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What is the Design Mindset Detector™ and How Does It Work?

The Design Mindset Detector™ is an online questionnaire that measures individual predispositions for applying the Design Thinking approach and supports their development.

Design Mindset Detector™

The Design Mindset Detector™ is a professional psychometric tool for measuring and developing predispositions essential for carrying out projects using the Design Thinking approach. It consists of several elements:

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1. Test

The Design Mindset Detector™ test is a professional psychometric questionnaire, the Multidimensional Design Mindset Questionnaire (MDMQ), developed by design practitioners in collaboration with psychologists and sociologists. It has been validated on a control group of over 600 individuals, including both novices and experts. It consists of 98 questions and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete online.

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2. Report

The test result report is sent to the email address provided with the order. The report includes detailed descriptions of the four main areas and nine predispositions that make up the Design Mindset, along with explanations. The report provides specific knowledge and enhances self-awareness. For teams and organizations, it is possible to prepare special group reports.

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3. Development

The report includes developmental guidelines. Additionally, you can take advantage of an individual mentoring session. During such a session, individual predispositions are discussed, and selected topics are explored in depth. For teams and organizations, it is possible to develop special development programs or a series of webinars.

Design Mindset Detector™ examines nine key predispositions for applying Design Thinking, which consist of four areas:

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Openness to people, their needs, and collaboration with them. It’s sensitivity to other people, willingness to be with them, and understanding them. Key here is recognizing the value that arises as a result of the collaboration of different individuals and the merging of different perspectives.

Predisposition: People Focus
Predisposition: Design Empathy

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Curiosity about everything new, a natural enthusiasm for action. The desire to grasp a broad perspective of challenges, inquisitiveness, and readiness to accept new information while working on a specific solution. It’s also important to swiftly transition from talking to action.

Predisposition: Holistic Thinking
Predisposition: Empirical Intelligence

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Boldness in taking initiatives and creating new solutions.
Striving to seek what is new and unconventional. Creating value despite incomplete information. It is also important to have the ability to work on multiple concepts simultaneously and to see the potential outcome as a concrete solution.

Disposition: Free creativity
Disposition: Materializing ideas

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Determination in pursuing goals, even if it involves risk. Characteristic of this group of behaviors is the desire for continuous learning, mainly through action, including learning from mistakes. There’s a need to influence the surrounding reality. Perseverance in overcoming difficulties, readiness to change approach and reformulate the problem, always keeping in mind the best possible solution.

Predisposition: Learning through Experimentation
Predisposition: Need for Influence
Predisposition: Flexible Goal Pursuit

What the Design Mindset Detector™ Test Looks Like

The individual receiving the test is sent an email with a unique link to the online test. Simply click on the active link and follow the instructions.

Note: The individual link should not be shared with anyone else. The link is assigned to the person registered for the test and their email address.

The test consists of 98 statements, which the test-taker rates as applicable or not applicable to them on a scale from 1 to 6, where 1 means “definitely untrue / irrelevant” and 6 means “definitely true / relevant”.

Completing the entire test takes about 20 minutes. It’s advisable to ensure a calm environment and a good internet connection. Each answer can take any amount of time, but you cannot go back to previous statements. The test should be completed smoothly within one session. After the last rated statement, a summary screen will appear. Click “finish” and close the window.

Results in the form of an individual report will be sent within one hour to the same email address to which the test link was sent.

From the report, you’ll learn which predispositions you currently have most active. It’s worth focusing on these first and concentrating development efforts on them.

Test results are presented in the form of a chart. Each of the nine predispositions is measured separately, and based on this, a diagram illustrating the Design Mindset of a specific individual is created.

Predispositions are measured on a 10-point scale:
1-2: Dormant predisposition
3-4: Awakened predisposition
5-6: Utilized predisposition
7-8: Developed predisposition
9-10: Mature predisposition

The most important are those predispositions whose values are higher than others. If one predisposition scores 5 and it’s the highest score among all, it means that this specific predisposition is the most natural and worth developing. The report includes specific guidelines for further work.

It’s worth remembering that the environment in which we operate professionally can affect the result. The organizational culture and the Design Mindset of colleagues can influence our behaviors.

NOTE: It’s important not to confuse predispositions with competencies. Competencies are knowledge and specific skills. Predispositions are naturally adopted attitudes.

Roles in Design Processes

  1. Research Role – Focuses on Exploration
    • This role defines researchers and all individuals who have natural predispositions for exploration – they willingly engage in planning and conducting research, are inquisitive, seek information from various sources, ask pertinent questions, instinctively observe users, and draw valuable conclusions. Individuals preferring this role feel most comfortable in the exploration phase and in analysis.
    • The research role is indicated by the test result illustrating the dominance of the first three predispositions over the others, namely:
      • People Focus
      • Design Empathy
      • Holistic Thinking
  2. Creative Role – Focuses on Solution Creation
    • This role defines individuals who, in design processes, create – they can be designers, such as UX, UI, but also individuals who have natural predispositions for creative work, easily generate ideas, and materialize solutions, although they do not practice a design profession. Individuals preferring this role feel most comfortable in the ideation phase and in concretizing concepts.
    • The creative role is indicated by the test result illustrating the dominance of the next three predispositions over the others, namely:
      • Empirical Intelligence
      • Fluid Creativity
      • Materializing Ideas
  3. Leadership Role – Focuses on Process Leadership
    • This role defines CX leaders, project managers, those aware of the value of user-oriented processes. These can also be individuals who can strive for the best outcome and thrive in dynamic processes with many unknowns. Individuals preferring this role feel perfectly at home navigating the design process and working iteratively.
    • The leadership role is indicated by the test result illustrating the dominance of the last three predispositions over the others, namely:
      • Learning through Experimentation
      • Need for Influence
      • Flexible Goal Pursuit

Sample Report Page with a Chart Showing Naturally Adopted Roles and Those with Potential

Some individuals have predispositions that give them an advantage in one role, but there are also individuals who exhibit similar tendencies toward two or even all three roles.

It’s important for the project team to be composed in such a way that all roles are ensured. Individuals who have extensive experience working as Service Designers typically have results that do not favor any of the roles.

Knowing one’s potential in a given role, working with the test results can focus on strengthening predispositions related to that role.