Are you going through the concept of “Design Thinking” for the first time? Well, it’s not something only for the designers! Modern companies use this concept to strategize creative business ideas and solve implementation complexities.
Design Thinking – Crafting the Future By Combining Systemic Reasoning & Creativity For Market Prediction and Customer-Centric Solutions.
Kilian’s claim that “Good Design is Good Business” remains true! From solving real-life problems to exploring ideal future states, this methodology offers a win-win situation to businesses. So, what is it? Why it’s the buzzword now? Let’s find out!
What Exactly Is Design Thinking?
Design Thinking is not merely a process; it’s a mindset that involves understanding and addressing complex problems from a human perspective. This user-centric approach is entirely different from conventional problem-solving methodologies. Its primary focus is finding a solution rather than researching the problem itself.
The methodology received attention when the CEO of IDEO, Mr. Time Brown, discussed it in the Harvard Business Review. Design thinking encapsulates a holistic approach incorporating empathy, ideation, and prototyping. It makes businesses question their decisions about the solution’s impact on users and how they would react.
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Is Design Thinking Different From User-Centered Designing?
Even though both processes are design-led, Design Thinking shares a user-focused ethos with user-centered designing. Both emphasize fulfilling and refining user demands continually based on the gathered feedback.
The only differentiating factor is that user-centered designs focus on a specific product or service. It’s ideal for developing feature-rich software or services. On the contrary, Design Thinking takes a broader viewpoint to address complex problems creatively. So, it’s suitable for all products and services that prioritize dynamic functioning.
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5 Essential Elements Of Design Thinking Process
The design thinking process combines five non-linear phases to allow you to work on innovative ideas. In this way, you can achieve sustainability and resilience for business growth. Listing here the five phases of this methodology:
Empathize – Understanding the User: During this phase, designers immerse themselves in the user’s experiences to understand their needs, thoughts, and emotions.
Define – Clearly Articulating the Problem: Defining the problem statement is crucial to effectively guide the rest of the design process.
Ideate – Generating Creative Solutions: This stage involves brainstorming and generating creative ideas without judgment.
Prototype – Bringing Ideas to Life: Transforming ideas into tangible representations allows for quick testing and iteration.
Test – Iterative Refinement: Testing prototypes with real users provides valuable feedback, enabling iterative refinement.
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Why Does Design Thinking Matter For Businesses?
Design thinking belongs at every business level. It provides a defined process for driving innovation, and businesses can easily test and experiment with separate ideas. This process can drive immensely positive outcomes for businesses, such as:
a) Tesla focuses more on its overall driving experience than the aesthetics of creating electric vehicles.
b) Since 2007, Apple has believed in design-led value creation, introducing new features every year with the release of a new iPhone model.
c) Airbnb is transforming travel experiences by iterative prototyping and considering the diverse needs of both hosts and guests.
This year, the most common professionals utilizing design thinking skills are:
a) Business Executives
b) Marketing Managers
c) Industrial Engineers
d) Graphic Designers
e) Management Analysts
f) Service Managers
Most of these experts work for diverse businesses and company profiles. Hence, design thinking skills are in high demand across all industries.
How Can Companies Build A Design-Driven Company Culture?
There’s more to business success than creating a great product or service. When businesses value empathy and purpose, design-driven company culture is the right approach to adapt. Listing here the steps to creating such culture through the power of design:
Understand Your Audience
Take makeup retailer Sephora, for instance. They understood that people prefer products with reviews on YouTube. So, instead of focusing on store-based selling like Sephora, they sponsored beauty influences as a marketing strategy. You can do the same!
It’s time to go beyond asking your customers about their expectations! To truly understand their minds, you must drill down cultural anthropologies with the design-driven approach. Try to debug how your customers want the product experience to be.
Think Outside the Box & Bring It On The Executive Table
Whether you are the Product Manager or the Business Analyst, be spot-on to develop executable and creative ideas. Take your time and use design thinking tactics to think outside the box. You can look for new ways of thinking, like focusing on solving the problem. Finally, execute your idea successfully!
Design In Real Time For Sustainability
Sustainability in design goes beyond environmental considerations. Design for sustainability (DFS) involves creating durable solutions that accept evolving needs. Designing in real time for sustainability means staying agile and responsive. Explore the sustainable ways to achieve such outcomes:
a) Rethinking and bringing better updates for the products and services.
b) Adopting principles of circularity to leverage customer insights.
c) Tracking the cost impact based on the business’s sustainability goals.
d) Fostering the right mindsets to integrate sustainability into design decisions.
Achieving design sustainability can mitigate implementation inefficiencies and create completely sustainable products. Hence, you should continuously iterate based on real-time feedback and make your products sustainable in the long run.
Act Quickly and Use “Skinny Design”
Skinny Design is a design thinking method involving quick and low-cost product prototyping. It aims to reduce the total cubic package volumes swiftly. Consumer goods companies should use this method to achieve a top-line growth of 4/5 percent and a bottom-line growth of 10 percent.
Use The Design For Value And Growth (D4VG) Model
The Design for Value and Growth model is a strategic framework. It integrates the patterns of design thinking inside the business strategy. D4BG ensures that every design decision contributes directly to value creation and growth. You should follow the same model to achieve sustainable business success.
Wrapping Up: Utilize Design Thinking With A Fresh Mindset
Design thinking has a more scientific side than an artistic side. In essence, design thinking pushes beyond traditional boundaries. This methodology blends creative exploration with rigorous and analytical research. The scientific side involves investigating ambiguous aspects of a problem to explore alternative strategies.
Hence, you must start fresh with a clear mindset to research how users want to experience your products. Use the findings from previous projects to focus on the current situation and evaluate various problem-solving approaches. Indeed, your businesses can benefit from it!
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