Understanding Design Thinking in 4 min read

Another buzz word that caught a lot of reaction from everyone. When I heard this word for the first time I really thought that it is another fancy word for “UI/UX” which we have heard for a decade now. I was wrong!

Let's first define what ‘Design Thinking’ is not?

Design thinking is not about pixel perfect or a pretty UI.

Well, the “design” being one of the drivers of design thinking but it is not everything.

“Design Thinking” spans across all the disciplines in a corporation or team to create an integrated product vision.

Innovation is just an outcome of “Design Thinking”.

Source: https://goo.gl/3Efumf

It is more about the success of your product than a prettier design. It is a methodology to define successful products. You may have a bad design but the product should be successfully adopted, used, and liked by users.

Why do you need “Design Thinking”?

Customers today are becoming increasingly sophisticated and impatient. The growth of social communication channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Whatsapp etc increased customer-to-customer interaction. Today customers exactly know what they want and how they would get it.

Consider a very simple example, Facebook needs all your contacts to grow their user base which finally would increase their partner's ad visibility count — which means more money for Facebook. But being a user, would you just give your contact information to Facebook? If not, how to solve this problem of Facebook?

On the other hand, GoPro is an excellent example of a successful design thinking use case. GoPro's success isn’t about the camera at all. It was all about understanding the problems and demands of the customers. When GoPro launched an action camera — all the needed technologies to build an action camera were already there but nobody thought of using it to build a continuous recording system. HandyCam wasn’t cool enough to own it.

What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is created to help companies that lack the creative ability and aren’t able to create new products and services that meet the unmet and growing needs of customers.

Design thinking provides you a framework to produce creative methods which would in return give your customer value and market opportunity.

The Core Ingredient: Unlike traditional methods, where you are not allowed to think beyond certain points. Design thinking allows you to explore all the possible problems and solutions. You might end up finding innovative solutions which might produce better results. This process is termed as “Abductive Thinking”. Abductive Thinking is the core of the Design Thinking Framework.

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Design Thinking Framework

Source: NNGroup.com

The above diagram shows the stages to drive corporate innovation but I really find it hard to understand and remember until I broke this chain into two large spaces.

Copyright : DesignCodeShip.com (PockletLab LLP)

How to put Design Thinking into practice?

The most difficult part is to train your team to change the way they look at the problems and solutions.

If design thinkers don’t practice it in their day to day problems, it might waste of a lot of money, efforts and time of the corporation.

Every stage in the Design Thinking Framework is very important to get to the right solution.

Discover: Discover the bigger system
Balance: Establish a balance between all system elements
Innovate: Create new future

Source: https://goo.gl/U6oMSU

In most cases, “what if” requires a lot of deep understanding of the behavior of your users which can be derived based on the data collected in the “what is” stage. So each stage is dependent on the previous stage.

Implementing “Design Thinking” across a corporation is easier said than done. It might lead to a huge loss of money if not implemented correctly. You must understand below system elements before you get started with Design Thinking Implementation.

Design Thinking — System Elements

  • Right Resources: Do you have the right resources to carry out the “Design Thinking” process?
  • Coordination: Are people from other departments who are crucial for the implementation motivated enough to take it forward?
  • Financial: How much would it cost to implement the solutions? How much return on investment can be expected?
  • Technology Feasibility: Do you have the right team to build it?

Anyway, before you jump into implementing the Design Thinking Process in your corporation, you must understand each system element properly otherwise it might not produce desirable results. Think before you step in!

Thought provoking short notes. We cover the future.