By responding to trends, designers empathize better with users. That’s exactly what the Trend Canvas is about. This tool is a demand-driven approach that shows what users need and expect as well as what other service providers are offering.
PREPARATION: up to 15 minutes
DESIGN PHASE: Insights
DURATION: 30-60 minutes
TEMPLATE OR GUIDELINES: Trend Canvas template
FACILITATORS: 1 per workshop
RESOURCES: Research data, trend canvas templates (paper-based or digital), paper, pens, masking tape, Post-its, a large sheet of paper or whiteboard
PARTICIPANTS: 4–30, design team, partners, community members, etc.
EXPECTED OUTCOME: Benchmarking and user insights
Users follow trends and are let themselves to be led by them. However, trends are abstract and not always tangible. Trends provide essential information, which allows designers to get a grip on the possibilities of design opportunities.
Define the focus of what you are interested in and consider what you want to do with your findings.
Based on the selected focus area, define the criteria and select suitable participants.
Organize a meeting with the selected participants, prepare the room, and gather the necessary resources and supplies. Select 5 trends that relate to the design challenge. Print enough blank Trend Canvas as big as possible (A3 and up)! Think about what expectations will be set up-front, how you will start and end the workshop, and how much time participants are expected to dedicate to this activity.
Pick the first trend that you are interested in exploring further (for Trends see e.g. https://www.trendhunter.com/). As you analyze the trend, fill out the four areas of the Trend Canvas with insights, data and examples. Keep on circling back to re-examine how each area relates to each other. Insights in one area may highlight other elements of the trend and help you uncover truly novel insights. Do the same to the other trends.
Write up your key outcomes from this exercise – Trends.