What is design thinking and why is it so popular?
In today’s business world where innovation is key to business growth, the term “design thinking” is not so unfamiliar to many of us. Design thinking is an ideology that is based on the workflows of designers for planning out different stages of design. It serves the purpose of providing standardized innovation processes to professionals in order to form creative solutions to the challenges.
Innovation refers to a product, service, process or business model with two critical characteristics- novel and useful. There is no point in creating something new if that is of no use to the people. Design thinking provides innovation with the upgrade it requires to inspire impactful and meaningful solutions.
What is design thinking? Why is it important? You will find the answers to these questions down below.
What is Design Thinking?
Design is an iterative process to get to know the user and redefine problems by prioritizing the customer’s needs above everything else. It is based on observing the way people interact with their environments and employs an iterative approach toward developing innovative solutions.
Design thinking is human-centric, meaning it uses actual evidence of how users engage with products and services rather than relying on people or organizations’ assumptions of how they’ll engage with them. Designers watch how consumers use a product or service and continue to optimize them so as to improve the users’ experience. Compared to endless research, it prefers moving quickly to get the prototypes out to test.
Unlike traditional problem-solving which is a linear process that involves identifying a problem first and then brainstorming ideas for solutions, design thinking works only if it is iterative. It is more of a way of evolving your thinking continuously and responding to the audience’s needs.
The five-stage framework of the design thinking process includes:
- Empathize- with the consumers to have a deeper understanding of their interactions with the product
- Define- the problem you are trying to solve based on observations
- Ideate- by challenging assumptions, brainstorm solution ideas for an identified problem
- Prototype- to start creating innovative solutions
- Test- for solutions
Why is Design Thinking so Popular?
Design thinking makes organizations capable of building lasting value for users. It is a useful price in any complex system -design related or not- because it:
- Aims to solve human-centric problems
- As it takes an observational, human-centered approach, businesses can identify pain points from the user that they hadn’t previously thought of, ones even the consumer might not be aware of. Design thinking provides solutions to those challenges once identified.
Tackles ambiguous problems
Consumers often find it hard to verbalize their problems or they might not even know what the issue is. But with close and careful observation, professionals can identify the challenges based on real user interaction with the product, rather than brainstorming ideas depending on their thoughts of the consumer. This way, they can define ambiguous problems and that will make it easier to derive solutions.
Focuses on innovative solutions
Design thinking helps in surfacing unknown pain points that would otherwise have never crossed your mind. Using an iterative, hands-on approach to tackle those challenges leads to finding innovative solutions most of the time.
Makes organizations run efficiently
Instead of spending a lot of time researching a problem without devising a proper outcome, design thinking focuses on creating prototypes to run tests and see how effective they are.
Design thinking can be applied to every department of the business organization. Employing design thinking in business makes it more creative, innovative and above all, more humane. Today, various design thinking certification courses online can provide you with the knowledge and tools required to adopt this creative problem-solving technique in your organization.