Design has always been viewed as the veneer of any product, the salt to taste, which evens out all the extremes. But there’s more to it and Steve Jobs rightly points it out, “‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
“Design isn’t finished until someone is using it,”- Brenda Laurel. This shift towards Design Thinking points to this essential difference. Any product is designed in alignment with the purpose for which it is designed and built. And more likely so, the novel approach of Design Thinking promises radical outcomes with the focal shift to customer needs.
With digital transformation doing the rounds, customer experience is becoming the focus like never before. Moreover, with Design Thinking there is a fundamental shift from a problem-centered approach to a human-centered approach of problem-solving, as there is a greater focus on customer experience.
Design Thinking is not problem-solving but a step towards problem-finding as the condition is best treated when the problem is identified. Design Thinking, Tim Brown, the CEO of IDEO says, “is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”
How Design Thinking Works?
This avant-garde methodology mainly works through a series of iterative steps, forming a loop. Following are the steps involved in design thinking:
The first step towards developing a product involves getting to know the real needs of the customer, observing the end-user and discovering the business problem. This should form the backbone for all your product development endeavors. Identifying the customer’s exigencies is the real win for business leaders embarked on fixing a gap in the market.
“A problem well-stated is a problem half-solved,” says Charles F. Kettering. Once the problem is identified, it needs to be well-defined, aligned with the customer. With this novel approach, designing is no more a designer’s business alone. Ignitho’s Design Thinking approach to speed and scale happens with a team ideating, brainstorming or mind-mapping about the discovered problem or customer need.
This step involves creating a working model, open to feedbacks, subject to change. Prototyping brings to the client, a close observer of user needs, an MVP of the final product which could then be improved. This speeds the development process while leaving also a scope for improvement and scaling.
To err is human, but it is always good to right the wrong. It is important to refine the design by continuously iterating, testing and integrating user feedback.
Implement & Scale
This forms the crucial part of the development, wherein the product is implemented and subjected to scale from an MVP to a large-scale product manufacturing.
Agile Design Thinking Applications
Many organizations are deploying Design Thinking to come up with better solutions. These organizations identify the three pillars of the Design Thinking methodology as Empathize, Ideate, and Experiment.
Design Thinking involves diverse empowered teams ideating and engaging in restless reinvention. This methodology in software development is closely aligned to the agile methodology wherein the project is split into several sprints and through the collaboration of stakeholders and continuous improvement and iteration, products are developed at speed and scale.
domains that have seen a predominance of design thinking methodology include:
Service and Experience design
4. Leadership and Organizational change
Driven by an urge to improve the customer experience, design thinking is out on a mission to identify a real-world problem and bringing about innovative ideas to drive past solutions that will have a real impact. With customer needs always changing, the ideas developed and executed are subject to change. Moreover, with prototyping taking center space in the development phenomenon, design thinking becomes a better and feasible development model.
The move from engineering-driven to design-driven and from product-centric to customer-centric development, this approach is thriving with the mission to entertain the customer and provide a better experience.
To make better business decisions, stay tuned for our follow-up blog on Root Cause Analysis.
Joseph brings a track record of nearly two decades of fast paced business growth in IT services across Europe, US, Middle East and Asia. His core expertise lies in successfully setting up and growing business in new geographies and service lines. Prior to Ignitho, Joseph was part of the core team that grew Mindtree in Europe, US and the Middle East by orchestrating multi-million dollar contracts as a strategic IT services partner for clients. He is also an early advocate of IT product start-ups and is a mentor at Startup Village in Kochi, India. As CEO, he drives Ignitho’s mission of igniting thought to accelerate customers into the digital economy and in building IP in digital software products.