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Design Thinking – An Innovation approach

Design Thinking – An Innovation approach

Design Thinking – An Innovation approach

What is Design Thinking?

It is an approach to innovation that combines creativity with the ability to make things happen for the better.

It’s really not about design; it’s about human-centered design in order to solve problems. Design and technology companies are famous for using design thinking like Apple, Google etc. The term was first coined by David Kelley(co-founder of IDEO), Tom Kelley(IDEO co-founder) and John Seely Brown in 1997 but gained widespread attention after Steve Jobs gave his commencement speech at Stanford University where he talked of design as a “way of thinking”.

What is Design Thinking

Diego Rodriguez, design director at IDEO says design is a process and design thinkers are ready to tackle any problem with experimentation as the key. So we can say design thinking focuses on how users feel about its products or services rather than what its products look like. This design thinking is used throughout the whole design process from understanding the need ,interviewing customers, creating concepts, and finally building prototypes . The design documentations produced by designers helps communicate with other stakeholders of the project effectively. The design documentation gives clear visibility to everyone involved in the project.

The traditional approach is that design uses few steps: research, analysis, and then design a solution; but Design Thinking moves beyond this scope. In design thinking, design is viewed as a process of design co-created with the people who will use the design. Design strategies are devised to solve the problem. It’s an iterative approach that brings together concepts and designs to create prototypes for testing with users. The process also includes researching user behavior, going back to drawing board if need be and then continuing again.

Designers interview potential customers, observe their behavior, and ask how they feel about it! Human-Centered Design approach help companies break down design problems into smaller pieces by focusing on one challenge at a time. This helps them design creative solutions. For example, a cheap portable stroller should provide babies enough room to sleep comfortably without their legs falling off but it should fit through small doorways. The design team will design a prototype and then test it with real customers.

While design thinking is growing in popularity, design thinkers believe there is still much room for improvement. They would like designers to be trained more on design research and how to understand users accurately. Designers need a stronger business acumen so they can better communicate the problems they’re trying to solve.

Design Thinking Applied: The design thinking process can help us improve anything from our product design or service design, user experience design, development strategy or even marketing campaign! It helps us identify core customer needs and develop innovative solutions that are meaningful to them. Let’s take an example of AirBnb which started off as a design thinking project to help users create a community of like-minded people and find suitable accommodation. Its design process was as follows:

1.     Observe and understand the need

2.     Define the problem and collect data

3.     Generate more concepts, design an interface for interaction and test it with customers

4.     Pivot or keep iterating until satisfied with results (Source)

Brick & mortar stores are collecting data about us using loyalty cards; but we hardly know anything about what is happening behind these walls! Design thinking can help brick & mortar businesses become relevant in this age of digital revolution by applying design thinking to their business models , designing applications which make them stand out from competitors.

While design thinking is an effective design strategy, many organizations are yet to implement design thinking because they think it is a design tool. They don’t understand that design thinking is actually a way of approaching problems, sharing ideas, and building creative solutions. The whole focus is on the users! We can take advantage of design thinking in our personal lives as well by learning how we feel about different things, analyzing them, and then coming up with innovative solutions!

Whitespace Advisors offers to consult and training solutions in the area of Design Thinking. To discuss more design thinking you may please write to us at [email protected]

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