The 3-Minute Guide to Design Thinking

  • Moritz Avenarius
  • October 22, 2020

Customer demands require innovative solutions. Innovation can be achieved by using trial and error methods on prototypes and via design thinking—a more structured approach that enables you to send your best creative team on an expedition to develop new products and services that are in high demand.

Your innovation must be noticeable. But you can never expect your customers to tell you what they want directly. You must ask them indirectly by constructing a prototype of your product idea that is tangible, but not perfect.

Design thinking is one of the most popular innovation theories. But what makes it unique? The answer lies in your organization's peopleprocesses, and purpose.

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People 
This part encourages organizations to give their workers more freedom, which in turn generates creative and solution-oriented operations within a diverse, five to seven person team. These teams benefit from the freedom given to them by the management, so they can experiment with new ideas without fear of failure. This framework can unleash the creative potential necessary to develop innovative products and services that match the desires of the customer and give the company a relative advantage over its competitors. At the same time, it makes the workplace enjoyable. However, creative members of the team should be counterbalanced with critical thinkers and benefit from an external observer.

Process 
In addition to a focus on its people, design thinking entails a disciplined and well-structured process. It's all about results—hence, the term Timeboxing. This means that despite different views and perspectives on certain topics, you are expected to meet deadlines and deliver on time. Therefore, teams benefit from an experienced moderator that can motivate and challenge them.

Purpose 
It is also crucial to know what your customer wants. You are encouraged to think like your customer. Who are they and what needs and requirements can your product or service fulfill?

Your innovation must be noticeable. But you can never expect your customers to tell you what they want directly. You must ask them indirectly by constructing a prototype of your product idea that is tangible, but not perfect. You must create room for feedback and an exchange of ideas. While testing the product, the customer might suggest possible improvements for further development of the prototype. It’s not the initial product idea that’s important but the ability to present the customer with exactly what they want when you deliver the end result.

The customer must say “wow, that’s exactly what I needed!” And if they don’t, the product is not finished yet.