Every successful business is making billions of dollars in profit by integrating “design thinking” into their processes.
Understanding the customer’s profile is a very important part of making a product or service. Understanding the customer’s thought process, behavior, and the steps taken before making a purchase decision can help create more assertive, attractive business offers and increase the probability of closing the deal. Approaches like Design Thinking help in building a relationship between a client and a brand while imparting a culture of innovation and offering value to companies.
Regardless of the type of business offer made, it is vital to consider the changes that happened during the user’s purchase journey, which technological changes have influenced. Nowadays, the experience has become more virtual than physical. With just a fingertip touch on their smartphones, consumers can research brands, analyze and compare offers, view tutorials, read reviews of other users who have used the product or service, etc. Let’s discuss the importance of design thinking in product and service design.
How does the Design Thinking approach help in creating assertive products and service design?
Design thinking is a user-centric approach that is suitable for companies looking to develop products and services for new user profiles without consideration of the market in which they run their operations. The design thinking approach offers a way to gauge user needs via immersion, ideation, and prototyping. It places customers at the center of every strategy without ignoring innovation and empathy, which are vital for creating personas.
Having this information is critical to viewing the world from the customer’s perspective and defining the purview of the project to be built, which will look to promote upgrades or find a solution to an issue in the purchase journey. In addition, the creation and analysis of personas offers business insights that lead to a more decisive prototyping process.
Principles of design thinking
The 5 principles of design thinking include,
1. User-centricity & empathy
Design thinking is mostly about creating solutions that respond to user needs and feedback. People are the drivers of innovation, not technology, so a vital part of the process includes thinking like a user, developing genuine empathy, and building products and services based on this mindset.
Design thinking aims to combine a diverse range of ideas and perspectives. It is the primary contributor to innovation. Design thinking also encourages collaboration between teams that are from different fields and don’t usually work together.
Design thinking is a solution-driven approach, so the focus is on generating as many ideas and probable solutions as possible. The steps of ideation include the core design thinking principle and the design thinking process. It is a designated no-judgment zone where participating members are encouraged to focus on the number of ideas instead of the quality of those ideas.
4. Experimentation & iteration
Just having a bunch of ideas is not enough. You must work towards converting these ideas into prototypes, testing them, and making changes based on user feedback. Design thinking is an iterative method. Hence, be ready to repeat specific steps in the product or service development process as you discover flaws and shortfalls in the prototype versions of your proposed solution.
5. Get ready for action
Design thinking is a hands-on approach to solving problems that requires more action and less discussion. Rather than hypothesizing about your users’ needs, design thinking encourages you to branch out and engage with users in a face-to-face manner. Instead of talking about possible solutions, you’ll transform them into tangible prototypes and test them in the real world.
Use Case of Design Thinking in Product and Service Design
Let’s consider the example of Project Bloks, a Google project that assists kids in learning how to code.
Learning how to write code enables kids to create new stuff, interact with their environment, and utilize their imaginations. Google’s Project Bloks is an interactive learning experience that teaches kids how to experiment with different codes using physical blocks. It makes computer programming more educational, fun, and tangible.
To develop Project Bloks, Google Creative Lab partnered with IDEO to understand how kids physically learn and play. They utilized materials such as foam core, play-doh, paper, and 3D-printed models to discover what made kids curious and engaged. The team’s child-centered approach made them realize that most kids develop skills through physical building. Therefore, they finally made a decision to create a bunch of blocks with different shapes and functions, which children can combine to create various commands and patterns.
Design thinking is a systematic approach to developing products and services that focuses on the user, and everything is built around the user. Using design thinking early on in the process of making a product or service will put the rest of the pieces in place and give you a competitive edge in the world of consumers, which is always changing.