We had the pleasure of attending the MERL Tech Jozi conference last month where we ran a Design Thinking workshop with members of the MERL Tech community. The workshop sought to identify what the participants felt might be missing from existing MERL Tech software and brainstorm potential solutions to the biggest challenges facing MERL practitioners.

Design Thinking as an approach is a creative problem-solving process that encourages organisations to focus on understanding the people, or users, that they’re designing solutions for, leading to an end-product that is in essence human-centred.

We applied the process in our workshop by pairing up participants and having them empathise, define, ideate, prototype and test with their partner – each taking turns as the user and designer. They documented their feedback in workbooks that we then collected and used to inform our findings.

The results were fascinating and common themes began to emerge as participants identified 6 key gaps:

  1. The reality gap
  2. The data integrity gap
  3. The communication gap
  4. The data privacy gap
  5. The support gap
  6. The interoperability gap

We’ll unpack these in a series of blog posts over the coming weeks but if you’d prefer to skip ahead to read the full report you can download it from our website.