Design Thinking: Why is the Hype and What Does the Future Hold?

Design Thinking

Design Thinking

How design thinking works and resolves businesses’ problems?

Design thinking in today’s digital age has become an essential approach for businesses of all types. It is a design methodology that provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. A majority of companies have already embraced this model into their innovation centers. As many traditional management consultancies realized that they needed more than a SWOT analysis, they have started incorporating design thinking to develop a strategy.

In this model, work processes of designers can assist organizations to systematically excerpt, teach, learn and apply these human-centered techniques to solve problems creatively and innovatively; it can be in designs, businesses, countries and even in human lives.

As design thinking provides a solution-based approach to solving problems, leading brands like Google, Apple, Samsung and GE, among others have rapidly adopted this technique. This approach to problem-solving is also being taught at leading universities across the world, including d.school, Stanford, Harvard and MIT.

According to d.school, there are five stages of Design Thinking model. These include Empathise, Define (the problem), Ideate, Prototype, and Test.

Empathise: The first stage defines to gain an empathic understanding of the problem both individuals and businesses are trying to solve. This comprises consulting experts to find out more about the area of concern through observing, engaging and empathizing with people to understand their experiences and motivations, along with immersing themselves in the physical environment so they can gain a deeper personal understanding of the issues involved.

Define (the Problem): In this stage, businesses put together the information they have created and collected during the Empathise stage. They then need to assess their observations and synthesise them in order to define the core problems that the company and the team have identified up to this point. The Define stage assists designers within an organization to glean ideas to establish features, functions, and any other elements that can permit them to solve the issues.

Ideate: In this stage, designers are ready to start generating ideas. With a robust understanding in the previous stages, team members in a company can start to think thoroughly and comprehensively to explore and leverage new solutions to the problem statement they have created and can start to look for alternative ways for the problem.

Prototype: This is the experimental phase where the ultimate goal is to identify the best possible solution for each of the problems identified in the previous three stages. The design team will now able to produce various inexpensive, scaled down versions of the product or specific features found within the product. They can investigate the problem solutions generated in the previous stage. Prototypes may be shared and tested within the team itself, or in other departments, or on a small group of people outside the design team. 

Test: In this final stage, designers or evaluators rigorously test the complete product using the best solutions identified during the prototyping phase. In an iterative process, the outcomes generated during the testing phase are often used to redefine one or more problems and inform the understanding of the users, the conditions of use, how people think, behave, and feel, and to empathise.

 

Future Scenario of Design Thinking Model

In general, design thinking helps people and businesses to observe and develop empathy with the target user. It also assists in the process of questioning problems, assumptions, and implications. In most businesses, public companies, healthcare and finance, among others, this model has taken off.

Unlike experienced designers, decision-makers in innovation teams are not often used to doing direct research with customers, getting deeply immersed in their perspectives, co-creating with stakeholders, and designing and executing experiments. In this context, structure and linearity can help managers to try and adapt to these new behaviors. The design thinking model will become a treasure for an organization when it is used as a tool to aid managers to craft the right questions for their customers, becoming able to solve problems effectively.