Design Thinking at Your Service!

# DesignThinking

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Neha Modgil

29 September 2020

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Design Thinking at Your Service!

 

If you’re a designer, an entrepreneur, or any kind of employee, you are no stranger to the constant pressure to innovate. It’s the secret ingredient of success. Our capacity for innovation is what gives us the upper hand in competitive markets.

All the greatest companies in the world were all born out of innovation. Now, the challenge that all of these companies face is to continue that innovation in order to maintain or further advance their position in their respective fields. Innovation is not a one-time affair and it rather needs to be part of the company’s DNA.

You also know that innovation doesn’t always come that easily.

That’s where design thinking comes in.

 Design thinking has always been considered the holy grail of innovation and the remedy to stagnation. It has been credited with transforming start-ups into billion-dollar evaluated companies. It’s a concept that’s becoming increasingly hard to ignore, but it still continues to be a mystery.

 In this article, we’ll learn some more about design thinking and why is it getting more and more popular with each passing day.

 

What is Design Thinking?

 

Design Thinking is both an ideology and a process, braced with solving complex problems in a highly human-centric way. It is an approach used for practical and creative problem-solving. It is based heavily on the methods and processes that designers use (hence the name), but it has actually evolved from a range of different fields including architecture, engineering, and business. Design Thinking can be applied to any field, not necessarily design-specific.

 

Design Thinking is extremely user-centric. It focuses on humans, first and foremost, seeking to understand people’s needs and come up with effective solutions to meet those needs. It is what can be called a solution-based approach to problem-solving. It can also be called an iterative procedure that encourages continuous experimentation until the right solution is discovered.

 

Design Thinking is not an exclusive property of designers. All great innovators in literature, art, music, science, engineering, and business have practiced it. The most special thing about Design Thinking is that a designer’s work processes can help us systematically extract, teach, learn, and apply these human-centered techniques to solve problems in creative and innovative ways.

 

Some of the world’s leading brands such as Apple, Google, Samsung, and GE have seamlessly adopted the Design Thinking approach and it is being taught at leading universities around the world, including Stanford, Harvard, and MIT.

  

The Four Principles of Design Thinking

 

 

The Human Rule

No matter what the context, all design activity is social in nature, and any social innovation will bring us back to the human-centric point of view.

 

The Ambiguity Rule 

Ambiguity is inevitable and it cannot be removed or oversimplified. Experimenting right until the limits of your knowledge and ability is crucial in being able to see things differently.

 

The Redesign Rule 

All design is redesign. While technology and social circumstances may change and evolve, basic human needs remain unchanged. We essentially only redesign in order to fulfill these needs or reach certain desired outcomes.

 

The Tangibility Rule

 Making ideas tangible in the form of prototypes enables designers to communicate them more effectively.

Design Thinking thrives on creativity and innovation. As human beings, we rely on the knowledge and experiences we have accumulated over the years, which later shapes our actions. We form patterns and habits that can limit our view of things when it comes to problem-solving. Rather than repeating the same tried-and-tested methods, Design Thinking encourages us to remove our blinkers and consider other alternatives. The entire process is meant to be all about challenging assumptions and exploring new pathways.

 

Design Thinking is often cited as the healthy middle ground of problem-solving and analytics.

Another great benefit of Design Thinking is that it puts humans first. By focusing so heavily on empathy, encourages businesses and organizations to consider the real people who actually use their products and services which helps in creating meaningful user experiences. For the user, this means better, more useful products. For businesses, this means happy customers and better profit margins.

 

 Solving ‘Wicked Problems’ in Design Thinking

Design Thinking can be especially useful when it comes to solving ‘Wicked Problems. The term ‘Wicked Problems’ was coined by design theorist Horst Rittel in the 1970s to describe particularly tricky problems that are highly ambiguous in nature. With these problems, there are many unknown factors and no definitive solutions. In fact, solving one aspect of a wicked problem is likely to give rise to further challenges. Another key characteristic of wicked problems is that they have no stopping point. As the nature of the problem changes over time, so must the solution. Hence, solving wicked problems is an ongoing process that requires design thinking. Some examples of wicked problems in our society today include things like poverty, hunger, and climate change.

 

Design Thinking is often referred to as outside the boxthinking, as designers are attempting to develop new ways of thinking that do not abide by the dominant or more common problem-solving methods.

 

Benefits of Design Thinking

 

 

Integrating Design Thinking into your process can add huge business value, ultimately ensuring that the products you design are not only desirable for customers but also viable in terms of company budget and resources.

 

Let’s have a look at some of the main benefits of using Design Thinking:

 

Reduces Time Consumption

With its emphasis on problem-solving and finding viable solutions, Design Thinking can significantly reduce the amount of time spent on design and development.

 

Saving of Costs

Getting successful products to market faster ultimately saves businesses a lot of money. Design Thinking has been proven to have reaped in a significant return on investment as well.

 

Improves Customer Loyalty

Design Thinking ensures a user-centric approach, which ultimately boosts user engagement and customer retention in the long term.

 

Encourages Innovation 

Design Thinking is all about challenging assumptions and established beliefs, encouraging all stakeholders to think outside the box. This fosters a culture of innovation that extends well beyond the design team.

 

Pan-Organizational Application

The great thing about Design Thinking is that it’s not just for designers. It encourages team-work and cross-team collaboration. It can also be applied to virtually any team across any given industry.

 

Whether you’re establishing a Design Thinking culture on a company-wide scale or simply trying to improve your approach towards user-centric design, Design Thinking will help you innovate, focus, and ultimately design products that solve real user problems.

 

Final Thoughts

 

At heart, Design Thinking lies in the interest and ability to ask significant questions and challenge assumptions. One element of outside the box thinking is enough to make it possible to prove whether assumptions made previously are valid or not.

Design Thinking offers us a way of digging a bit deeper and doing the right kind of research, prototyping, and testing products and services in order to uncover revolutionary and liberating ways of improving the all-encompassing user experience. That is, Design Thinking right at your service!

 

 

 

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Concluding message

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WRITTEN BY

Neha Modgil

Co-founder & COO | Techved

She is a zealous and experienced enthusiast, driving multiple projects in the IT and Services industry with her adroitness

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