Design Thinking- What I learned from building a Guppy tank!

Image by còi photographer from Pixabay

Recently I build a home for my guppies (it’s a type of fish), by using an old washing machine — and the process that I have gone through to make the tank made me realize that I can apply all these steps while solving a problem through design.

Identifying The Problem

The first step, Identify the problem. In this case one day my father told me that “Guppies are not doing well in the pond” and I found that my guppies are not getting any food because they are sharing the pond with my koi fish. So I found that this is a difficulty that my guppies face every day and I have to find a solution to this.

While you are trying to find a solution, always start with the problem, ask questions, redefine the problem as many times as you understand the core problem. Always keep in mind the quote by Charles F. Kettering

“A problem well stated is a problem half solved.”

The Solution

Second, I did secondary research on the best possible solutions that I can come up with the minimum cost and I found that there is an old washing machine in my house. It was a eureka moment for me, I was so happy at this moment.

After you have identified the problem, break it down into keywords and do secondary research on those keywords, make a note. Then with all your research findings come to a hypothesis. Start with this hypothesis and use them as the starting point of your primary research. Do the research and collect as much data you can get to back up your hypothesis. Then comes the solution, after you are confident and have enough data to back up your hypothesis. Its time for building the product.

Product & User Testing

I cleaned the washing machine, filled it with water and checked for any leaks at that time. After that, I took a pair of guppies and put them in the tank and watched how they behave inside them. All my hypothesis at that time was right, the guppies loved the tank they where exploring every corner of the tank and they were eating food normally.

Test Test Test!!! The next important step will be testing. Always make sure that everything working the way you designed it and watch how your user is behaving with your product, try to understand empathy. This step is really important because this is a step were your user meets your product for the first time.

Fixing The Leak-Holes

But then, the problem arrived! water started to leaking from multiple places in the bottom which I had no clue about, I was so confused and I had no idea what to do next. I evacuated the guppies and drained all the water and started looking from where water is leaking, one by one I closed all the holes. Then I refilled the water and put my guppies in it. Weeks later all of my guppies were happy and healthy!

After user testing, you will start realizing the leak holes in your product, one after one it will keep appearing in front of you. Study how to fix each hole and one by one solve everything. After you solve everything don’t think that its finally over, you have to test test test even after the product is live. Always find ways to improve your product and give our users the best experience.

And yes there you go! the steps I found while building a home for my guppies. When I started to follow these steps, I realized building a great product is a long process, we can never say we found the perfect solution for a problem. We should always try to improve our product and give our users the best experience they have ever got.

All given steps are my observations and there will always be a case where you should do the opposite. But in most cases, these steps will help improve your design. I hope this was a helpful article! Thank you for reading.

Design craze homo sapien!