Response to Design Thinking

Traditionally, people tend to view designers as the “wrapper” of a product: designers take over a relatively mature product and wrap it up to make it attractive. The work designers did are rarely considered as innovative.

However, in the Design Thinking, the author used several examples to reexamine the roles designers played in the product development process and introduced the idea of design thinking. User-centered design(HCD), the design that focuses on user’s need, can make a real impact in the innovation process. In the Bank of America’s rounding-up change service example presented in the article, designers successfully observed the routine behavior of people saving changes from shopping and summarized it into a psychology pattern. What people enjoyed in this process is the satisfaction they gained from “saving” the money By integrating this pattern into a “Keep the Change” service of people’s debit card account, this design enables Bank of America to profit much. Examples like these are centered around people. And therefore, the methodology behind HCD inherently became a extremely useful tool in the innovation and creation process. HCD allows us to think problems from a human-centered angle and come up with targeted solutions.

But being engaged through HCD methodology in the innovating process does not mean designers should not consider the aesthetic aspect of a product. Rather, a responsible designer should be able to apply design thinking in both the development and the “wrapping” process. Only products possessing both functionality and aesthetics can be called good products. Like illustrated in the article, functionally speaking, iPod is not rather innovative considering there are already a variety of MP3s existing in the market. But its design makes it the very first MP3 that can make users feel “delightful”, hence the huge success it gained.

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