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design thinking

Design Thinking, Learn in 5 Steps

Ever heard of design thinking? It isn’t what you are thinking, yes! design thinking isn’t just for the designers. Many great personalities in different fields like engineering, music, business, science, art, and literature; practice design thinking on a general basis. You might be thinking, then why is it termed ‘design thinking’. Well, a designer’s way of handling crises and problems has always made them learn something new. Their work processes can literally help anyone with systematic selection, teaching, learning, and implementing these techniques to deal with the real-time crisis in a very creative and innovative manner.

You would be intrigued to know that some of the most popular brands across the globe, like Samsung, Google, GE, and Apple have adopted the approach of design thinking. In fact, design thinking is being taught in several leading universities across the world, such as Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and d.school. Now, the question arises, What is this design thinking? To answer this, we have brought this article and also, real-life examples of implementing design thinking for solving problems. Let’s get started!

What is design thinking?

The process of solving real-time problems by prioritizing the needs of the consumer, above everything, is termed Design thinking. It comes with five major stages- Observing, empathy, interaction with customers, iterative employees, hands-on strategy for making creative and innovative solutions. Design thinking is considered ‘human-centered’ which means it utilizes real-time information on how consumers (humans) engage with any product or service, instead of how an organization would engage with any product or service. It observes how consumers use any product and then improves the odds and flaws in the next product in order to achieve a promising customer experience.

Design thinking works for only if the problem is iterative, favoring the convenient solution rather than dealing with a bunch of complications. Design thinking mainly focuses on evolving your thinking techniques and coming out with what the customers require.

Why is design thinking so important in building a product or service?

Design thinking helps corporations to build a continual value for the consumers. It is used in several complicated systems and helps to deal with major customer issues. We have discussed its importance right below:

Deals with real-time ambiguous problems

It often happens that the consumers have problems but they don’t know how to address them. But with detailed analysis, one can easily address such problems and improve them based on customers’ responses instead of visualizing the ideal customer’s behavior. This helps organizations as well as consumers to identify these ambiguous problems and make them improved based on customers’ requirements.

Solves substantial human requirements

As being a human-centric approach, design thinking aims for addressing the issues that are causing difficulty for the consumers, that they didn’t think about earlier. It deals with such cases with an innovative approach and improves customer service. Design thinking provides solutions for such hard time issues that seem merely unidentified.

Helps corporations function efficiently

Design thinking helps corporations to run faster by identifying a problem and solving it effectively. It creates prototypes that then get tested in order to see how effectively they could work.

Brings innovative solutions

Whenever we face any problems, we get pressurized into how it would work. We lack thinking innovatively under pressure. But with design thinking, we can uncover the minor pain points which can not be identified normally. After this, it utilizes iterative approaches in order to deal with the problem and offers extremely innovative and creative solutions.

Design Thinking, Learn in 5 Steps Startup COE

Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

Steps involved in design thinking

  1. Empathize: You would research your customers’ needs by empathetic understanding the problems faced by them. In this, you’d solve those problems through a distinct manner of approach. Empathy is very essential in design thinking, being a human-centric process as it allows you to gain real insight into your customers and their requirements.
  1. Define: In this, you compile all the information gathered at the Empathize step. You drew thorough observations and synthesized them for defining the major issue that your team has identified. These definitions are termed the problem statements. You can develop personas in order to get help for keeping your actions human-centered before the ideation proceeding.
  1. Ideate: After the above steps, now you move forward to creating ideas. You got enough information and data from the earlier steps so now, it’s time to think out of the box! You need to look for ways that are distinct from conventional ways and bring innovative solutions to the problems faced by your customers. Here, you would defy assumptions and get on with creating ideas.
  1. Prototype: This is basically an experimental step where your goal is to create the most innovative solutions a person could think of. Your team would work on developing some affordable and scaled-down versions of the product in order to analyze the ideas you have created. This is generally a paper prototype.
  1. Test: Prototypes are vibrantly tested by the evaluators. Test, being the last step in the design thinking, is more iterative as the team often utilizes the outcomes to redefine more problems at hand. You can make the iterations, alternations, and advancements in previous steps, and then move forward with the Test.

Example of design thinking in solving problems

We have taken the example of The Good Kitchen created by the Hatch and Bloom agency to discuss the genuine effect of design thinking on the lives of team members.

In 2007, Denmark with more than 125,000 Elder citizens relied on government-sponsored meals. Hatch and Bloom were called by the Municipality of Holstebro for designing an extremely innovative delivery service for these elder citizens.

Hatch and Bloom developed one with great quality of food, choice options, and more flexibility for elder citizens receiving food. This was also beneficial for the chefs and other employees who were involved in cooking and delivering these food items.

But the question arises, how did Hatch and Bloom create such innovative services? Hatch and Bloom took to interview and prototype with all the consumers and chefs. They identified that the meal which the elder citizens desired was quite similar to what chefs requested. That’s why they took the advantage of creating extremely distinguished services with tons of food options.

Hatch and Bloom heard the requirements of customers and identified the pain points these were facing. The company found varied innovative ways to keep both the customers as well as the employees happy. And that’s why design thinking helped them create one such solution.

Future of design thinking

Design Thinking is expected to hold a great future that is beyond any levels of today’s problems. Its future includes tools and methods that come more in a strategic format and future castings like context maps, scenario planning, and trend maps.

The future of design thinking is way more upgrading than it seems. It would link together the systems thinking tools, business modeling, future casting tools, prototype, and human-centered design tools. It is basically thinking about the next-level frontier while prototyping in the existing context.

The future of design thinking doesn’t reside in making big bets, but in understanding the formulation of innovative existence in our market.

How many people will employ design thinking or how many employees are required for design thinking?

In design thinking, you need to find the right employees by redesigning the talent planning. Many companies that work on the talent planning strategy, training, hiring, and assessment are taking the position after building business unit plans and completed budget planning. Hiring the right employee is very essential as it helps you receive the right customers.

The employee selections require your proper analysis of how the best people get your value and carry the skills prominent to your value proposition. The employee depends on the work handling and the company’s requirements.

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