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design thinking

Design Thinking: A creative way to solve problems!

Design thinking is a problem-solving approach that allows you to reimagine your business.  With the growing importance of design to businesses and consumers, it’s not surprising that more and more companies are looking at ways to increase their effectiveness by incorporating these thinking techniques into their workflows. Sound intimidating? Well, it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we explain the best practices of design thinking and the benefits it brings.

 

But what exactly is Design Thinking?

Design thinking takes a human-centred approach to problem-solving. It was originally developed as a method for intuitively solving design challenges. But can also be applied to more difficult problems. This way of thinking is often considered a lateral problem-solving technique that is an alternative to traditional “top-down” linear approaches. Design thinking and creativity serve as a new management style that enables you to think outside of the box. This will allow you to create solutions for a specific problem without being constrained by boundaries. Its methodology is problem-solving and solution-focused. That enables people and organizations to get the desired outcomes on internal issues, or work forward on a future strategy. At the same time, it provides a framework to help people think differently about different kinds of challenges.

Design Thinking is based on the idea that we don’t just live in the world, but that we make up the world. This perspective leads to the realization that everything we do involves designing something. This could be from how we use technology, to how we interact with our families, friends, co-workers, and customers.

Why is Design Thinking so important?

Design thinking is a creative way to connect people and technology by bringing the best of human creativity together with the advantages of digital technology. Design thinking has had a beneficial influence on modern organizations. It allows people to use their natural, human capacity for creativity and apply these skills to problems in a variety of fields including design, planning, technology, business and education. It lets you leverage creativity to create successful products your customers will love, which increases your success for monetization. It’s about creating meaningful experiences for your users – Users who will spend more money.

Design Thinking requires a shift in mindset away from traditional linear approaches to problem-solving, such as analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and implementation. Instead, it focuses on generating multiple solutions, evaluating those solutions against criteria, and selecting the best option. Today, design thinking is widely used across disciplines and companies to help them innovate and improve existing products and services. Because it focuses on the end user, design thinking helps businesses better anticipate and respond to market trends and customer demands. 

What problems can Design Thinking solve?

Design thinking teaches diverse skills including how to manage the creative process from start to finish and how to nurture creative ideas from infancy to adulthood. Design thinking is like creativity on steroids. It started as a way for companies to come up with innovative ideas that solve problems in a better way than their competitors. It was an eye opener for them and became extremely successful. It’s now being used by designers, marketers and innovators everywhere to elevate their careers. With design thinking, you can create success faster than ever before. Not only great at solving problems visually, but design thinking can also solve any number of business challenges.

The 6 Stages of Design Thinking

design thinking

 

Design thinking is a method used to solve complex problems. In short, it involves a systematic approach to innovation that emphasizes empathy and collaboration. Design thinking aims to quickly generate ideas and solutions that address the root causes of those problems. In contrast to traditional approaches to innovation, design thinking focuses less on the product itself and more on the customer experience.

There are six phases to the design thinking process: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test, and implement. Each phase builds upon the next, and it is important to work through each one carefully.

Empathizing:

is the most important part of the process. You start by understanding the problem you’re trying to solve. From there, you dive into the research to understand how others have solved similar problems.

Defining:

This is where you figure out what makes your product unique. Once you’ve figured that out, you’ll use the data you collected from previous steps to build a vision for it.

Ideating:

Ideating takes place while you’re still defining. You begin building ideas around your concept and testing those ideas against real customers.

Prototyping:

This is where you turn your idea into something tangible. You’ll use prototypes to validate your concepts and see whether they work. You’ll go back to the drawing board to refine them if they do.

Testing:

This is the phase where you’ll put your prototypes to the test and gather feedback from potential customers. Based on that feedback, you’ll either continue prototyping or pivot.

Implementing:

This is the final phase. It’s when finally your solution becomes real and is launched and tested on the real market. Many designs will never reach this stage. While the design may be marvellous, perhaps it didn’t solve the user’s needs in the way you expected. Or perhaps you will go back to the ideation stage and rework your idea. Although your idea may not be transformed into something real this time, the process is non-linear so you take what you have learned and start again.

How do you start a solution design? – Two methods explained!

design thinkingDouble Diamond Design Thinking

The Double Diamond design process, developed by the British Design Council, aims to achieve creativity and innovation through applying the design thinking methodology. The two diamonds represent a process of exploring an issue more widely or deeply (divergent thinking) and then taking focused action (convergent thinking).

It involves four steps:

  1. Discover – insight into the problem 
  2. Define – the area to focus upon
  3. Develop – a potential solution
  4. Deliver – solutions that work 

that take the design process from the problem space to the solution space. Together, these stages work as a map designers can use to organize their thoughts in order to improve the creative process. 

design thinking

The Design Sprint

A design sprint is an accelerated approach to innovation and problem-solving. Jake Knapp—the inventor of the Design Sprint and a New York Times bestselling author. He’s written two books, Sprint and Make Time, and has coached teams at places like Slack, LEGO, IDEO, and NASA on design strategy and time management. He explains in his book “sprint” how you can compress your design thinking to significantly reduce the risk of launching a new innovation or product.

The big idea with the Design Sprint is to build and test a prototype in just five days. You’ll take a small team, clear the schedule for a week, and rapidly progress from problem to tested solution using a proven step-by-step checklist. 

  • Monday – Map 
  • Tuesday – Sketch
  • Wednesday – Decide
  • Thursday – Prototype
  • Friday – Test

 

The Design Sprint is basically a five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping and testing ideas with customers. The process brings together the right people to generate a breadth of ideas. It also creates designs that solve the problem, and quickly get customer feedback. It’s like fast-forwarding into the future. So you can see how customers react before you invest all the time and expense of creating your new product, service etc.

Overall it’s not just about efficiency. It’s also an excellent way to stop the old defaults of office work. Also replace them with a smarter, more respectful, and more effective way of solving problems that bring out the best contributions of everyone on the team and helps you spend your time on work that really matters!

WeWent’s Design Thinking Experts and Workshops 

At WeWent we have a big talent pool of facilitators, coaches and experts specializing in many different areas. Our Design Thinking Experts are Jonathan Bannister, Hulya Kurt and “Prototype you”. They packed their experience and knowledge into helpful and interactive workshops to help employees and leaders level up their skills and career.

Jonathan Bannister, helps business leaders and teams exploit their creativity and collective intelligence to strengthen their business models, marketing and innovation programmes, and organisational development. He is an experienced creativity facilitator, trainer and coach with over 25 years of experience. He offers the workshop called “Lego Serious Play Workshop For Innovation“ this workshop is designed to generate new ideas and come up with creative solutions to challenges. 

Hulya Kurt is specialized in career, self-development & executive/leadership areas, using her solid knowledge of manoeuvring in companies. She is as well Managing Director of Noble Manhattan Coaching Switzerland. That offer coach training programs to individuals to become coaches and companies upskilling their leaders and staff. Hulya offers the “Innovation Workshop” the workshop is providing a framework that can be applied in the day-to-day of your organization, ensuring the sense of ownership of your company’s challenges. Agile/ Design thinking / Validation process/ idea generation and business model canvas are the topics.

Prototype You” are helping employees experiment with their ideal work experience so that they discover how they can deliver their best work and get even more happiness out of work. When people feel good, organisations perform better. Prototype you offers the workshop “Design Your Ideal Workday” in 2 hours, employees will end up with a design of their ideal workday and a concrete action plan to work towards it with support from a buddy!

To conclude:

Design thinking helps us to define problems and turn them into an opportunity. We believe that design thinking is the way to approach a problem we are facing or simply look for a new solution. It takes us from a traditional approach of planning, designing, and implementing to one in which our process is more creative, holistic and iterative. In fact, design thinking has won many awards in the past decade. By using a framework, it’s easier to solve problems and get exactly what you want in the end product or service.

If you choose to use the Design Thinking process, you and whomever you are working with will be able to answer the most important question in any design challenge! If you have more questions about Design Thinking and why it’s so beneficial for your career, feel free to reach out to us and our team of experts at WeWent.com.