Design Thinking for Competitive Advantage
The last few years have seen a paradigm shift in consumer behaviour. Many more companies have started focusing on design, changing the way they think about their products. For example, smartphones used to be features and function led — it has this processor, this much memory, etc. — whereas now it’s all about the customer’s lifestyle and her experience. And as products become more complex, what’s very interesting is that consumers are demanding more and more simplicity in every aspect of their experience with products and services.
Consumer expectations — and the fact that smartphones have become the primary channel for brand engagement — put the burden of user experience squarely on software companies.
Design thinking — inherently optimistic, constructive, and experiential — addresses the needs of the people who will consume a product or service and the infrastructure that enables it.
Businesses are embracing design thinking because it helps them be more innovative, better differentiate their brands, and bring their products and services to market faster.
By working closely with the clients and consumers, design thinking allows high-impact solutions to bubble up from below rather than being imposed from the top.
“Design thinking can be described as a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.”
Without Design Thinking, enterprises are really just retrofitting expensive solutions into legacy processes and likely wasting a whole load of time, resources and money. Design Thinking is helping several relationships inject lateral thinking to explore newer, more customer-driven alternatives and getting people to design solutions ‘outside of their own heads’, not only in the customer-facing front office, but also in the back office operational functions. Design Thinking in services is based, primarily, on both service buyer and provider coming together to create business outcomes that are mutually beneficial — and motivational — for both parties.
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