Core Principles Of Design Thinking

Leverage a problem-solving approach to create paradigm solutions for improved products and services that get your business closer to your customers.

Traditionally businesses would focus on enhancing the functionality and looks of their product to improve sales. However, this approach is fast changing, and enhancements are not just about aesthetics.

Businesses today want meaningful relations with their customers. Therefore, they consistently seek consumer feedback, leveraging design methodologies to create entire systems to deliver products and services and help businesses to achieve their objectives.

As a result, organizations are under constant pressure to innovate. Industries across sectors want actionable, practical, and innovative solutions that meet their needs. Uber is an excellent example of disruptive innovation that has improved the process of hailing a taxi, giving the company its competitive edge.

But it doesn’t end here. Game changers like Uber and Airbnb face the challenge of continuous innovation to sustain or further their ranking in their respective markets. Innovation can’t be a one-time event; it must be part of the company’s work culture. That’s where design thinking step in.

What is design thinking?

Design thinking originated as a human centered way of teaching engineers a creative approach to problem-solving as designers do. The concept began to gain popularity through the 80s and 90s. By 2005, the Stanford started teaching design thinking as an approach to technical and social innovation.

Design thinking combines an ideology and an iterative process that considers multiple factors to solve complex problems in a human centered way.

It involves using both the left brain (logic) and the right brain (creativity) to find connections for problem identification, ideation, and innovative solutions that are:

  • Attainable: They can be practically developed into functional products or processes.
  • Desirable: They satisfy a genuine customer need or expectation.
  • Sustainable: They can be implemented over a continued period.
  • Cross-domain: Design inspirations from other domains can be applied in the relevant context.

The need for design thinking for product and platform engineering today

Design thinking aims to transform ideas into actual, verifiable products or processes in a cost and time-efficient manner by leveraging information architecture, branding standards, wireframes, visual mocks, user journey & interaction design, etc.

Let’s understand the role of design thinking from the point of view supporting everyday processes.

Enables user-friendly engagement

Design thinking can be significantly attributed to the rising complexity of modern technology and business, which can take many forms. As a result, people want their interactions with technologies such as web, mobile, kiosk, TV, etc., and other complex systems to be simple and intuitive as they engage with their complex business scenarios.

Sometimes the software, which lies at the heart of the product, needs to be integrated with hardware. While already a complex task, the integration should be intuitive and user-friendly, presenting another challenge.

Sometimes, the problem may be compounded even further. For example, reinventing a health care delivery system. In other instances, the volatile business environment may require a business to experiment with multiple options to stay relevant.

Promotes user-centric approach to problem-solving

Design thinking enables developers and designers to understand their target users’ problems. Usability research and analysis reports help design decisions for different customer-facing solutions’ interfaces.

By implementing a user-centric approach and focusing on human interaction, businesses can leverage design thinking techniques and structured processes that facilitate potential solutions, creative confidence, and idea generation to solve problems.

Supports business systems across different sectors

The design thinking principles apply in diverse fields, including healthcare, which follows a more conservative approach.

For example, Kaiser Permanente used design thinking when working with nurses in patient care to overhaul how nurses change their shifts. The process helped lower errors while transferring information, boosting patient safety, care, and confidence. Here design thinking focused on the services rather than the tools.

Similar to the healthcare sector, not just products and services but entire business systems can be developed through the lens of design thinking.

Helps solve complex problems

Design thinking leverages creativity and structure to solve complex problems. For example, Google uses a design thinking approach to nurture a culture of innovation. Teams develop new ideas and test them creatively and constructively, such as enabling internet access to remote communities.

Creates innovative products & supports differentiation

Design thinking helps develop an understanding of the consumer expectations of a product or service and the infrastructure that enables it. For instance, service innovations – supported by design thinking – like the current e-tailing wave have taken service design to another level. 

The value of design thinking methodology can be harnessed by understanding people and user behavior. It facilitates high-impact solutions at the grassroots level, rather than superficially, leading to more relevant products to the markets faster.

Supports business growth

Design thinking facilitates ideas and practical solutions that can be implemented into the product development process until you have built a robust product that delivers on customer requirements and set it up with a solid market placement. 

In addition, it enables you to get ahead of the competition and grow your business. By ignoring design thinking, you could waste costly resources in creating products or platforms that don’t effectively deliver the solutions your customers require.

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