1. DESIGN THINKING FOCUSES ON THE END USER
Design Thinking is an approach to solving problems that puts end users at the center of the process. The goal is to develop useful products and solutions that fit the needs of the user, not the other way around. The process is inherently human-centered, getting close enough to the user to see where their frustrations lie and how we can make their lives and experiences better and more fulfilling.
2. DESIGN THINKING LEVERAGES COLLECTIVE EXPERTISE
By building multidisciplinary teams and bringing many voices to the table, we break out of our respective fields and boxes to leverage our collective wisdom, experience and expertise. Who knows what the healthcare realm has to learn from the humanities? We get out of our camps to bring a multitude of skills and philosophies to the table.
3. DESIGN THINKING EMPLOYS EMPATHY
The very foundation of Design Thinking is empathy. Sometimes referred to as “discovery” or “understanding,” depending on the explanation, empathy requires that we seek to understand and identify with the needs and challenges of the people (or users of a product), the experience or the system.
4. DESIGN THINKING TESTS AND TESTS AND TESTS
The philosophy of “design, test and iterate” is central to the process. It allows you to have those completely unexpected breakthroughs by creating several rapid prototypes and encouraging fast feedback from actual users and customers before spending too much time, effort or money on any one idea. The process is a bit messier than the more traditional analytical and linear approaches to problem solving (you better love those Post-it Notes), but it yields results that are far more powerful, not to mention interesting.
5. DESIGN THINKING CREATES VALUE WHILE SOLVING REAL PROBLEMS
Design Thinking isn’t just creativity and innovation for its own sake; it’s specifically directed at creating value and solving problems. But instead of going about either of these in the traditional ways, Design Thinking seeks to use design principles to solve problems, from small to large, in almost any industry.
Design Thinking is challenging and changing the way we solve problems and deliver more value to the user.