Design Thinking; Make it Work for You.
For successful design and successful business there must be a need for a product, service, or change. To understand the need for a product or service, creatives using design thinking must empathize with their target audience. As the d.school bootcamp bootleg says “The problems you are trying to solve are rarely your own…”.
To actually accomplish good design, one must identify a need and work towards four things; discovering if people are aware of their need, efforts towards innovation, identifying users, and discovering the emotional impact that will guide ones user to the design.
Steve Jobs’ largest triumph with Apple, Inc. wasn’t that he created the iPod, iPhone or Macbook, but rather that he understood and created in people the need and desire for a new product and desire to change the status quo.
Designers and business professionals alike will often have to define, and redefine their problems and point of views. By continually redefining a problem you might find focus, inspire continuous work among your team, and continue to find new insights that inspire greater design thinking.
Ideo’s video on Design Thinking (linked below) says that a design must first be desirable (understood through empathizing), viable (understood through defining a problem that can be solved), and feasible (where a solution can be thought through and enacted). That does not limit a designer or business professional to only one solution but the possibility to find many solutions.
Ideation is the time to think outside the box, work as a team and collect different points of view, explore unexpected brain waves, and find not only the right solution, but an innovative one.
Steve Jobs (while seen as the flagship creator of the iPod) was not the only man in the room when it went from idea to product. Without input from his team, your iPhone, iPod, and any other device you use today would have been dramatically different.
Prototyping is another reason the iPod became a success. That sleek design, seemless user interface, and cool color scheme did not happen on the first attempt.
Many inventors find that building a physical object is the best way to explore the design, far better than pen and paper. It makes R&D physical and simply looking at a physical device can prove inspiring.
Protoyping can also lead designers to pretty obvious design flaws quickly and cheaply. It’s worth the time and energy to prototype a product or service if it obviously doesn’t work and the team needs to return to ideation before more money is invested in mass production.
Similarly to protoyping is testing. Testing is a great opportunity to go beyond your own team and get feedback from others. Return to the drawing board time and time again to refine and, if need be, start again.
Testing can be both fruitful and yeild unexpected (sometimes unlooked for) results. It might set you back. But it will also help redefine your goals with the product or service, and in the end great a better end result.