What is design thinking?
Design thinking is a method of creative problem solving and the creation of products and services. If nobody has ever found an answer to the problem you are facing or you want your product to be truly original – this method is for you. DT does not rely on the imitative relying on the solutions already available – the effect of this method is to be something really innovative.
Everybody can use design thinking: small and large companies, schools, non-governmental organizations. In a word – everyone who aims at creating unconventional solutions, regardless of the field in which he moves. It does not matter if your goal is to design an application for a company that provides innovative services, reach your new audience with your product or refine an existing solution – design thinking will be helpful in any of these situations.
Every idea is good
The key to generating ideas for an innovative product or service is to understand the needs of people who will use them. Therefore, the team that works on a given solution should consist of people who can look at the problem from completely different perspectives.
The first stage of design thinking is entering the client’s or the recipient’s skin. But you need to answer a few questions: what do you need? What is the guiding principle when making choices? What affects his decisions?
The next steps are to define the right need for a product or service and generate as many ideas as possible to satisfy it. The design thinking method assumes that there are no bad ideas. Anything that comes to the group’s members should be saved. You never know which thought will turn out to be a fantastic solution. Then, the group members choose the best idea together and make a prototype of the solution.
The prototype is not meant to be a precise reflection of the final product. Its aim is to present users with the most important features and functionality of the solution. If after consultation with users it turns out that it will be necessary to change something – and it is possible that this will happen – no one will have the feeling that a lot of time has been wasted to prepare something that needs improvement anyway. How to prepare a prototype in a simple way? There are many ways. Let’s take the application as an example. The prototype of the application can be prepared by writing its functions on cardboard boards or even presenting its assumptions verbally.
The last stage before implementation is testing. It must take place in a real environment, on users who will use the designed solution. Testing lets you see what works and what needs improvement.
Remember that design with the use of design thinking is not always a linear process – at any moment the team may come to the conclusion that you have to go back to the previous steps. For example, at the testing stage, it may turn out that none of the generated ideas satisfies the needs of users. In this situation, one should consider whether too few ideas were considered, or if the need for users was incorrectly defined.
One thing is certain – focusing not so much on the way of implementing the imposed concept, but above all on generating the best ideas, design thinking allows you to create products and services that users will love.