We are regularly faced with many clients that have issues they don’t seem to be able to fix, such as people not understanding how to use their product correctly, how to appear as leaders in their industry and how to highlight a wide range of products when they are known for a select few items. With all these challenges coming in, we often go through the Design Thinking process to solve the problem, which we find is one of the best ways to go from challenge to idea in a few easy steps that are outlined below.
If the only important thing about design is how it relates to people, Design Thinking is the method of understanding how your customers interact with your product and service and how to alter this to deliver a better experience. In order to begin the Design Thinking process, we’ve outlined the five steps that Tim Brown, CEO of Design Thinking firm IDEO recommends:
The work you do to further understand the people, their needs, challenges and beliefs about the world and your product. This can be done through listening, interviewing, watching and engaging with your customers and the world around you.
In order to get to the right solution, you need to define the challenge you have been given, based on what you have learnt in the Empathise step.
Begin to concentrate on idea generation to maximise your innovation potential. Start using trusted techniques such as brainstorming, mind-mapping and sketching to build rough ideas that can help to solve your issue. Have a pack of Post-It notes on hand to write down all your ideas and how the journey customer goes on to use your product to discover more ideas.
Start having fun and creating rough prototypes of your product or service. What are the key things you want your customer to feel, to experience, to see and what are the best ways to make this happen. Don’t spend too much time on your prototypes or you will get too attached and those focus on the end goal.
Put your idea or product to the test by asking an individual who is uninvolved in the process to complete the desired task without any additional prompts.
Note how they use the item, how they interact with it and then listen to what they say and felt about the process.
Repeat the process until your understandings of your customer and your ideas are inline and you’ve come up with a new product or service born from Design Thinking!