From solving puzzles to designing solutions : integrating design thinking into evidence based practice

Howard, Zaana & Davis, Kate (2011) From solving puzzles to designing solutions : integrating design thinking into evidence based practice. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 6(4), pp. 15-21.

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Evidence based practice (EBP) focuses on solving ‘tame’ problems, where literature supports question construction toward determining a solution. What happens when there is no existing evidence, or when the need for agility precludes a full EBP implementation? How might we build a more agile and innovative practice that facilitates the design of solutions to complex and wicked problems, particularly in cases where there is no existing literature?

As problem solving and innovation methods, EBP and design thinking overlap considerably. The literature indicates the potential benefits to be gained for evidence based practice from adopting a human-centred rather than literature-focused foundation. The design thinking process is social and collaborative by nature, which enables it to be more agile and produce more innovative results than evidence based practice.

This paper recommends a hybrid approach to maximise the strengths and benefits of the two methods for designing solutions to wicked problems. Incorporating design thinking principles and tools into EBP has the potential to move its applicability beyond tame problems and continuous improvement, and toward wicked problem solving and innovation. The potential of this hybrid approach in practice is yet to be explored.

Impact and interest:

5 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 61297
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: design thinking, evidence based practice
ISSN: 1715-720X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES (080700)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Information Systems
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Zaana Howard and Kate Davis.
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative
Commons‐Attribution‐Noncommercial‐Share Alike License 2.5 Canada
(‐nc‐sa/2.5/ca/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly attributed, not used for commercial
purposes, and, if transformed, the resulting work is redistributed under the same or similar license to this one.
Deposited On: 11 Jul 2013 23:25
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2013 05:44

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