Design Thinking: What is it and why does it matter?

Most successful businesses have their own ways of managing the needs of customers. These companies have what we call an innovative way of looking at things. But, what sets design-centric firms apart is their ability to focus on the core aspects of product development. With every new product, design-centric firms validate design visions to exceed customer expectations, drive new revenue streams, and stand out from the crowd.

They understand the need to continuously improve products and services, and allows designers to develop a creative mindset to tackle complex problems. Building design thinking strategy and capabilities is at the core of the long-term planning of innovative and forward-thinking organizations.

What is the design thinking mindset?

Design thinking is a mindset focused on solutions and not the problems. It is a human-centric approach to problem solving that helps us to emphasize with the users to know more about their expectations, complainys and feedback of a product. In the designing world, it is considered a primary responsibility to understand the user, learn from the environment and adapt to different product ecosystems. This is what design thinking seeks to achieve. It is a low-cost, fast-to-market, iterative approach to understand the hidden needs of customers.

How to apply design thinking principles in practice

Design thinking is a method to help designers take ownership of their projects and act more responsibly. Companies that employ design thinking have a very different set of ideals.

Employees of leading brands like Google spend 20 % of their time thinking of new ideas, setting product goals and trying out alternative strategies and solutions. It is important to remember that a culture that promotes innovation and creativity is able to solve complex problems more efficiently. When you look to implement design thinking in your team, you have to first consider about creating a collaborative work environment. It’s good to be customer-centric, but your team should be aligned to the goals of the customer.

Any kind of information related to the customer should be given due importance. Your team should be able to empathize with the end-user, define the problem, create many different solutions, and decide a course of action suitable to the task at hand.

If you let your team worry about making a mistake, it is hard for them to work in the best interests of the team. Nothing is achieved in one single attempt; design thinking is a form of continuous collaboration. It is absolutely necessary to break the format of rigidity and complacency on the ends of project managers and leaders. Make the collaboration playful, fun and free. Game-changing organizations are good at this.

Design thinking enables people from different departments to involve in the project as a whole. Now, functional teams are able to communicate freely, keep track of project requirements and develop creative problem solving. As they are constantly using scientific methods to test the user’s needs and emotions, it becomes easy to visualize concepts and devise a well-planned business strategy to solve a problem.

What’s so unique about design thinking?

Design thinking is all about looking at things from different perspectives, questioning situations, and inspiring new thoughts, ideas and solutions. By now most executives have agreed on the importance of design thinking as one of the fastest ways to improve the quality of a product. So, what are the real benefits of transforming your organization into design thinking innovators?

A Catalyst for Change and Innovation

Design thinking brings people together to consistently create practical solutions for the business. It is a step-by-step collaborative process that takes into account the differences between teams and attempts to reduce them as much as possible to achieve productive results. At its core, it is designed to reshape the experiences of people within the organization. With each team now able to see their importance, they start developing and deploying solutions to respond to specific user needs.

Employee Satisfaction & Productivity

Design thinking encourages a positive change in the attitude of employees towards solving complex problems. It motivates the employees to go beyond a predictable path, challenge assumptions, develop new scenarios and expand their knowledge base. For an organization, it creates a highly efficient talent pool that are participating in the process, and helping the company achieve its strategic goals. It brings the best out of the people in an organization.

Adding Value to the Business

As more opinions and ideas are shared, organizations feel empowered to make a strong commitment to their customers.

With more support from leadership, each part of the business is able to apply design thinking principles into their day-to-day operations. This in turn brings the process of innovative, business-changing ideas into real practice and improves the growth of the business.

– Customer Retention

Customers are at the centre of everything a designing firm does. It needs to develop a deep understanding of the people for whom they are designing products or services. Keeping the customer requirements in the mind, an organization needs to solve common design problems and improve user experiences. While customers become emotionally connected with a product or service, it provides a great opportunity for the organization to strengthen its competitiveness in the market.

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