What is design thinking?
Design thinking is an method of understanding, developing and testing solutions to problems.
Like a lot of the other tools and methods we are looking at here at think:digital, design thinking is an iterative process meaning an end goal is reached by creating ideas and building upon them in a cycle. This frees up our thinking from getting blocked by getting things wrong. We learn each time we complete a cycle and build upon that. The real value is in the learning we get from an idea rather than the idea itself.
Focus on the user
The first step of design thinking is to focus on the user. In our case the user is varied and can be a customer, non-customer, colleague or a member.
We are looking to gain an empathetic understanding of that user and a deep understanding of there needs and what they are trying to achieve. Once we understand the customer we then define that customer’s needs into a problem statement. We use the image below a lot to show the process of building and condensing information which is key to this method.
Once we have defined and articulated our customer needs we look at how we can Think 10x. Thinking 10x refers to thinking big, imagine difference between an idea with a result 10% extra and a result 10 times that. We use different ideation techniques and build on ideas to come up with big solutions we would not necessarily think of independently.
Prototyping and Testing
We then move on to creating prototypes and testing. Having a physical end product allows you to test thoroughly and understand how and idea works. Often at this stage the prototype may fail, which is great! A failed prototype may have previously resulted in a project that took the business a lot of time and money to develop. When a prototype does not work it creates a learning be fed back into the start of the design process and will ultimately benefit from the deeper knowledge.
Learning about Design thinking
To share the findings on design thinking with the team we decided to default to action with some hands on sessions. We were joined by our new associates Jen Chance, Nicola Thomas and Rebecca Haskett. In the session we designed a personalised gift for our selected think:digital partner by understanding them on a empathetic level, gaining feedback on half formed ideas and creating a working prototype. Please see the photos below of some of the masterpieces!The gallery was not found!