Response to Design Thinking

Response to Design Thinking

User-centered design is much more than making products look attractive because it focuses technology innovations towards the core of every idea and combines creativity with efficiency and usability. The core of new technology innovations is the users’ requirements and experiences. A designer cannot just add some pizzazz onto an old merchandise and call it a day. Tim Brown of IDEO emphasize visualizing how consumers will interact with the product and directing the design and production progress with the user at every step. The designer must research and understand the user’s feelings about the product from first step all the way till the product is packaged and sold. Tim brown states that the three important stages of development include inspirations, ideation, and implementation.

The development is not only imaginative but strategic because learning about weakness and strengths using prototypes will lead to new directions (Tim Brown, Page 90) An example of how IDEO’s process shifted the direction of a product is the case of Shimano’s high-end bikes. The company’s growth decreased dramatically in the U.S and Shimano wanted to find the reason and a solution to their problems. During the inspiration stage the IDEO team had figured out that adult Americans fear cycling even though they enjoyed it as kids. Understanding this insight helped the team separate themselves from people’s perception of a black turtle neck designer. They found an untapped market for Shimano and the solution was for Shimano to create a new category in order to spark fun childhood memories and erase fear. The design team couldn’t have found this new direction if they had not used human-centered research.

From the shopping cart redesign video, the project team included scientist from all background without hierarchy. Everyone was involved and necessary in the creative process because IDEO focus on building from the ideas of each teammates. They decided to find the “real experts” because it was much faster than learning about the cart by themselves. (Shopping Cart Video) A parent customer stated, “the seat has to be redesigned” because he did not feel safe putting his child onto the cart. Right away the team found that safety and theft were the key issues. They wanted an idea that is cool but also one that could be created within the timeline. Everyone was encouraged by the boss to fail often and as the designers worked they had the user’s need in mind. This lead to the creation of four types of carts: one with hand baskets, one with scanner on the handle, one with child safety was priority, and one that allows consumers to talk to store employees. Each design incorporated a customer’s need and none of ideas were adding just visual elements to the product. The redesigns changed the original shopping cart and were innovative. For the final product, the team took the greatest elements of each of the four designs to create something ground-breaking.