What’s your [customers’] problem?

Design Thinking is a hype. There is nothing wrong with that though. The popularity helps to break up existing structures and make space for new ways of thinking.

Post-it frenzy vs. a meaningful design thinking definition.
5-step design thinking approach.

Empathize

The strong emphasis on empathy and people-centered work is an enrichment to the widespread prevalent economic and technical feasibility studies when looking for strategizing input.

Empathy: Strategizing based on a deep understanding of customers’ (future) needs.

Understanding people’s problems and needs opens up an infinite solutions space.

So start asking and having a conversation with your customers about what they are concerned about and what they need. By doing so, we understand what the digital business strategy should aim for. Just to be clear, we do not ask customers about how they like something to be, we merely want to understand their problems. Understanding people’s problems and needs opens up an infinite solutions space, which means that we are no longer preemptively limited by existing solutions.


Define

As mentioned before, understanding the problem and not hastily jumping to solutions, is at the core of developing a solid digital business strategy.

Iterative approach: Each individual block builds on each other to reach target picture.

Ideate

Design Thinking ideation sessions are more effective: we are drawing on a well-founded knowledge base (empathize and define phase).

Co-creation in interdisciplinary teams produces better solutions.

Prototype

Low resolution = high impact: Great gains in knowledge can already be achieved with very simple prototypes. This not only holds true for usability tests of actual products or services with customers, but also for prototyping concepts.

Love it, leave it, change it.

Test

Always strive to solve a real problem and do it in iterative loops: with the findings during the test phase, it may not only be necessary to refine the prototype, but also to move back to the “define” phase. It’s like playing snakes and ladders. But think about it, the sooner a strategy is tested, the sooner the right course can be set.

Keep iterating.

It is all about strategizing and not so much about strategy.

This post reflects my current view on the topic. I hope that with new projects this view will become clearer and I will eventually get wiser over the course of the next months. Please help me getting smarter and leave your comment.



Hinderling Volkart

Hinderling Volkart creates outstanding web experiences, business portals, corporate platforms and digital products. In this publication, the folks at the agency share their thoughts and ideas about Design, Code, Tech, UX and anything related or perhaps unrelated to the industry.

Ruben Wegmann

Written by

Digital strategy consultant @hinderlingvolkart.com, design thinker, strategist, start upper, cyclist, freerider, keen gardener & vanlife adventourist.

Hinderling Volkart

Hinderling Volkart creates outstanding web experiences, business portals, corporate platforms and digital products. In this publication, the folks at the agency share their thoughts and ideas about Design, Code, Tech, UX and anything related or perhaps unrelated to the industry.