Design thinking is an iterative process through which organizations seek to understand the user and redefine problems all in an attempt to seek alternative strategies and solutions.
It revolves around an intent interest to understand the people who we are designing the products and services for. It is the entire process of questioning the problem, assumptions, and implications of the process. Design thinking comes in very handy when we want to tackle problems that are unknown by way of reframing the problem in a human-centric way thus creating several ideas through brainstorming, prototyping, and testing.
The design thinking process goes through five common phases: empathizing with your users, defining their specific needs, coming up with ideas for innovative solutions, creating prototypes and testing the solutions. These phases are not necessarily in sequential order – as such, you ought to consider them as an overview of an innovative project as opposed to sequential steps.
Design Thinking: The Highlights
- When a design is applied to strategy and innovation, the success rate of any innovation improves dramatically.
- Firms that focus on design thinking stand out in their willingness to participate in the task of continuously redesigning their business. This, in turn, creates advances both in efficiency and in innovation.
- Design thinking implies a solution-focused rather than a problem-focused mindset. This kind of mindset is action-inclined towards creating a better future.
- Design thinking is collective. It focuses on building multi-disciplinary teams; putting together several voices, collective wisdom, expertise and experience to the table.
- Design thinking is specially directed to solving real problems and adding value. It is not just innovation and creativity for the sake of it. It is a concept that uses design principles to bring a solution to any problem; whether big or small across all industries.
- The entire process is an amazing catalyst for evolution and change. It creates a space for a positive exchange of ideas and building on innovative solutions.
- With design thinking, it is easier to create the right environment for a more accommodative understanding of the voice of the customer. It initiates a continuous process of dialogue with previous existing and also potential clients. It changes the existing bias of instinctive thinking to one of empathetic thinking.
5 Useful Tips To Boost Your Design Thinking Process.
Tip 1- Be Willing To Invest
It is important to invest enough time and resources on the entire design thinking process. It is true that design thinking aids in reducing the amount of resources and probably time spent on a project. This, however, does not mean that there will be no money spent at all. For any design process to be fruitful, it should not be rushed and it should be well funded to make it worthwhile.
Tip 2- Aim for Efficiency
With design thinking, the amount of time spent to develop a project to completion should be significantly reduced. It is key that you pay attention to efficiency in as much as you are chasing time. After all, the design thinking process works at optimal levels if high efficiency levels are reached.
Having said that, never compromise efficiency for speed. If you’re able to, strive to achieve both in all kinds of scenarios.
Tip 3- Consider The Outcome Over The Output
In implementing your design thinking process, it’s vital that you lay your focus majorly on the outcomes rather than the output. Having the output is okay to some levels. However, your main goal is to be able to achieve a given role in satisfaction. Your primary goal should be more inclined to the outcome so as to develop a workable prototype.
Tip 4- Pay Attention To Customer Feedback
In order to improve your design thinking ability, remember that customer feedback is vital. On many practice projects, you may not be able to get the feedback you desire; it therefore up to you that you look for this feedback from as many viable sources as possible. This sees to it that you are in a position to gauge your performance from a reasonable point of view.
This will also help you establish whether or not you are in a position to implement the design thinking process in addressing a particular challenge.
Tip 5 – Maximize or Take Advantage Of Each Learning Experience
We all know that practice makes perfect. Like with every other process, taking advantage of any learning opportunity that comes your way will go a long way to making you a better version of yourself. The best way to improve your design thinking ability is to learn as much as you can whenever the opportunity arises. Be attentive to each and every step and ensure that you’ve grasped everything before moving on.
Ensure that everything you get to learn adds value in future and is not just but a recap of what you were not attentive to or did not understand previously. Don’t get me wrong, it is never a bad idea to revisit things, I’m only emphasizing on the importance of taking advantage of every other learning opportunity that comes your way.
Design thinking has found itself at the core of overall organizational change as well as effective strategy development. Given the amazing success rates of design-led companies such as coca cola, Nike, Apple, Airbnb, Twitter, and IBM design has evolved to levels over and beyond making objects.
Most companies are focused on learning how to think like designers as well as applying design principles to the entire workplace. With great designs, organizations are better placed to make products or come up with services that have a wow factor making them more appealing to their users.
It is a holistic process through which companies can creatively design how they lead, manage and innovate. It can be applied to procedures, systems as well as customer experiences thus improving the quality of life for people and the planet at large. Design is not all about how it looks and feels like, rather it is also inclusive of how it works.