I was given the insight into design thinking during my first year at Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden. Over the years I have always gone back, time to time to reflect around the subject. This time am feel like writing about it suites my blog.
What’s Design thinking
I became passionate about design when a professor in data science with a strong focus in human behaviour, explored the field with energy and unrestrained passion. He described why design was so important to understand; enabling us to be able to have a lifelong relation to learning in a time when we always need to evolve and solve demanding challenges. Design is something that every person use and is even more benefit for profession to reflect and use.
Design is often referred to as something that describe an object or result, it can consist of a process, artefact and is often in everyday life associated with an artistic behaviour with a visual end result.
The methodology commonly referred to as design thinking is a proven and repeatable problem-solving technique that any business or profession can employ to achieve extraordinary results.
Thinking of design can be a very powerful tool when used effectively, in driving and building sustainable businesses. The area around design thinking is a way of see the world and how we handle it in a separate way that we may think in our everyday life. Design thinking is a continuance’s life learning process. I will only give a glimpse of how and why to think about design in product development and innovation, but it can be applied in more areas as well.
Design thinking is a methodology in which collbaborative work and practical experimentation is central to solving problems. Most important is that the company must believe in design thinking. Companies that use design thinking believe that if you use a various group of end-users, if you focus the design process around the end-user and if you use a hands-on approach that puts prototyping at the forefront, you’ll find a creative and pragmatic solution.
Design thinkers encourage to think outside of the box and to use the skills of designers to formalize abstract ideas. Design thinking can generate great product, but it can also end up in failures. It’s always important to defining the right problem to solve. Design thinking requires a team or business to always question the brief, the problem to be solved. To participate in defining the opportunity and to revise the opportunity before embarking on its creation and execution. Participation usually involves immersion and the intense cross examination of the filters that have been employed in defining a problem.
Design thinking as a product definition methodology
In companies that introducing design thinking as a product definition methodology requires every employee involved in the development of the product to take responsibility for the user experience and the end-to-end product experience. End-user(Customers) involvement is a cornerstone of both the requirement gathering process and the usability testing of the product or software. Methods that are essential of the research process are observation, site visits, in which product team make face to face interviews, observe end users at their place of work or in the natural context(Depending on product). This is to gain deep insights into user’s real needs, task flows and pain points. This does not say that market research and user surveys aren’t important as well but it gives a deeper, closer insight in to real life usage.
This is later analysed and can be used in different ways(Personas, Use cases, story bord etc) to understand how the users really work or behave in different contexts. The insight can later be used to create product that increase the users (if it’s in a company; productivity and work satisfaction and if it’s a consumers (Optimizing time, Fun to use, attractive, Make things easier and so forth). The outcome then transformed into prototypes which are tested by end-users before the development even begins. This is a very powerful methodology to ensure that the new or enhanced product provides a desirable user experience before the product is implemented.