One of the proven methods for business growth is, undoubtedly, design thinking. And our experience confirms this even more and we wanted to share our knowledge.
Design thinking as a method that solves complex problems and boosts innovation within the company. This method helps companies learn the needs of their customers and create value from these insights. However, the real challenge here is putting people in a creative setting and initiating their collaboration — through the process of empathy, define, create, prototype and test.
The first stage of the DT process means that for creating an ideal solution for the problem, it is a must to engage with people from different backgrounds and perspectives. As long as you work constructively and respectfully with them they are more likely to open up to you about their problems. This is called empathy.
In the next stages, defining and ideation, the engaged people are put together in a creative setting to create and develop new ideas to answer a certain problem. The ideas are transformed into prototypes which are being tested and after that modified, according to the test results.
Why should you use design thinking?
There are many advantages that come out as a result of using design thinking. Since it’s a human-centric approach it promotes the flow of ideas and the exchange of information among everyone involved (ex.customers, employees, partners).
Due to it’s systematic approach to problem-solving and developing solutions, design thinking facilitates professional flexibility and the ability to compromise.
Using this approach also means a financial improvement for the company. On one side it is cost-saving since when you are testing you don’t throw all your budget on something risky and unproven. In return, you get meaningful feedback for your product or service that can be implemented in the product/service itself.
On the other hand, developing solutions that directly solve the particular problem you get increased revenue streams. Every customer that gets a direct solution to a certain problem, without a doubt it’s going to spend his money on it. This way you also gain customer loyalty and a lot of opportunities to upgrade the existing solution in the future.
Another critical component of the entire process is to learn from failures. Even the best and most successful companies are able to quickly identify failing products, learn from their past mistakes and move on with the future of their business. This alone could be enough to give you the edge over your competition and solidify your reputation as an industry leader.
How to start using design thinking?
For starters, you should identify and understand the problem, why its happening, where and how. Analyze the collected data carefully, spent time with your customers and employees, ask questions relevant to the problem, listen when they talk, try to build connections that can help you and create a long-term loyalty with your customers.
After the identification and understanding the problem, it’s time to develop solutions that will answer it. The most convenient approach for this matter is the lean start-up approach: create a prototype, test it, improve it, test it again and make it better again.
In this cycle you will always know the obstacles your customers are facing and also you will save a bunch of money, that is usually spent on launched products where it’s even more expensive to improve them.
However, for a successful design thinking you need a cultural transformation. The companies that are aware of this, they have dedicated a space inside the company for teams to do this creative and risky work. Even they encourage, from time to time, to break the rules a little bit so they can let out the creative spirit.