Design Thinking is a human-centred methodology that has helped multiple organizations around the world transform their business operations. It is not restricted to any specific industry, therefore making it a universal approach for transforming organizational operations and inspiring innovation. In today’s fast-paced and technology-driven era, the methodology of design thinking has forced organizations and their leaders to change their perspectives on doing business. Traditional business processes focused on immediate problems and finding solutions to effectively solve these problems only. The design thinking approach emphasizes finding the possible problems and creating innovative solutions to solve these problems.
Understanding Design Thinking
Leading brands and companies of the world rely on their supreme designs to increase their customer reach and out-perform their competition. Design is not just about the look and feel of the product, but the overall value it generates for the company and its customers. Thus, multi-million-dollar corporates and business giants like Apple, Coca-Cola, Nike, PepsiCo, P&G, and many more have adopted the design thinking strategy to provide value-adding products and services to their customers.
The concept of design thinking has been around since the ‘90s, however, it started gaining popularity in the mainstream in the past decade. As more and more top business enterprises started adopting the design thinking mindset, its potential benefits and impact on their success inspired others to follow their lead. Today, design thinking is a vital part of every successful business organization. These business enterprises value their customers and use their feedback to create products and services. Thus, design thinking drives productivity and helps organizations achieve their objectives.
Transforming Organizations and Inspiring Innovation
As mentioned above, design thinking is human-centred. This means that the end-users are always involved in the design thinking process. This is achieved through several defined steps that are a vital part of the design thinking methodology. Here are the five important steps of the design thinking process:
- Empathize – This step involves engaging with the customers and the users of the product or service to learn about their requirements. It helps in understanding the user’s perspective even though they are not able to articulate it properly.
- Define – After learning about the requirements of the users, it is essential to define and elaborate as accurately as possible their needs from the product or service. This will help in the product development process.
- Ideate – When the problem is known, the design team or software development team can start formulating ideas that can possibly solve the problem.
- Prototype – Most ideas will be absurd or unfeasible. Those ideas that can come close to solving the problem can be designed into a prototype.
- Test – The prototype can be tested by volunteers or selected users to measure its performance and suggest improvements.
These steps clearly describe the design thinking mindset of focusing on the end-users. After testing a prototype and gaining feedback from the selected group of users, the design team or the software development team can create the final product or service that will effectively meet the requirements of the customers.
Digital transformation and using innovative solutions are an integral part of the design thinking methodology. Organizations adopting a design thinking mindset will always stay ahead of their competition. Design thinking motivates organizations to focus on their customers more. As a result, the customer’s confidence in the organization and their products or services also increases. With the help of design thinking, business enterprises can increase their overall productivity while cutting down overproduction and lowering expenses caused due to product delivery failures. So, it is time for organizations that are yet to adopt the design thinking mindset, to start now before they fall back in the race to future-proof their business processes.