Thinking and doing things while putting design in the centre of everything is the method which has been adapted by many important organisations in the world. It’s not only for industrial fields or graphics.
Design thinking allows creative thinking to be a part of the process in all sorts of sectors. It’s a way of putting alternatives on the table whether it’s for solving a problem or creating something new. Design thinking process is a non-linear and iterative process which helps to tackle complex problems.
Whats is Design Thinking?
These problems sometimes are ill-defined or completely unknown and design thinking serves to understand the human needs and to define the problem. Design thinking approach opens a window for the companies, organisations or countries to get an understanding about defining the problem and finding a solution for it while putting human needs and the best possible ways of creating solutions in the centre of everything.
Hasso Plattner, a professor at the Institute of Design at Stanford has proposed a design thinking model which involves five stages. According to Plattner, the design thinking approach has five stages. These stages are
Empathise: research your user’s needs
Define: state your user’s needs and problems
Ideate: challenge assumptions and create ideas
Prototype: start to create solutions
Test: try your solutions out
Design thinking is a process. Like any other process, it has phases which connect each step taken to the other one and make it possible to apply design. The personal, internal experience through which customers go when using a product’s interface is called ‘User Experience’ abbreviated by UX. It basically refers to the feeling users experience when using a product, application, system or service.
UX design is the fundamental leg of design thinking as it is directly related with the needs of the users. When we talk about design thinking, we need to include UX design and try to understand that the design thinking approach is all about human centred design. When a potential customer -user- goes through the buying process on an e-commerce website and finds the process long, complicated and complex this means that the UX is a bad one. To change that, as a company should, the first thing to do is to understand the user’s needs.
This phase requires some research. Then you can define your user’s needs and problems. Once you have an understanding of your user’s needs you can dive into ideation sessions where you challenge assumptions and come up with new ideas. Creating new ideas should evolve into creating solutions where you find yourself in the process of prototype and test. Once you have solution ideas in your hand, you need to test them, try your solutions out so that you can see whether they will work or not. Design thinking is a way of turning problem statements into design sessions carried out by design teams. It is not only productive but also playful and fun.
Advantages of Design Thinking
The basis of design thinking is to introduce you to new possibilities for a situation, a different point of view and innovative solutions. Brain-storming and creative thinking allow the design teams to address certain items or potential issues throughout the process. Here are some advantages of design thinking methodology if your concern is to focus on both the product/service and human factors.
Quick and efficient solutions
It allows you to establish different strategies for an issue and to risk-analyse these suggestions
Details regarding the product are noticed better. Focusing on human factor makes it possible to empathise
Especially for best results in team work, this method makes it possible to share ideas and establishing a healthier environment for the contributors
Design Thinking Method: Its Phases
Each company or brand has its own understanding of design thinking which means they go through phases of the method separately. One thing in common though is, to get efficient results. The first step is to put the concerned parties in the centre. What they want, demand and complain about are laid out and examined in detail. The needs and possible short-comings are identified.
Now that there is a clear view of needs and problems, a draft for resolving the issues is prepared. All concerning parties are invited to be a part of the next phase where ideas and estimates are discussed thoroughly. Participants are expected to show their problem-solving skills. Items in the agenda which were established in the earlier stages now get to be dished out allowing the participants to form a logical, systematic and organised list of suggestions.
These suggestions are tested in the next phase. Depending on the results, ideas which are proven to be efficient will be put into execution.
How to Connect Design Thinking with Company Culture?
No matter what size your projects are, you can consider adapting design thinking in your business. Above mentioned phases are easily applicable in the related departments of the company once you have a clear view of your plans. Take a look at some of the suggestions below to make sure your company culture is in tune with design thinking:
Create an environment where you can collect data about the thoughts/opinions of your target clientele. Surveys, social media channels and other outlets (feedback forms etc.) will guide you. Customers are more prone to be loyal when their opinions are being heard.
Try and show the benefits of design thinking to your own employees by running workshops or training sessions. This will make it possible for them to participate in the big picture efficiently.
Make sure you take the opinions coming from the related departments during the planning and design processes of your projects.