Design thinking in software development

At its core, Design Thinking emphasises on delivering a design that heroes empathy. How does design thinking apply to software you might ask – simply put, It helps software developers to design products that are more likely to resonate with the user. In order to build products that cater to user requirements more readily, software developers need to think empathetically and understand the end-user better to do justice to their craft.

Design Thinking can help software developers strategise their work better and integrate user-centric elements into their product. Design Thinking is, in fact, applicable to all the stages of development – whether it is laying out the design foundations or the testing phase. Let’s dig into the details of how design thinking applies to the overall software development process.

Design Thinking for Software Development

Development often involves designing, especially for small scale businesses where there are no separate roles for UX designers or business analysts. In such cases, the developers take it on themselves to come up with unique and relevant designs. They look into the user requirement to understand the deliverables and come up with designs that cater to it adequately. Design thinking helps developers, especially in these types of cases and teach developers how to look at the product from a user perspective. 

Empathy, which is one of the guiding principles of Design thinking, helps developers put themselves in the shoes of the user. This way, they are more likely to develop software that interacts with the user and engages with them in the most effective way possible. For example, while designing an e-commerce website, it is essential to make a responsive design that interacts with the user to understand his/her requirements. Similarly, for the same e-commerce brand, mobile apps would work better than websites. The developer needs to acknowledge these differences in his/her design.

Following are the ways in which Design Thinking helps the process of software development:

Clarity of Vision: Design thinking helps in testing the feasibility of a proposed design while building products. Whether it is the functionality or the aesthetic appeal, design thinking ensures all the fronts of the product meets the requirement.

Scope for Improvement: The iterative experimentation and analysis of design thinking takes the product prototypes through rigorous testing to understand possible flaws in the design. This iterative process helps in selecting the best prototype and working to perfect it. This continuous evaluation ensures that the end product is bringing the best to the table.

Design thinking has been long helping professionals deliver solutions that are customer-obsessed and brand-defining. Software development is no different. Developers can use the design thinking principles to guide their vision and execution of products that are truly user-centric. Visit our program page to explore upskilling options in design thinking. Great Learning’s exclusive Program – Stanford Design Thinking: From Insights to Viability is sure to pique your interest.

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