Design seems all too familiar among us, in the physical sense, that is. When we ask ordinary people or even our clients, for example, what do they think about design and they’d often respond with “layouts” or “what the graphic designer does”.
While their idea is correct, there is more to design than encompassing more on the visual aspect of its nature.
For most business owners and even corporate founders, it’s extremely necessary to learn even the most basic design terms in order to follow through with how design works.
Once getting the hang of it, it will now be easier to incorporate in their businesses how to think creatively in every step of the way.
You’ve probably heard of the term “design thinking” or most likely, have had an initial idea behind the concept of design thinking. But if you haven’t, one must know that design thinking is not only limited to the creative type of industry or for creative professionals.
Design thinking is basically a systematic and creative approach to solving problems. For most of the pioneers across different industries, design thinking is the brainchild of innovation — the process that helps create impact over people’s lives.
Design thinking’s history roots back from the early 1950s to 1960s, when professors and scientists established Design Science which aims to combine various technical and scientific disciplines and incorporate it with design theories and practices.
The most recognised design thinking process today is Stanford University d. School’s Design Thinking Process which was formulated with IDEO, one of the most leading international design and consulting firms in the world, before being brought to the mainstream world.
Design thinking is also adopted by leading global brands including Apple, Google, Samsung, and Nestle which helps them simultaneously create global and emotional impact among billions of consumers’ lives.
It is a process that allows brands to understand their consumers and how to solve their changing needs. Design thinking gives them the opportunity to ask the right questions, evaluate the situation of the user, and answer by solving the problem in a holistic and advanced manner.
There are usually four to seven steps in the different design thinking process models that exist today but here’s how Stanford University’s d. school teaches design thinking.
Having a better understanding of how your target audience behaves is the most crucial action during the first step of the design thinking process. We’re trying to observe and understand the nature of the problem that we plan to solve.
Design thinking is a human-centric process and empathy is the main key trait in order to gain deeper knowledge on the users and their needs.
Using all the information you’ve gathered during the Empathise stage, the next step is to clearly define the users’ problems, needs, and insights and creating a solid problem statement.
Defining the problem lets you and your team think of different creative ideas on how to come up with concrete solutions for a problem you’re trying to solve.
Here is the stage where you streamline all your generated ideas, analyse the insights and observations that you’ve gathered during the first two stages before finally jumping in on thinking beyond the box by creating modified, human-centered solutions for the problem statement.
For idea generation, Deck of Brilliance is an awesome tool being used by creative professionals when finding the right solution.
Prototype and Test
Here’s probably one of the costly stages of the design thinking process — creating several scaled versions of the product or creating an initial system or process for a service.
Prototyping is the stage of endless experiments that will later help you improve your product or service through different user feedback. Find out why this AI platform company says that prototyping is important before launching.
Prototype testing can be done among you and your team or other people in the company or gathering a small number of people who will be willing to test out your product or service for a certain time.
Once the final output is up and running perfectly according to how your users’ preferences, it’s finally time to launch it in the market.
But the design thinking process does not end once you’ve successfully launched your product or service to your target customers. In fact, it’s just the beginning.
During the implementation stage, there will still be feedbacks from new consumers which you must further on used to redefine and improve your products and services.
This will help you gain further comprehension of the user’s intent of using your product or service.
Why Design Thinking Is Business’s Needed Skill To Survive In The Future
Out of all the skills that businesses and companies need to adapt to, why design thinking? Let me count the reasons why.
First, it’s not a valid reason anymore to focus only on the business and technical aspect when running a company that wants to survive in the long run. It’s not an excuse for a business owner to leave the creative aspect to his team of designers, engineers, and builders.
In a world where everything changes so fast, the second next best thing that businesses can do is to adapt. Adapting a skill that affects how consumers perceive your brand is deemed necessary.
Second, adapting design thinking is not a new thing anymore. And it really works. Even the long-standing companies and brands ranked on the Fortune 500 2018 will attest to the fact that design thinking has helped keep them consistently on higher ranks.