design thinking methodology

Design Thinking has continuously evolved in many organisations in today’s world. It is the modern thinking approach that helps in the growth of your business. It is a human-centred approach to creative problem-solving. 

In an organisation, Design Thinking always puts customers in the highest priority. It played a vital role in producing satisfactory results and put the business ahead of the competition. An innovative approach to organise your work leads to astonishing results. 

If you wish to earn a certification in the design thinking course like how it works and use this approach for your business, check out the best design thinking online course certification from Great Learning. This course is the Stanford design thinking certificate, and the faculty of Stanford University have developed the curriculum covering the entire framework of the design thinking process. In this course, you will learn Design Thinking from scratch to the advanced level. On the course completion, you will be certified with Stanford University.

First, let’s discuss the five principles of design thinking.

The Five Phases of Design Thinking

Before learning about why Design Thinking is helpful for business growth, let us understand the different phases involved:

  1. Empathize: This stage is essential to understand and analyze the problems when they arise. Understanding the users issues and empathizing with them is essential.
  2. Define: After completing the research and gathering the information required for the initial stage, the next step is to define the problem at hand and identify possible solutions for the same.
  3. Ideate: Post this, you must work on gathering ideas for solving the identified solutions in the previous stages. 
  4. Prototype: In the prototype stage, we will develop a prototype by implementing the ideas that were identified in the third stage.
  5. Test: The final stage of the design thinking process is to test your prototype. After you test the prototype, you must submit it to the customer, get the customer’s feedback, improve your prototype, and repeat until the customer is satisfied.

Let’s now move ahead and begin with the benefits of design thinking in your business.

Benefits of Design Thinking in your Business

Your role as a designer is to play a vital role in developing a product, which helps to put your business into the market. Design thinking assures that the product you design and develop is not only for customer satisfaction but also to increase your business revenue and resources.

Considering this, let’s discuss some essential benefits of design thinking at your business:

  • Faster product delivery to the market: Improvising problem-solving techniques and identifying solutions in the design thinking process helps reduce the time taken for design and development.
  • Reduction in expenses and high Return on Investment (ROI): Successful and faster delivery of the product to the market will eventually decrease business expenses. It will automatically generate a high ROI for your organisation.
  • Building a loyal customer base and relationship: Design thinking is a human-centric approach that ensures an effective customer relationship by making communication and trust. It also boosts your customer base for more extended periods.
  • Meeting the customers’ requirements effectively: As discussed earlier, design thinking involves developing prototypes to perform testing and implement the customer’s feedback iteratively for quality assurance. By following the design thinking approach effectively, your product will eventually meet the customers’ requirements.
  • Nurtures innovation: The main objective of design thinking is to encourage innovation among the designers and stakeholders by thinking out of the box. Following the culture of innovation will subsequently lead to the growth of your business.
  • Implementation of Design Thinking throughout your company: It is not only for designers but also for other teams to implement the design thinking approach to enhance collective ideas and cross-team collaboration. This helps employees to make things interesting by putting in efforts.

Moving forward, let’s explore some case studies of some organisations that grew their business by implementing the design thinking methodology provided by IDEO. 

Case Studies of IDEO Design Thinking Methodology

The case studies of some big companies and their success stories are the simplest way to demonstrate a tool or a strategy. So, let’s discuss three success stories of IDEO. 

Case Study-1:

Invigorating a Pharmaceutical Company’s Culture

Client: Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, India

Four simple words have helped a global company to enhance its operations.

Challenge: The global pharmaceutical company wanted to sharpen in on a vital purpose, which attracts talents, unites employees, and sets passion with several business strategies. 

Solution: Dr. Reddy’s team worked with IDEO for implementing the design thinking methodology to learn about everyone’s needs, from shopkeepers to scientists, partners and investors. Cooperatively, they came up with four simple words that transformed their business: “Good health can’t wait.” These words have changed the entire organisation’s culture. Employees used this message to their own experience and worked towards a common goal, i.e., to cure patients to good health. 

Outcome: The company’s sole purpose was to focus on its patients and unlocked some initiatives beyond the pill, which includes new patient-friendly packaging and a website for physicians to collect the latest medical research and information.

Impact: For current and prospective talent, the work generated a rallying cry-oriented around helping patients that implants in employees a sense of urgency, collaboration, and skill. For executives, it drove motivation to set towards a joint mission. The project yielded innovative and patient-centered offerings for the business, which supported the brand and bottom line.

Case Study-2:

Designing a School System from the Ground Up

Client: Innova Schools, Peru

To scale and upgrade an entire community of schools for the growing middle class in Peru.

Challenge: The school wanted to redesign the K-12 learning environment for a growing community of schools, such as the curriculum, teaching strategies, etc., to provide international-quality education at an affordable cost, which is around 100$ a month. The existing education model of Innova was not growing and fell short of well-trained, highly qualified teachers combined with rising land prices in Peru.

Solution: Innova hired IDEO to provide a new learning model. IDEO used design thinking methodologies to learn about scalable school models across the globe. They visited several schools and researched their learning programs and other retail, hospitality, and health care services. IDEO collaborated with several teachers and students from various schools to redesign the learning model. IDEO and Innova together developed a new curriculum, teaching strategies, buildings, operational plans, and financial models for running their community of schools.

Impact: Innova has opened over 60 schools in Peru, which will provide admissions to more than 50,000 students by 2020. Innova has become the largest private school network in Peru. In 2019, Innova Schools also opened their first school in Mexico that welcomed over 1,000 students.

Case Study-3:

Elevating Business Class Travel with Personal Connection

Client: Lufthansa

To redesign the long-haul travel experience by building the relationship between flight attendants and passengers.

Challenge: Lufthansa wanted to update their long-haul business-class service to advance beyond the routine “champagne and fancy food” service. The key to becoming the best airline is to win the competition in high-end business class air travel, which lies in service level.

Solution: Lufthansa collaborated with IDEO to redesign their long-haul business-class service through modern methodologies. IDEO analysed by meeting with various travellers and flight attendants and discovered: “a personal connection between flight attendants and passengers matters more than champagne and fancy food.” To achieve this goal, the design team of IDEO focused on improving services on six vital travel moments and conducted one-to-one mock sessions with flight attendants and travellers. Later, the team tested in an entire section of an Airbus A380 at the airline’s Raunheim, Germany, facility, with real passengers and crew. 

Impact: The new hospitable service that pampers travellers and nurtures connection with flight attendants has brought a higher customer service level to passengers, making Lufthansa one of the best airlines in today’s world. 

Several other big companies like Nike, Ford, Airbnb, etc., used design thinking methodology to grow their business. To increase your business revenue using innovative ideas, the design thinking approach proves to be the best strategy to follow and implement your ideas. 

With this, we came to an end with the article. We have covered all the essential concepts of how design thinking works in growing your business, including some real-time case studies. I hope you are clear with the fundamentals of the importance of design thinking in your organisation. 



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