A long time ago, if humans wanted to go from one place to the other, they had to work or travel uneasily. As time went on, humans were able to solve that problem and millions of others. Now, smartphones, GPS, and social media connect the world. In life, we are always bumping into new trouble. And, while we have the desire to solve them, it is often hard to find the right solution. For that, design thinking comes in.
Design thinking evolved from fields as varied as engineering, architecture, and business. It focuses on understanding people’s needs. Then, it creatively discovers the best solutions to meet those needs. So, it is necessary for everyone, be it a designer or a product manager. Its core concepts are:
Design thinking is a philosophy and a set of tools. It helps you solve problems creatively. When a company is trying to create something new or trying to solve a problem, it can use design thinking to get to the solution. There are many processes for problem-solving. But, design thinking precisely focuses on the human-centered side of problem-solving.
So, design thinking looks at all of the creative problem solving through the lens of human centered-design. It is about empathizing and figuring out who you are designing for and what their needs are. And then, design thinking helps you to solve that problem.
STAGES OF DESIGN THINKING
You can drill down the design thinking framework into three distinct phases. They are:
Moreover, you can break these three phases into other actionable stages that make up the entire design thinking process. They are:
In the empathize phase, you will get to know your target audience. Also, you can paint a clear picture of:
- Who the users are
- What challenges they face
- What do they need
You can achieve it from:
- User testing
- By talking to people
- Understanding what people think, act, and feel
Based on what you learn, you will then define your problem statement. While creating the problem statement, focus on the user needs over the business goals. Keep it human-centered. The problem statement will act as your Northstar. If you start to trail off or get lost, look back to the problem statement to refocus.
After defining the problem statement, you are now ready to ideate. Innovation is rarely born in isolation. So, do not fly solo. Get up from your desk, gather some key individuals from other teams, and collaborate. Always think outside of the box. Explore new angles. There are many ideation techniques to get you started.
Prototypes come in all shapes and sizes, from basics to 3D printing.The goal is to have something tangible that you can test on real people. Getting your prototype in the hands of real users will give you great insight on if the solution is valid or not. Based on the feedback, you can make the necessary changes. It saves your time and money building the real thing.
DESIGN THINKING IN BUSINESS
The world we live in is changing and evolving at an ever-growing change of rate. The rise of the experience economy, emerging technologies like the Internet of Things, and the commoditization of knowledge are driving changes in the way in which we work. It is forcing businesses to reinvent business models and the methods they used to create and design solutions.
Design thinking has come to the fore as a discipline. Many believe it can help businesses to solve the complex problems. Design thinking endeavors to design human-centric experiences and solutions for customers.
Traditional design centers largely on the first and second orders of design.
- First order of design
People will be looking at things like graphic design and visual representation in the first order.
- Second-order of design
People will be looking into industrial design, such as mobile apps and physical solutions in the second order.
Design thinking comes into play when we face third and fourth orders. It is often where the complex problems lie. Here, people move into experiential and strategic design. They look at services and large-scale complex issues. Such issues require people to deeply understand the needs of the customers and employees to deliver successful solutions.
For many people, design thinking is a fundamental shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. The shift has to occur for both individuals and the organization. To get to grips with these complex problems, you need to tackle traditional, linear ways of thinking about the issues.