empathy, the Test phase gives certainties to reality in order to make it evolve. To make it relevant.
The test phase addresses several issues. Whether the concept or the product is viable, whether it is feasible as well as if the final product would be desirable. Most often, this validation comes from the end-user who understands how it works, finds interest, and develops a use. This discovery by the user must be observed precisely since they will give the right direction to the final product.
For Hiccup, the proof of the success of his prototype was obtained by the flight quality.
A side note: Test phase can involve substantial risks because we have to be aware that it not only proves that a product or idea works but also points out failures. It is necessary to be able to distinguish the failures that questions the concept and those that are related to the execution. Hence, it is important to consider them as lessons and not as defeats. In Design Thinking this is an important principle, “Fail fast, fail often“. However, it is important not to be get intimidated by failure, which is only a step in the process and not an end in itself.
Iterate, Repeat or the Loop:
The principle of iterations suggests that it is necessary to constantly go back and forth between the prototyping and testing phase. Unfolding and folding the tail fin by hand was a minimum requirement but couldn’t be considered viable. That’s why Hiccup iterated this by trial and error to develop his prototype. He used a rope that he tried operating by hand, then with the foot and finally with a pedal. It is this loop between the prototype and test stage that allowed it to become an optimized product.
And finally, one day, it worked, and all tests were positive. Hiccup planned able to move to an implementation phase. But having said that he must convince the society, the Viking clan to adopt its product and integrate it into practices.
To implement a product or service, we must be able to quickly demonstrate the capabilities of its innovation, sometimes to people who do not want to listen to you. Just in case of Astrid, who succeeded very well in the dominant model. She was a real warrior and when she discovered the chemistry between Hiccup and Toothless, she supported.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a presentation is worth a thousand pictures. This is principle, “Do not tell, show” allows you to remove suspicions and blockages. Having a physical prototype that you can test in front of masses really shows your capability. If you have a product that can cause a wow effect, do not hesitate to play it. This helps you to find valuable allies to spread your ideas.
Finally, do not forget to have an engaging speech, to have values, a vision of the world. It’s the “think different” of Apple. Hiccup’s product had the wow effect for sure, but what he really believed and wanted to share was that the answer to the dragon problem is not the confrontation, it’s the cooperation and he was ready to challenge his entire clan for this. His innovation was revolutionary for sure. It changed the entire perception. If there is only love and cooperation there is no confrontation. Also, if you can ride and control dragons what is the point of killing them.
Once he had proved that his product is valuable, he was needed to pass it on, to replicate it with others. It was also necessary to amalgamate his ideas with the story or a speech, to make it compatible for all. This reassured new adopters and allowed them to change.
Hiccup referred to a mantra of the dominant model to describe his activity: “We are Viking, it is the professional risks”. It is an expression that reminded me that the Vikings were not afraid of anything. Using this sentence, he indirectly pushed all Vikings to accept the change. If before, they were crazy enough to fight dragons, today they were crazy enough to ride them.
His emerging model of controlling dragons and living with co-operation became a major find and with the help of the dragons, he constructed his village. We could see that society slowly adapted to innovation. And that became the success of the entire process of Design Thinking.