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Design Thinking – Part 2

5 steps of design thinking

In my previous post I was theoretically talking about design thinking. But I thought that it would be interesting to share with you some concrete example I have working on for a client project:

1st step: Empathize

So in order to empathize it is important to define the target / personae. Let’s assume our target is 35 – 45 active professional woman. So the idea during Empathize step is to try to put our feet in her shoes. As working canvas I have been using an empathy map – see below an example that can be found easely googling


What would our personae thinks, says, feels, hears, listens, sees, what are their pain and what are her gains? The intent here is to try to identify the non-conscientious needs. One quote I love comes from Henry Ford : »If I had asked people what they wanted they would have answered faster horses « (in place of T type Ford). This step can be difficult depending on the personae you try to work with. Trust your instinct and if you don’t, get out, observe, discuss become an ethnologist and try to discover hidden needs.

2nd step: Define the issue, what is the challenge we try to solve ?

Time to challenge status quo and and pre-identified challenges using the multi « why » approach. Let’s take an example:

  • I am not working out.
  • Why ?
  • Because I am missing time.
  • Why do you miss time ?
  • Because I need to get to the Gym and it is far away.
  • Why do you need to get to the Gym ?
  • Because I need to meet a coach and have fun spinning classes and access workout machine.
  • So what if you don’t need to get to the Gym and remotely get access to a coach or have the coach coming to you in a near area ?
  • Etc.

It is critical to really identify the deep need from your customer not to miss your target.

 3rd Step: Ideate 

Fun is starting now. It is time to regroup. The idea here is to pick a limited number of people, picking the right people coming from different horizons. The intent is to be as much as possible creative. Quantity is Key at this stage. In order to be effective let’s figure out quantitative objectives as providing 25 ideas each in 10 minutes. No rules, every ideas count from the most crazy to the most grounded. When the exercise will be completed it will be time to filter and keep what would be aligned with the RPV (Resources, Processes and Values). Why because at the end of the process we need to build a Business Case and create value for both users / consumers and ourselves.

Step 4: Prototype

My best friends: Lego, cardboard, Tape markers and glue. The idea here is to go fast. Intent is not to build the ultimate product but to craft something that will be sufficiently realist to ask your consumers to discuss on – would this answer your need ? Assuming you build wire frames, will the functionalities support intent of your website ? at this point prototype is just a point of discussion to get feedback and to identify what should be the MVP (Minimum Valuable Product)

Step 5: Test

Time is due to use and leverage your prototype and get maximum feed backs – Be sure to manage expectations as your 1st delivery is a MVP – nothing is perfect there – this is only a first iteration. Collect a maximum of information in order to be sure to start a gain your wining creation cycle and be ready to deliver your next iteration.

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Design Thinking – Part 1

My previous post was on agile manifesto – A natural bridge is now to introduce Design Thinking a great approach I had the opportunity to test with my team on different projects in the past.

In a nutshell what is the design thinking ?

Design thinking is an approach that was developed by Tim Brown from IDEO.
This approach includes methodology, tool and sensitivity that are used by designers to innovate.

– OK, but what’s in it for me as I am not a designer but a manager?

As a manager this approach allows cross-functional teams to innovate, matching:
1. User expectations;
2. Technological feasibility;
3. Economical reality.

– So what ? 

It allows to innovate and create value for my organisation. Start to be interesting isn’t it? It eases disruptive innovation / incremental innovation

– OK another buzzword: disruptive innovation !

Let’s parking lot innovation term for a minute, we’ll get there.
The design thinking is a methodology of definition and transformation of opportunity in value creation. A user centric approach to answer real user needs. ie Steve jobs understood when creating the iPad that users didn’t need a keyboard.

–  What is the methodology ?

1. Empathize: In order to innovate the Designer needs to be emphatic. As a Designer let’s put yourself in client’s shoes. Watch client’s needs instead of asking him. By definition a client doesn’t know what he wants / needs until the solution or the product exists. User Experience is the heart of definition of Empathy.

2. Define: Based on user feed-backs and insight, the designer defines the issues or problem we need to solve on behalf of the customers. This is a critical moment as we don’t want to miss the target, this step will be used to fuel the next steps.

3. Ideate: The Manager / Designer seats with his team and start to brainstorm on possible answers to user needs. All ideas are valid until their are filtered. Time for creativity and craziness – no limits !

4. Prototype: The Designer prototypes in order to provide an early solution in hands of users (Does this ring a bell with my previous post – on Agility). 1st iteration of multiple deliveries. 

5. Test: Don’t talk but deliver real solution for testing.  The designer delivers a 1st iteration of is product. He collects user feed-backs to improve his solution. Back to square 1, The loop is complete, now he can start again with step 2 in order to improve his product solution.

Are you « Masigners » I(Manager + Designer)? Have been able to apply this approach in your organization ?

– Sounds Great ! But what about disruptive innovation ? 

This will be part of my next post – Stay Tune !

Design cheat sheet

Harvard Business Review – The Evolution of Design Thinking

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Welcome Back

Hello Everyone,

A long time no write. Based on few comments of my relatives and my need to share some ideas I hope you will find interesting I have decided to start again to re-activate my Blog. Hope you will be participating to the discussion tread

Cheers – Thomas


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Why advertising in Print Yellow Pages is still a great decision

Hello Everyone,

I was glad to read three recent articles published by Chris Silver Smith: Are Yellow Pages Toast? Four Years Later We Review Ad Value. by from Stephanie Hobbs : Four Key Reasons To Reconsider Today’s Yellow Pages For Local Marketing and from Amy Rybczynski Don’t Write that Obituary Just Yet…Print is Alive and Well! highlighting Yellow Pages publishers should still be considered as great suppliers for local businesses to generates leads and Value.

For the last 4 years, Yellow Pages publishers have been fighting the perception that print is already dead and that search engines are the only viable solution for the future. Wait a minute! Don’t throw in the towel too easily. This is not a black and white situation. We are definitively in a grey zone where multi variables should still be considered.

1. Coverage

Internet access or Mobile accesses are not available in every zone of Canada. Does it make sense for an advertiser to invest in Search Engine solution in rural areas where internet / 3G penetration is low ? Not sure it does but investing Yellow Pages print sure does.

2. Socio demographic considerations

Yellow Pages Print usage studies show better usage with the 40+ years audience, with fairly decent revenues and consumer habits. In Urban Market areas we have more 40s+ relying exclusively on print vs. online. Besides this age bracket has better revenue and stronger consumer habits than younger generations.

3. ROI

What is the most important for an advertiser ? The ROI he can get. Any $ invested that can generate more $ in revenue is a win.

I could argue that Yellow Pages Group in Canada delivers an average 14:1 (Canadian Usage Study 2011) ROI across all markets and categories. But how valuable a figure is for individual business owner. What is your business type?What is your industry ? How many competitors do you have? How well your name, your brand known? There are many elements to be considered.

We understand from past evaluations some headings are generating higher ROI than others. Insurance, Home renovations, Wedding, Lawyers, Dentist, etc.. used to be strong winners and…


The Original Search Engine

… are still strong winners. There is no doubt that ROI is lower than it was pre-digital days, but one of the strongest ROI of any media available local businesses  How many horror stories I may have heard from customers who decided to drop their advertisement from their print directories, only to face a drastic decrease in business and, when they were able to survive, decided to reinvest massively in print the following year.

An advertiser’s choice in choosing advertising media for his or her local business should be based on factual elements as ROI and not on false perceptions.

4. Yellow Pages directories have moved beyond print

It is true that Yellow Pages publishers have been investing a lot in transformation over the last few years. It is not because they threw in the towel, it is because of natural evolution of products and platforms.

When 40 years ago, we used to have one TV set with 3 channels – Advertisement platforms were limited. Today, media has been fragmented and consumers have changes the way they for information and businesses. It is Online, it is on Mobile, it is on TV, it on newspapers, it is on Print Yellow Pages, etc.  An advertiser can’t be focusing on one unique media and they now need to be on multiple platforms to reach their audience.

What Yellow Pages publishers have been trying doing over the last decade is to offer integrated solutions that would answer the majority of small business needs. Because a business owner has more to gain in running his business than saving in trying to understand what are the best media for his own advertisement needs. Yellow Pages Publishers are now offering an end-to-end solution. Yellow Pages Publishers have made their product evolve by offering by default online, mobile presence and content when advertisers buy print and building integrated media solution that could be tailored per business specific needs. This is what Yellow Pages Group proposes with his 360 Solution.

In conclusion:

Print is far from being dead, it still delivers incomparable value.
Print should be considered as an anchor in any media plan for SMB, the starting point before moving onto other platforms.
Advertisers should not disregard print based on perceptions and should assess the ROI print platform provide to them before taking a decision that could have heavy consequences on their business revenues.

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We will have to wait for the iPhone 5 – iPhone 4S is coming on October 14th


Tim Cooks has shared the new upcoming Apple innovation for Q4 Quarter today.
Few great innovations including the iOS 5, iCloud, iMessage, New iPod series and the new iPhone 4S with the SIRI. Great but not disruptive this time and specifically talking about the iPhone 4S. Did Apple Miss the iPhone 5 delivery date? It just looks like improvement compared to the previous model: Faster (A5 Chip), Better Camera and Antenna Fixes. The only iPhone element that looks great is the voice recognition system described by Apple as an Assistant called « SIRI » (For Sorry I’ve Repeated It ?). In a nutshell, you can ask anything to your iPhone and you will get results.

Except if you are a gamer or a Youtubehoolic, then if you are using your iPhone for day to day activities and business, nothing sufficient to trade off your iPhone 4 for an iPhone 4s and I would suggest for those who have no iPhone to Buy the iPhone 4 and should wait for the iPhone 5 next year.

For all the details about today’s Apple show i would encourage you to visit engadget website


Hello Everyone!



Hello Everyone,  let’s me introduce myself. My name is Thomas Petyt (nickname is Shorty) as « Petit » in french means Small. However, my key characteristic – I am 6’9 » – An impressive personal branding isn’t it ?

I was born and grew up in France, I have lived for 4 years in Madagascar and I have been living in Montreal since 2002, within the Beautifull Province of Quebec, Canada. Then I speak French and English.

I am married and I have a 9 years old daughter.

Why this blog ?

Share and communicate about my professional Interest: Marketing, Monetisation, Mobile, New Media Trends.

Why these topics especially ? Because I have been working for YellowPages Group since 2002 in Marketing, Biz dev, Sales, Finance, Mobile team and now back to Marketing as Director.

I will be happy to have an Interactive Blog to share and think about new ideas. Do not hesitate to communicate or exchange in French or English or Both, I will be happy to answer.

Then Let’s Start !