You have probably heard about design-thinking, don’t you? Usually, a design process is considered as a specific activity related with creation of the external visualisation of anything – banner, house, clothes. What I’m talking about is the design thinking as a methodology for creative problem-solving.
If you look into the most remarkable breakthroughs in the recent 2 decades, they all came from the design-thinking approach. Even so popular right now the topic of Artificial Intelligence also connected to that, but it’s a different story.
Why do you need an innovative solution? Because this is a fundament of constant development (kaizen). Enquiring design-led mindset and creative approach help to innovate in the face of complexity.
How to do that? Initially, the model of design-thinking came from 1969, when text on design methods, “The Sciences of the Artificial,” Nobel Prize laureate Herbert Simon outlined one of the first formal models of the Design Thinking process. There are many variants of the Design Thinking process in use in the 21st century, and while they may have different numbers of stages ranging from three to seven, they are all based upon the same principles featured in Simon’s 1969 model.
Design-thinking applies the techniques form the world of design and shifts the focus to human behaviour. Founders and professors at D.school defined their mission as to “build on methods from across the field of design to create learning experiences that help people unlock their creative potential and apply it to the world,” and aim to instil the principles of design thinking in their students.
With design-thinking, you first discover the needs of people and then make a decision towards creating a solution. It leans on the natural human capability to be intuitive, find patterns and come up with the ideas, which are not only attractive but also functional.
Here are 5 essential stages of Design Thinking:
- Empathy. At this stage, you understand the human needs involved; the way they do things and why, their physical and emotional needs, how they think about the world, and what is meaningful to them.
- Define. You re-frame and define the problem in human-centric ways. You observe and ask questions. This is the chance to define the challenge you are taking on, based on what you have learned about your user and about the context.
- Ideate. At this stage, you are generating a lot of ideas during the ideation sessions. Mentally it represents a process of “going wide” in terms of concepts and outcomes. I
- Experiment or prototyping. Adopt a hands-on approach in prototyping. In these early stages, you create low-resolution prototypes that are quick and cheap to make (think minutes and cents) but can elicit useful feedback from users and colleagues.
- And finally, Test. The Test mode is when you solicit feedback, about the prototypes you have created, from your users and have another opportunity to gain empathy for the people you are designing for.
The stages of the design-thinking vary from 3 to 7, but you still go through Inspiration, Compiling the observation and synthesis, Forming the ideas/experimenting, and Implementation.
There are many other aspects of creative thinking, which we will talk about in my next articles. Don’t miss them and follow me, it’s going to be exciting and very useful.
For now, try it out with your team.