Design Thinking methods @DESIGN-IT : (5) Letter to grandma

by Emma-Katharina David on 27 Jul 2018

New week here @DESIGN-IT. We dedicate our attention to the method called “letter to grandma”. This method is used in the first stages of ideation to better share and understand the requirements. It enables knowledge transfer without forgeting any detail of a project. Usually it is dedicated to a person who is not involved in the project and has no knowledge about it.


Task: Team members will have to write a letter to their grandmother, or a fictional pen pal if they prefer. By deliberately chosing a person who has no knowledge about the project or in general not advanced knowledge about IT, the letter becomes more all-encompassing and detailed.


Read more below.


Generally what the team agrees on, is that this method is good to explain a product in a simple language and bring out its core.


“If you can explain to your grandmother how the system works then for sure you have a good knowledge about the system.”


Most of them like the fact that the thinking and writing process might help also with future documentation of the product. Using simple language to explain ones intentions and the goal of the product is another aspect the team has acknowledged.


Some team members fear that the result, the letter, might not be the best and most detailed, since the recipient is a fake person.


All in all most of the team members agree that it is a good way to help new team members also with their onboarding.


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