You've probably heard about how awesome Design Thinking is and how it's key to succeed and create innovative solutions. But... do you know what it really is? Let's let this guy explain it to you.
This guy is Tim Brown, president and CEO of IDEO and one of the most relevant figures in Design Thinking. Tim defines Design Thinking as:
"a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”
Let's break this down to better understand what Design Thinking is about:
Teams focus on finding solutions by understanding and emphasizing with the users. Products/services/experiences are created based on the user's desires, pain points, challenges, assumptions and needs. That's why in a DT process teams use several techniques to emphasize with the user, which is key for problem definition and the creation of strategies and solutions.
Design Thinking isn't suitable for every problem or solution. It's useful when the objective is to create an innovative solution, by this I'm talking about a solution that features new methods and ideas and solves a problem creatively. So, using the Design Thinking methodology will work if you're trying to solve a problem that isn't solved, or that can be solved in a better (and innovative) way.
From the designers toolkit
The Design Thinking methodology suggests a process and a stack of tools teams can use at different steps of the process. The tools are techniques that gather insights & feedback. They help teams understanding better everything around the product they're building, which will lead them to better decisions.
To integrate the needs of people
Yep! The first step of the process (though it's not a non-linear iterative process, we'll talk about it in another post) is to emphasize and define the problem based on users. Remember the first part of the definition's break down? HUMAN-CENTERED problems!
The possibilities of technology
Sure, time machines would solve lots of our problems. But Design Thinking is centered on achievable objectives. It's an iterative process, so your product may be also improving next to tech. So, step-by-step, let's build a time machine!
The requirements for business success.
Human-centered sounds beautiful, but business-success is also indispensable, and it's most of the times the greatest motor of projects. So, it's key to find solutions that balance user needs and business needs.
Sounds Fantastic! But... is it Just Another Marketing Buzzword?
We promise it's not :) We strongly recommend using the Design Thinking methodology with an Agile and Lean perspective, which will definitely lead to faster innovation, better possibilities of success and results. Why? Because the techniques Design Thinking teams employ are centered on understanding real problems and finding the best possible solutions. It's not about assuming, it's about taking human-based decisions. This increases significantly the chances of succeeding, or at least, helps you realize rapidly if your focus is wrong and your product is destined to fail.
Stay tuned! Soon we'll be writing about the Design Thinking process :)