The Gift Giving

Stanford Design Thinking Challenge

The Challenge

Interview a friend, family member, or colleague about their experience while giving gifts, and redesign a new experience that’s meaningful for them. The point of involving users early is key to this exercise. Having their input at the beginning and throughout the project to understand their motivations, goals and desires

Step 1: Interview your partner

Gain empathy for your partner. Find out what’s important to your partner. Ask open ended questions.


When was the last time you gave a gift?
2 weeks ago.

How did it go?
It went well. We hugged.

What was your favorite part?
Finding it.

Least favorite part?
Paying for it.

How do you find out what gift you want to make them?
When I see something that reminds me of that person, I usually get it.

Do you make gifts yourself or do you buy them?
I always buy gifts.

Is it a joy for you to give gifts?
Only if I know the person will like the gift.I hate buying gifts, when I don't know what they like.

Step 2: Dig deeper

Are you afraid what the gift says about you as a giver?

Not really. But if I know the gift is good, I hope my apreciation is noticed.

Step 3: Capture Findings

  • Finding & discovering gifts
  • Learning about interests of the gifted person
  • Being apreciated is important to her

Step 4: Define a problem statement

Name: Jeane

Description: She hates making gifts, unless she knows exactly what the person wants or if she sees it and knows that’s the one. If the gifted person doesn’t like it, she thinks it’s a waste of money and will discontinue giving them gifts.

Needs a way to discover & find gifts, learn about interests of friends.

Because that would make giving gifts easier for her.

Step 5: Sketch to Ideate

Problem statement: Learning about interests of their friends & finding suitable gifts.

Step 6: Share solutions & capture feedback

Solution 1: This is the ideal platform for the problem, I could imagine this to be the final product.
Solution 2: Too vague.

Solution 3: Smarter and more discrete than chatbot to get information.

Solution 4: Too inpersonal, almost rude.

Solution 5: Inspired a better idea, on its own it’s just socializing.

Step 7 & Step 8: Reflect and generate a new solution, build your solution

At its core, it’s an app to connect with your friends’ interests, the app can be connected to instagram and facebook. The app gathers data from there and creates a profile of the friend, they get an email and have to agree on it. It is a private profile and only gets shared between the two or whoever decides to add the same friend.

Step 9: Share your solution & get feedback through testing

What worked?
it works well, it’s ready to be designed
What can be improved?
  • Home: Exchanging icons with profile pictures
  • Profile: Adding dropdown arrow to activity, so it matches interests

Whose activity is it on the startscreen?
  • No wishlist so it’s more spontanious
  • Mutual interests / Inside Jokes
  • Bot that finds common interests from whatsapp conversations
  • Gifted person adds interests manually.
  • Option to add interests by linking profile to social media & amazon.
  • Gift Finder using Keywords
    • you collect data like interests and ideas
    • no privacy interventions
    • more effort
    • surprise factor is higher
  • Dissapointment meter (chances the person doesn’t like it)

Step 10: Reflect & answer the following questions

How did engaging with a real person and testing with a real person, change the direction your prototype took?
It improved the original idea and helped me sketch the prototype.
What was it like showing unfinished work to another person?
I’m not used to it, but I didn’t have any problem with it either.
How did the pace feel? Regarding the quick iterative cycles – how did that feel to how you normally work?
It felt stressful, time flew by way too fast. But it seems I was more productive.

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