What is Design Thinking? ( and How to use it to design your Products)
Businesses are now embracing the concept of design thinking, as its practitioners have experienced proven success records.
Although “Design Thinking” dates back to 1969, until today, most companies are still struggling with the concept.
So, What Is Design Thinking All About?
It is a manner of thinking which helps you to solve problems just like a designer. It is basically a systematic approach to handle problems. This concept is easily pertinent to any purpose or field.
For taking your business to the next level, this approach is an essential one. The design thinking methodology is known to contribute to boosting the success rate of various businesses.
Before I jump to explain the major stages of design thinking, I must clarify the difference between design and design thinking.
Design is all about creating something out of one’s expertise that provides better solutions for complex situations. Whereas, design thinking is a systematic approach to implementing innovation that fosters business growth. Its stages include beginning with the observation of the problem, forming amazing ideas, testing and then improving.
Why Design Thinking?
- For understanding people’s mindset, for whom you are building your products and services.
2. For developing a deeper understanding of the needs which are still unmet.
3. For considering a wide array of unique solutions.
4. For minimizing the risk of implementing the wrong solution.
The 5 Major Steps of Design Thinking:
- Understand Your Audience
Understanding your audience means empathizing with them. The process involves a greater level of engagement in observing your audience.
It is all about how much importance you give to your customer’s requirements and their priorities.
This is one of the first principles that you need to follow in the design thinking process. Gathering insights from your audience is what you need for proceeding further with other stages.
2. Define And Establish A Valid Point Of View
To establish your Point Of View (POV) is to clarify the needs of your audience.
This principle is all about collecting the insights that you have gathered from your audience and start defining them.
This principle is a vital aspect of the design thinking process as we finally end up exploring opportunities and devising solutions.
Always aim for framing the problem correctly, so that you can come up with better solutions. The solutions which you come up with is eventually formed by the establishment of the POV that we were talking about.
3. Now It Is The Time For You To “ideate”
Ideating and focusing on all the possible solutions is the third principle here. This is not just about separating the good ideas from the bad ones.
The main goal here is to come up with as many ideas as you can. Any idea which pops into your mind may be a brilliant one.
So, make sure that you are working well, on each and every idea that you come up with.
This is a sort of brainstorming process which is highly collaborative and participatory. This idea produces better outcomes. So, shortlist a few ideas before finalizing one.
4. Prototype The Ideas
I have discussed several things on prototyping in my previous blog which will give you a good idea of how you need to prototype your ideas.
The “Ideate” principle talks about producing multiple solutions, but the prototype stage is all about testing the relevant ones.
A prototype could be anything- right from drawing sketches to an interactive digital activity. It helps in clarifying the issue.
It does not matter whatever you opt for the prototyping process; the purpose remains the same- to chalk out solutions for the problem.
It is always advised to follow the most economical approach of prototyping. Only after that, go for transforming the prototype into a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or a beta testing product.
5. Testing Your Prototype
The is the final stage where you need to test the solution found for your audience.
Test your prototypes with customers and monitor their responses. See if they are satisfied with the solution or not.
It may also lead back to any of the four previous principle stages which I was discussing all this while.
You may even find out that your problem wasn’t defined correctly or you failed to understand your audience’s requirements.
Thus, there are chances that you may find yourself starting afresh. Or you might just require to refine the prototype a bit. It depends on how your testing pans work out.
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