Design thinking: what it is and how to use it in your company

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Design thinking: what it is and how to use it in your company

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Have you heard of design thinking? This concept has been successful in the current market. The technique consists of understanding users’ needs, understanding problems, being empathetic with stakeholders and thinking about innovative solutions.

Usually, in the corporate context, companies use the design thinking to solve the most complex obstacles that are not solved with the basic information and procedures.

Therefore, the designers thinkers are triggered to achieve better results. However, it is not only in extreme cases that it can be an option for companies.

The differential of the methodology is that it can be used from the development of new products and services to the revision of internal processes of companies. For this reason, leaders have opted for design thinking.

In this article, we will talk about the benefits of the methodology and how you can use it in your company.

You will learn:

  • which is design thinking?;
  • who can use it ?;
  • what is the purpose of the methodology ?;
  • what are the benefits of implementing the design thinking?;
  • what are the main stages of the design thinking?;
  • how to use it in your company?

So, come on!

Which is design thinking?

THE design thinking is a methodology of Problem solving, based on the identification of users’ needs. Through technique, designers seek innovations to solve them, focusing on creativity and people.

But, how did this term come about? If we translate into London, it means “to think like a design” and this profession has an essential concern: to look beyond aesthetics, from the surface. That is, the designers’ way of thinking applies in business.

Thus, the main differential is that, before looking for the ideal solution, the design thinking deeply analyzes the source of the problem, not just the superficial. In this way, when developing the product, service or process to improve it, you will have acted at the root of the matter.

THE design thinking is a technique that believes that many people think better than just one, therefore, it must be performed as a team.

Another important point is the testing of ideas, which encourages the correction of errors before the arrival of the new product or service to the market.

Who can use it?

The basic concept of design thinking is that it is carried out in a collaborative and collective way, involving all the people who participate in the company’s creative process.

Although some companies offer dynamics of design thinking for corporate events, the methodology can and should be used to solve real problems and can be carried out by any team, as long as the steps are respected.

In addition, some courses available on the market prepare professionals to become experts in the subject. Some companies even have a team focused only on the design thinking.

Another positive point for the technique is that it can be used by all sectors of the market, from the industry to the provision of services, since it is based on the solution of problems.

What is the purpose of the methodology?

THE design thinking it is mainly used by managers in situations that demand a quick and effective resolution of problems. Often, the leadership chooses the methodology only when it is having difficulty in solving a certain case.

However, the ideal is that it is soon the first option for the construction of the innovation that will result exactly in the expectations of the customer.

The difference is exactly bringing together the ideas of the whole team, focusing only on the specific need and what people really need.

What many leaders have yet to understand is that the design thinking it can also be the simplest way to solve daily challenges. So, making it a basic process that is part of the company’s routine is a good choice.

What are the benefits of implementing the design thinking?

The creation of an ineffective product, service or system can be costly for companies, because in addition to wasting time and money, the company’s credibility may be at stake.

Customers are waiting for news, including, this is one of the main characteristics of the new generation.

Bet on design thinking will bring a very high cost-benefit ratio, since innovations will be developed based on a real need for target Audience. There will be greater effectiveness and assertiveness, improving the results of all sectors.

When we talk about human resources management, the methodology is an important tool to stimulate creativity and innovation. Because, on a daily basis, employees will be challenged to use their full potential to devise new projects.

Furthermore, teamwork tends to improve empathy among participants, because, when suggesting ideas, each individual to become familiar with the reality of the other. When thinking of solutions together, everyone feels part of the resolution.

In this article of our blog, we talked a little more about the benefits of feeling of belonging.

What are the main stages of the design thinking?

There is no solution without understanding the problem. Therefore, it is necessary, first of all, to define the strategic challenge. To solve it, the team of design thinking you need to follow some well-determined phases in order to find the best solutions. These steps are:

1. Understand

Before starting to identify the causes of the problem, put everything you already know about the challenge you need to solve in a visible place.

It is time to analyze the problem, so the entire team needs to have access to this material, thus facilitating the processes that will come next. The first step in the methodology is to understand who the customer is and what the public needs.

For that, it is essential to define who is the target of innovation and, from there, listen to it and observe it.

2. Observe

Often, when talking to a consumer, he will say that he does not see any problems with that product. However, when observing it, it may be possible to identify some difficulty that you unconsciously face, for example, to open a package.

Thus, it is not enough to just ask, it is necessary to go to the field to see how that particular audience behaves in relation to that product, service or system, which needs to be improved.

Also in this item, analyze the entire market and what is the reality of the competition, what type of product or service is already saturated and what may be missing.

After this process, it will be much easier to identify which points are essential for the innovative solution you are looking for. By clearly defining the strategic challenge, it is time to think about how to solve it.

3. Create

This is one of the most important steps in the design thinking. With all the information in hand, the team must meet to carry out the brainstorming, from English, storm of ideas.

Knowing the problem you need to solve, it’s time to have ideas on how to solve it.

This meeting, which can be held in person or on online platforms, aims to gather as many ideas as possible. Thus, spontaneously, each member of the team can present their solutions.

It is important to emphasize that there is no limit to the number of ideas during a brainstorming. The more the better. If you are leading the meeting, avoid judgment, as the best solutions may come from the most unlikely ideas.

List these insights presented by the team in a visible place (it can be a picture on the wall or an online presentation), as it will be possible to clearly see the opportunities found.

This step can also be called ideation. Because, through the ideas, the solution for a certain strategic challenge will be conceived.

4. Prototyping and testing

With the best idea chosen, it’s time to make the solution a reality, that is, create a new product, service or system. At this stage of design thinking, you should test how your audience will be receptive.

Depending on what your strategic challenge is, you will make a model of the product or stage how the new service process of a company would be, with the team members.

From the testing, the team will understand whether or not the solution met the needs of the target audience, that is, if the problem was solved.

5 – Implement

If the test with the prototype was positive, it is time to launch the innovation to the public. It is worth noting that every creation can be updated and improved over time. Therefore, always try to listen to users in order to make these improvements.

How to use it in your company?

As we have already said, there is no rule for the use of design thinking. The basic premise for the methodology is the existence of a strategic challenge. So look for opportunities in your company to apply it.

If your team is not used to developing solutions together, start small, choosing one or another more strategic opportunity for the company.

More than a way to develop new products, The design thinking it is an innovation methodology, which must be explored by management in order to obtain better results with its employees, customers and stakeholders.

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