People often talk about design thinking, but do you know what it really means? In this article, we’ll tell you a little bit about this process and its impact on your business.
Everyone who works with technology and innovation knows the importance of finding creative solutions for common problems. After all, this is one of the pillars that makes an idea a successful business. But what does Design Thinking have to do with that?
Though this term is being used quite often these days, we need to understand what it really means, and most importantly see how it has been helping various entrepreneurs to make their products and solutions more attractive for their consumers.
Therefore, in this article, we want to explain the main aspects of this topic, and to do this we’ll talk about:
- The birth of design thinking
- What is design thinking?
- The values inherent in this approach
- Design thinking, step by step
Enjoy your reading!
The Birth of Design Thinking
The first time anyone ever heard about Design Thinking was in the early 1970s, when Stanford University Professor Robert H. McKim published his book Experiences in Visual Thinking.
McKim developed the idea of a new, visual mode of thinking, based on three elements: seeing, imagining, and drawing. By integrating these three elements, people could broaden the ways they thought about a wide range of topics.
Over the following decade, the term was popularized with the work of Rolf Faste, also from Stanford. As Director of that university’s Design program from 1984 to 2003, Faste promoted the idea in courses designed to develop students’ innovation skills.
What is Design Thinking?
In short, it’s a mode of thinking based on designers’ creative processes. It can be used for many purposes, from developing products and services to incremental improvements such as tools or technologies.
It brings together the sensibility of design with methods that aim to meet people’s needs and what can be achieved with technology. It can be used for problem-solving every day, at companies in any industry and of any size.
Design Thinking is here to revolutionize how we find innovative answers to problems, creative solutions focused on real market needs and not on statistical assumptions.
For that reason, this process is usually performed collectively and collaboratively, in order to mix and map various individuals’ worldviews and cultural experiences, and it allows us to produce a full overview with which we can offer more assertive solutions.
The Values Inherent in This Approach
Before we talk about the different steps that make up Design Thinking, it’s important to understand that it has three guiding values. They are: empathy, collaboration, and experimentation.
Basing our approach on these three values means changing the mental model and working model, making the people involved with a project work together, get their hands dirty, and encouraging critical and creative thinking.
In other words, empathy for putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, collaboration to act and think in unison, and experimentation to run tests and check if you’re on the right track.
Design Thinking, Step by Step
Now that you already know the values that need to guide all of Design Thinking, it’s time to start the process. Basically, your initial goal should be to deeply understand the problem that needs to be solved.
After this initial diagnostic, we move on to analyzing potential solutions, and eventually choosing the best alternative, before finally planning how to apply it.
The process as a whole is divided into four parts and seeks innovation non-linearly, always with collaborative thinking in order to reach solutions based on the customer’s experience. Read on:
As we mentioned, this early stage serves to understand the context and reality of your idea/business. To this end, people generally use a SWOT analysis to map out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Our advice here is to also do research or even just chat with clients, if you already have them, or with the audience to whom you’re thinking of marketing your service or solution.
Once that first stage is complete and you’ve already mapped the major points that need to be solved, it’s time to get the team together. Your goal now is to facilitate a brainstorming session to produce ideas and generate insight.
In this stage, it’s interesting to bring in data that can be used to support discussions, and of course a diverse assortment of people with different life experience.
After collecting information and building a list of the ideas and creative solutions thought up during the ideation stage, it’s time to meticulously select the best options and identify which ones have the best chances of leading to success.
To do this, we recommend choosing as a group. In the case of products, it’s important to invest in beta-testing prototypes. For services, try to develop visual representations that simulate the actions your group has suggested as a solution.
We’re now at the last stage of Design Thinking, and it is now time to move the idea off the drawing board and put it in practice. To be successful, you will undoubtedly need to involve professionals from the communication, marketing, and sales departments.
Finally, now is the time to sell the solution you’ve created and check whether it truly meets the target audience’s needs or relieves one of their pain points.
In this stage, the most important thing is to constantly analyze how your product/service performs and develops, so you can spot aspects you might be able to improve and act quickly to polish the idea.
Boomerang Helps You in This Process
We work every day with various different ideas, products and solutions that need to be tested and validated. To achieve this, we rely on the expertise of a multidisciplinary team, which ensures a much faster and less risky process.
If you’re searching for an experienced partner to make your business a success in the field of healthcare, we can help. Contact us and let’s revolutionize the market together: https://www.boomerang.vc/connect/