12 June 2020 Learn how to benefit from Design Thinking
Valuable lessons are learned by looking at areas that require creativity and a good deal of inventiveness in the performance of their activities. Design by its very nature is a practice totally linked to these two conducts, so its understanding and the way the disruptive mind of its professionals works has inspired the elaboration of an innovative approach applicable to several areas: design thinking.
What is Design Thinking?
It is important to start by explaining that design thinking is not a methodology, but an approach perfectly applicable to several areas, and that it was inspired by the creative way in which professionals who develop products usually act in search of their creative overcoming, and of problems encountered in the that process.
Thinking within the design thinking approach requires adopting an empathic stance, that is, one where you put yourself in the place of the various stakeholders in the process, contemplating the participation of each one and the benefits arising from the partnerships established. This approach humanizes the process as a whole, by removing the focus given only to the final consumer, and including in the development of the idea the way the partners will be contemplated and benefited.
The best way to implement design thinking is with the participation of professionals from the different areas involved, who can give their opinions within their specialties on the solutions found for the problems and questions that will be raised, in a brainstorm exercise.
Therefore, when finding a problem, a free multidisciplinary team would be set up to map and contribute with their specialized view on ways to get around adversity, or even achieve some expected result. Obviously, the end result that is sought is to serve the final consumer in their specificities and demands. But during the process that is being followed to reach this path, the others involved are truly contemplated so that they also benefit from the actions that will be implemented. Thus, both parties are served: internal and external customers.
I suggest below some steps to better guide on the applicability of design thinking.
- The exercise of knowing yourself as well as the competition:
In this first approach via design thinking, it is suggested that a survey be made of the strengths and weaknesses of the idea or product that are wished to be improved. Knowing in depth qualities and defects is essential to be able to visualize the points that require more attention and those that can be better used.
However, to be able to innovate in the proposal, it is essential to know how the competitors are positioning themselves and in what points they managed to advance beyond their proposal. When thinking about dominating the market, it is necessary to seek as much useful information as possible to nourish the creative process. Assessing in depth what is being done will help to think of ways to excel. SWOT analysis, benchmarking and others can help you in this process of discovering.
- Get support from researches
Action that stems from the first tip, investing in research to better understand the ways to innovate and show how differentiated in the market are of fundamental importance. And they will contribute to the next step, which is the idealization of the product or service.
- Idealization of the product or service
In this stage, design thinking takes shape because it is when the idea starts to leave the paper and to become a reality, supported by the reflections and research carried out previously. It is important to understand at this stage how each of the stakeholders is impacted, how to make this relationship have the necessary synergy to prosper and thus meet the expectations of the public that is intended to be impacted. In this phase of extreme use of creativity, ideas for various types of products or services may arise.
- Prototype testing
It is a mistake to think that a product launch is only made when it is in its perfect and flawless form. In fact, the industry, mainly the technological one, has been working with the launch of prototypes that are improved through its use. Smartphones are a classic example of this, and their updates in successive versions show us this practice.
We invest in what is called the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which is the simplest version of the product and can be launched as a test, without being linked to gains, but to the perception of the user as to its usefulness and opinions about possible improvements.
- The official launch
With the results of the tests done in the MVP version, it is time to make the official launch of the product, in its most complete form. This means that from then on, all attention will be focused on its continuous improvement, supported by the initial team formed by the internal public and the stakeholders. One thing is certain, when it comes to innovative solutions, this improvement must be constant.