design thinking examples

What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking involves a designer’s thought process and skills to help systematically extract, teach, learn and apply human-centred techniques to solve problems creatively and innovatively. The concept of data science could be applied in designs, business models, and our fast-growing technological society.

Design Thinking is a repetitive process in which the primary aim is to understand the user, challenge the existing working strategies, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative solutions. It provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. It is a way of thinking and working as well as a collection of hands-on methods capable enough to generate a solution for the problems.

This method revolves around a keen interest in developing an understanding to know the customer and the market demand for which the designing of the products or services is being done. It helps us observe, know the customer, and develop empathy with the target user. Design Thinking is extremely useful in handling problems that have no prior solution, by re-framing the problem in human-centric ways, creating many ideas in brainstorming sessions, and adopting an explicit approach in prototyping and testing.

Why Design Thinking?

Thinking like a designer is a lot more than being creative, it can certainly transform the process of developing products/services, strategies, and processes.

If businesses can bring together what is most desirable from a customer point of view with what is technologically feasible and also economically viable, they can certainly give an edge to the other business competition.

This also allows people who are not trained as designers to utilise creative tools and dynamically tackle a range of challenges.

The Value of Design Thinking in Businesses

Businesses have slowly come around to recognise that the design thinking approach can be used as a differentiator to respond to changing trends and customer behaviours. The Fortune 500 names such as Apple, Microsoft, Disney, and IBM have inculcated the design thinking approach and have justified the intrinsic value of “design thinking” as a competitive push that impacts the bottom line and leverages business growth.

They have utilised the method and landed with the conclusion that design innovation happens at the intersection of desirability for customers, viability at the business level, and feasibility for technology. Design thinking—a product design approach that has been slowly evolving since the 1950’s—includes all three factors.

In a design-driven culture, companies are not afraid to launch a product that is not perfect for the consumers, which means, going to market with an MVP (minimally viable product), learn from the customer feedback, incorporate the same, and then build and release the next version of the perfect product. This approach provides an opportunity for the firms to flourish and explore the market and work according to customer mentality.

Some Perks of Having a Design Thinking Approach

Helps in tackling creative challenges: 

Design thinking offers the firms an opportunity to take a look at problems from a completely different perspective. The process of design thinking adds creativity to the solving approach of an existing issue in a company. 

The entire design thinking approach will require intense brainstorming and the formulation of fresh ideas, which can expand the learner’s knowledge. By putting a design thinking approach in the business model, employees can collaborate to get feedback, which thereby helps in creating an invaluable experience to serve the clients in a better way.

Helps in effectively meeting client requirements: 

As design thinking involves prototyping and testing, all the products at the MVP stage will go through multiple rounds of testing and customer feedback for quality assurance.

With a proper design thinking approach in place, the businesses are more likely to meet the client’s expectations as clients are directly involved in the design and development process.

Expanding market knowledge with design thinking

The design process goes through multiple evaluations and testing procedures. This iterative process does not stop even after the deliverable is complete.

Companies continue to measure the results based on the customers’ feedback received and ensure that the customer is having the best experience using the product.

By involving oneself in such a process, the design thinkers constantly improve their understanding of the customer’s perspective, and as a result, they will be able to figure out certain aspects such as what tools should be used to leverage sales, how to bridge the weak gaps in the deliverable, etc.

Boosting the morale of employees and enhancing the firm performance with design thinking

Sometimes, facing challenges in the marketplace could be stressful for the entire organization. Changing and re-structuring the working strategies to cope up with the business world can be even more stressful. Having a design thinking ideology can help both businesses and employees that the solutions to all their problems exist and the firm could find it by focussing on the deliverable. This can be encouraging and supportive of the organization.

ROI Gains from Design Thinking Approach

Calculating the return on investment (ROI) of design thinking can be a challenge in any organization. It is a complex process, the changes made in the business’s operations may not directly reflect the product’s overall change in performance compared to the previous market and sale share.

However, many cases show very clear signs that a design thinking approach provides significant, positive change in the business model, with making the product and services capable enough to satisfy the clients.

Design thinking Takeaway For Businesses

Design Thinking is essentially a problem-solving approach specific to design, which involves analyzing and assessing known aspects of a problem and identifying the more ambiguous or peripheral reasons that contribute to the conditions of a problem. This is a complete contradiction to the old-school scientific approach where the concrete, practical and known aspects are tested to arrive at a solution.

Design Thinking is an iterative and a non-linear process in which knowledge is constantly being questioned and acquired so it can help us reframe a problem in an attempt to identify alternative market strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with the initial level of understanding. Design Thinking is often known as ‘outside the box thinking’, as designers are attempting to develop new ways of thinking that do not abide by the dominant or more mundane common problem-solving methods – just like artists do with their out of the box skills. 

At the heart of Design Thinking is the intention to improve products by analyzing how consumers interact with them, investigating, and understanding the conditions in which the user operates it. The design thinking approach can be incredibly feasible and reliable and could also offer businesses creative innovations that were not previously thought of or even possible.

Design Thinking offers us a means of digging that market knowledge pit deeper to uncover ways of improving customer experiences and enhancing the quality of products and services to attain complete customer satisfaction. If companies can bring out an integrated customer experience, the approach might open up opportunities to build new businesses. 

Design thinking is not just a trend that will fade away in a month or a short period of the span. It is gaining some serious traction, not just in product companies and the marketplace, but also in other areas of human society such as education and science.

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