“Design is not what it looks and feels like. Design is how it works.”
Designing is more than simply creating products and services. Great design has that “wow” factor that makes products more desirable and services more appealing to users. It can be applied to systems, procedures, protocols, and customer experiences.
Design thinking is a problem-solving framework. It involves finding fresh, creative solutions to problems, but in a way that puts needs first. The mission of design thinking is to translate observations into insights and insights into products and services that will improve lives.
Design thinking is a 5-step process to come up with meaningful ideas to solve real problems for a particular group of people.
- Empathize: Understand Your Audience
The purpose of this step is to give you an idea about what people really care about by empathising with the situation. Every problem has a unique context that’s defined by your largest consumers in the market: people.
Empathizing involves understanding values, beliefs and needs that make your audience tick. It involves observation (watching, listening to, and understanding) and engagement.
- Define The Problem
The next step is to process what you’ve learned from your audience, understand the actual needs that people are trying to fulfil, formulate the problem statement and move toward solutions.
This process is described as establishing a point of view (POV): a statement that sums up the insights you’ve learned about your audience and clarifies their needs.
Now, focus on the problem statement and come up with a brain dump of ideas to solve the problem. It does not even have to be the “perfect idea”, but rather come up with as many ideas as you can and put them forth to the audience, so you get their feedback.
Since everyone is creative in their own way, this brainstorming process benefits from having as many perspectives as possible tackling the same problem.
At the Prototype stage, the goal is to put the best ones to the test. This will make the problem even clearer and offer new insights or new solutions that you hadn’t thought of before.
- Test: Find the Best Solution for Your Audience
Now, test your prototype with actual users. Don’t defend your idea in case people don’t like it, the point is to learn what works and what didn’t, so feedback of every nature is great. Then go back to ideation or prototyping and apply your learning. Repeat the process until you have a prototype that works and solves the real problem. Now you are ready to change the world. Offering multiple prototypes for users to compare is another useful technique.
Any of the above stages can be re-iterated or taken out of order.
This process of Design Thinking is spreading like a virus at an increasing pace and is able to attach itself to a lot of things. If executed properly and strategically it can impact business outcomes and result in real competitive advantages.
Now that you’ve discovered how to apply the principles of Design Thinking, it’s time to see this method in practice. Click here to read on!