Recently, there has been a lot of good talk about Design Thinking. Not only in terms of creating products or services tailored to the customers’ needs, but also as a way of thinking about business. Why and how should you utilize Design Thinking? We have some tips for you!
Design Thinking strives to find solutions to customers’ problems in a creative way. This kind of approach puts people and their needs first.
Did you know…
The origins of Design Thinking date to the 1960s. However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that the method was developed by the scientific community at the Stanford University. IDEO, a company established in 1991, was the first to take commercial advantage of Design Thinking. It is still used successfully by brands such as PepsiCo, Apple, IBM or Braun.
There are several reasons why Design Thinking should be used in business.
- This method enables looking at products and services from the point of view of potential customers.
- Design Thinking boosts the speed and efficiency with which new solutions are created.
- Prototyping and testing solutions helps reduce the risk of failure due to product or service launch blunders.
- And when the solutions marketed actually meet the users’ needs, gaining competitive advantage is easy.
- Detailed research into the recipients’ needs may produce surprising results and offer new directions for the company’s development.
- The Design Thinking work model involves the entire team, increasing the overall engagement level and providing the employees with an opportunity to integrate.
The essence of Design Thinking is working on a product or service in several stages.
Design Thinking – Stage 1: Empathize
The process starts with gaining a deep understanding of the users’ needs and observing the way they act. Interviews and surveys with potential customers are conducted. Collecting information such as research, analyses, statistical data concerning potential product or service recipients is crucial at this stage.
You are not the recipient of your product or service, so don’t let your intuitions or preferences guide you.
Design Thinking – Stage 2: Define The Problem
Based on the information collected, define a real need and problem of your potential customers. Analyzing research, reports, statistics lets you find patterns and schemes in the recipients’ actions. A well-defined problem guarantees that the best solutions are developed.
Design Thinking – Stage 3: Ideate
The next stage is brainstorming to generate as many ideas as possible. It doesn’t matter whether these solutions are likely to be executed. The only thing that does matter is that there should be a lot of them. The ones that are the most interesting and best suited to the recipients’ needs are not selected until the next stage.
Design Thinking – Stage 4: Prototype
Once best ideas have been selected, it is time to build some models. A maximum of two prototypes of a product or service are prepared at this stage. They do not have to be perfect. They just have to present the most important features of a particular solution. This allows obtaining valuable user feedback on the product or service.
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Design Thinking – Stage 5: Test
Testing means handing the finished prototype over to its future recipients. The faults they report should be corrected on the go, and testing should be conducted until a satisfactory product or service version is obtained. At the end of this stage, a decision should be made to either market the new solution or to further modify it. If you decide not to launch the current version, go back to step 1 and repeat process.
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