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A crucial step in the design process is throwing a bunch of ideas on small sheets of paper and then putting them on a larger piece of paper, preferably attached to a wall. Here, we posted all of our thoughts from numerous interviews and on-site observations, and we looked for patterns that would help us generate critical insights about the Hyatt traveler.

Overall, the Kellogg Business Design Challenge was a wonderful experience. Teams were formed from the get go and we had the opportunity to hear from a real company, facing a real challenge, asking for a real solution. In this case, our client was a hotel company that was aiming to increase its customer loyalty. With the only rules being “no apps” and “no mobile phone tethered door locks,” the client gave us a significant amount of creative freedom.

Throughout the process, the teams were invited to attend weekly workshops taught by Chicago-based innovation/design firms and learned how they gathered information, synthesized their findings, executed their ideation process and ultimately tell a story that connects their solution to the problem(s) at hand. For me, this was the true value of the entire challenge. To be able to immediately apply the tools we learned in the workshops is an opportunity not many classes offer and our team took full advantage of it. At the end of the day, we developed valuable takeaways relating to the hotel experience and generated what we felt was a powerful recommendation. Most importantly, we gained a valuable skillset that each member could apply to nearly any obstacle they will face in the real world.

Hiep Nguyen (pronounced “Hip”) is originally from Northern California. Prior to Kellogg, he was living in the over-priced (but totally worth it) city of San Francisco where he was a traveling healthcare consultant. In addition to participating in 1st year innovation design challenges, Hiep enjoys studying the fields of marketing, strategy, and social impact. When he is not doing that, he is playing basketball, riding his snowboard, or attempting to not fail miserably as a vegetarian chef. His twitter handle is @HipSince85.