What Is Design Thinking, and Why Is It So Popular?

The working and progress of our universe are unquestionably dependent on innovation. From the discovery of fire by the early men to building technologies that make our lives comfortable in today’s contemporary world- innovation has always ridden the shotgun. According to you, what drives innovation and prevents our world from becoming obsolete? If your answer to the question is design thinking, then you are correct.

Design thinking has been the core driving force responsible for innovation and creativity. It enables companies and individuals to pull themselves out of stagnation and strive towards a prosperous future. Are you intrigued by the concept? We bet you are. Read more to learn about design thinking and the reason behind its popularity in the modern world.

What is design thinking?

It is a comprehensive process and ideology used to solve creative and practical problems. This progressive process helps you to-

Understand human-centric needs and precisely deliver them

Curtail the expenses and the risks involved in launching new products

Generated streamlined yet revolutionary solutions to the problems

Redefine predicaments and challenge the impossible

The essence of design thinking lies in comprehending the needs of the target audience- for which the product is being developed. Thus, it makes it versatile and applicable for all industries. By connecting with the consumers, you build an unbreakable human connection that will put you on the path to success. It will also help you imbibe and nurture essential qualities like empathy, inquisitiveness, critical thinking, experimenting, and so on.

Phases of Design Thinking

Design thinking has branched out in multiple forms in all niches of the industry. Nevertheless, the principality behind it remains the same. In a broader sense, the phases can be divided into ideation, immersion, and implementation. Furthermore, these three phases are streamlined into a detailed 5-step action framework. They are:

Step 1- Empathize

Engage with the target audience to understand their needs, wants, and motives to accordingly cater to them. The engagement and communication should be done on a deeper level and not shallow. You should be able to know them on an emotional and psychological level to get beneficial insights.

Step 2- Define

In this step, you redefine the problem using the data gathered in the first step. The accumulated data is analyzed, and interpreted to discern consumer dilemmas, patterns involved, and prioritizing the challenges based on seriousness.

Step 3- Ideate

Now that you’re aware of the needs of consumers and understand the problem, you can start working on potential solutions. The goal is to find the most effective and seamless solution to the problem. You can use a plethora of techniques like mind mapping, brainstorming, body storming, etc.

Step 4- Prototype

At this step, you experiment and transform your ideas into tangible products. Essentially, you implement the few selected solutions from step 2 and identify the pros and cons of each resolution. You also have the creative freedom to enhance, revamp, reject any prototype solutions depending upon the situation.

Step 5- Test

In the final step, you test the prototype solutions on a test audience. You need to observe and examine how these solutions will play out in real life. Testing will help you make the implementation process cost-effective, also simultaneously save time and effort.

Why is design thinking prominent?

Design thinking is not a new-age technique developed to solve problems across all industries. Instead, this sophisticated approach has been used for decades by the design community. It started becoming dominant after the CEO and president of IDEO, Tim Brown- published the 2008 Harvard Business Review article. Since then, it has been utilized for a multitude of purposes in distinct industries. For example, creating a business model, solving a user-interface crisis, etc.

The reason behind why this idea works so flawlessly is because it has a solid foundation in creativity, rationality, and science. Design thinking digs deeper to understand the subconscious mind of the consumer. Ambiguous concepts like emotions, motivating factors, and innate desires are involved- helping you empathize with the audience. Therefore, it will directly aid you in understanding the past, present, and future. All these factors make design thinking a well-known principle in the practical world that everyone should be proficient in.

To summarize

Design thinking governs a good section of industries, and not many people are aware of it. In efforts to build leaders of tomorrow, the Institute of Product Leadership offers a detailed, robust course in design thinking. It offers holistic insight on the topic and equips you with the necessary skills to become a professional in this field.

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