You have probably heard about this before, but what exactly is Design Thinking?
Contrary to popular belief, design thinking is not related to design. There are 2 ways to view Design Thinking:
The first way is see it as a mindset, or an ideology, where you approach each problem from a user-centered perspective.
The second way is a six-steps process that helps us practice this ideology of user-centered design.
Why should we practice Design Thinking?
The whole idea of design thinking is to help translate ideas into solutions. Then, these solutions will lead to innovations and those innovations will result in a competitive advantage.
It’s about helping people and companies to think differently: to create a strategic vision centred around user necessities and their impact.
The concept of Design Thinking sounds great, but is not easy to introduce this mindset in a company.
How do we apply Design Thinking?
As we mentioned before, there is a six-steps process to use this methodology in practice:
1) Empathize with your users
2) Define the real problems
3) Ideate possible solutions
4) Prototype your ideas
5) Test them with your target users
6) Implement your idea
Although this process is presented as a linear process, it should be practiced dynamically. This means you need to adapt these steps throughout your process, based on the things you run into and need.
Our field has so many terms and processes already, so you may ask yourself:
Why should we introduce a new process?
The benefits of Design Thinking reach far beyond the process itself.
Design Thinking allows you to keep consulting tools such as persona’s prototypes or user journey maps throughout your process. You can always return to these tools to make sure you have a good understanding of your users and so you remember to prioritize your initiatives based on your user’s needs and wishes.
Also, Design Thinking is a great way to foster the collaboration between different people on different teams.
The next time you have to solve complex problems, prioritize initiatives, create a new product from scratch or maybe improve the user experience in a flow or process, remember that design thinking is the best way to keep the user at the center of each decision you make.