One of the first things that may come to mind is how attractive the product is. You might think about how it looks, and its features and functions.

But did you ever consider the process used to develop it?

Over the years, the term “design” has evolved. Now, instead of just describing the physical attributes of goods and services, it also refers to their development, based on consumers’ wants and needs.

What is Design Thinking?

More than a methodology or framework, design thinking combines the problem-solving roots of design with deep empathy for the customer.

Design thinking puts your customer at the heart of your problem-solving and innovation processes. This approach focuses on studying what people really want from a product or service, and then delivering that experience through repeated cycles of development and testing.

Traditionally, designers took an existing idea or product and looked at what they could do to make it more appealing to the customer. With design thinking, they are asked to come up with new ideas, based on studying how customers use the product or service and listening to their wants and needs.

Design thinking examines problems from many angles, draws ideas from numerous sources, and then tests them relentlessly. It’s an open-minded approach that emphasizes positive input and constructive feedback. It is also inclusive, as ideas can come from anyone in an organization, regardless of their position or department.

Although it originated more than 40 years ago, the business climate and its continual evolution have kept design thinking relevant.

The Advantages of design thinking

One of the biggest advantages of design thinking is improved customer satisfaction. And if you give your customers what they deeply want.

Why we need design thinking?

Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.

Why has design thinking been embraced, it brings everyone into the process, not just designers; using the design process helps companies solve problems with clear eyes.

Design thinking also helps scale the design process through large organizations.  Business leaders who use the shared vocabulary and toolset of design thinking can confidently create better, human-centered user experiences and disruptive products.

Design thinking helps to instill a bias towards action, balanced with a user-centered perspective that guides the team towards the right outcome.

Nor is there one way to approach design thinking process; it is an iterative system with many variations.

How to introduce design thinking into your organization?

The world’s top brands are using design thinking to drive innovation and results. If you don’t think your organization is creative enough to implement design thinking, think again. Company’s culture can have a strong influence on both current employees and potential hires. With the right company culture, an organization can attract and retain engaged employees who add value to the business. The question is: How can your organization improve its company culture? One answer that might surprise you is applying the principles of design thinking to your organization. Take design thinking from external customers to internal ones and turn your employees into eager learners and creators.

How can your employees create a core value around innovation?

Give permission to make the innovation part of your everyday work. And use design thinking as a tool to activate that core value internally helped with adoption and your overall ability to innovate. This help to not only inspire teams to create new solutions, but it also helped ensure that their efforts would be recognized. This demonstrates a new way to motivate employees while giving them the chance to exercise their creative muscles.

When applied correctly, design thinking can improve a company’s culture to make employees more effective and engaged.

Creating an effective learning culture in your organization using design thinking can turn employees into eager learners who are constantly mastering new skills and staying up to date with the industry at large. This, in turn, increases their effectiveness and productivity.

One of the key aspects of design thinking is that it’s an iterative process that rewards innovation. Design thinking encourages employees to try new things, to go off the “beaten path” and find new solutions to old problems.

Is your organization ready to implement design thinking?

Help your employees reach their maximum potential by giving them the learning resources they need to succeed!

There are 4 Steps to Implementing Design Thinking at Your Organization

  • Focus on the problem to solve.
  • Get design thinking skills on your team.
  • Have more debriefs – or start having them.
  • Embrace the feedback loop.

Design Thinking Diagram

Empathise With Users:

You and your team members should observe and meet with customers to discuss and understand their needs.

Identify and Define the Problem:

Decide which problem you want to solve, based on your discussions with your users. Your aim is to frame the problem in a way that encourages people to develop innovative solutions, for example by sharing an introductory statement that describes the problem and asks a key question for your collaborators to consider.

Brainstorm and Evaluate Potential Options:

Invite people from other departments and teams to brainstorming Add to My Personal Learning Plan sessions. They may see different connections between ideas and be willing to question traditional ways of thinking. Design thinking requires you to look at problems from different perspectives, and multiple viewpoints lead to more ideas and richer discussion.

The key during this phase is for people to suspend their judgment so that they don’t dismiss ideas too readily. Sometimes, the best solutions come from unexpected sources.

Then, it’s time to begin narrowing down the options, until you’ve chosen a prototype for testing. (If you’ve generated a large number of ideas, you may want to organize them with an Affinity Diagram Add to My Personal Learning Plan).

Develop the Prototype:

Once you have agreed on a potential solution, make a prototype. Depending on your time and budget, it can be a product, model, storyboard Add to My Personal Learning Plan, or sketch.

Developing a prototype this early on in the process can surprise some people, so remind them that the idea is not to shoot for perfection at this stage. The aim is to learn as much as you can, as quickly as you can so the prototype can be quite basic, and it can involve quite large amounts of human intervention, as long as it proves the right things.

Test, Refine and Repeat:

At this stage, your goal is to find out what works and what doesn’t. Study how your users respond to and implement your prototype, then refine it based on their feedback.

Repeat this stage until you have a working product or service that solves your problem and satisfies your customers’ needs in a way that they want to use and are happy to pay for.

Measure the Results:

The learning process never stops. Continue to collect feedback from customers as other developments and improvements present themselves, and further refine the product, based on these.

Note: Keep in mind that the following steps don’t have to be linear. In fact, many of them may happen at the same time. Also, remember that you may cycle through them many times as you refine your ideas.

The Key Points

Design thinking puts the user at the center of the development strategy for products, services or processes. It combines rigorous analysis with creative, intuitive thinking techniques. In general, design thinking involves the following steps, which can then be repeated:

  • Identifying and defining the problem.
  • Brainstorming and evaluating potential options.
  • Developing the prototype.
  • Testing, refining and repeating.
  • Measuring the results.

Finally, design thinking is making organizations think about how to move faster.

 

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