Design Thinking methodology has helped create some of the most innovative products and businesses.
For example, Apple’s first computer mouse, created in 1980, was a product supposed to solve the challenges of the existing mouse. However, the initially designed computer mouse was too expensive and not user-friendly. So, after many iterations and testing, Apple used Design Thinking and invented the perfect, user-friendly computer mouse.
Airbnb, the startup that has grown into a million-dollar business, is another success story based on Design Thinking methodology.
Companies used the Design Thinking methodology to create innovative products and services in both examples. The initial question that triggers the innovation process is:
How to make the lives of our customers easier?
By focusing on the customers’ needs, companies find solutions. Understanding the users is not as easy as it sounds. Firstly, the users will not tell anyone what they need. Even if asked, they will explain what they want. ‘Needs‘ are different from ‘wants,’ which can confuse many companies. A deeper understanding of the users’ needs is necessary for designing an impeccable user experience. Why is this important? Because user experience is at the forefront of the innovation process.
Being innovative requires a human-centered approach.
Design Thinking is an excellent methodology for guidance through the whole innovation process. It is a human-oriented approach, meaning that the approach’s core is understanding the users/customers.
The methodology consists of five stages:
In summary, Design Thinking is an ideation process that focuses on user needs. The last two phases (prototyping and testing) are crucial for designing innovative products. The prototype is the vision for a product or service that the company wants to launch. The testing phase involves collecting feedback from potential users. Feedback is further used constructively to improve the prototype, i.e., the product or service.
Here are some of the benefits from testing prototypes:
– Eliminating assumptions by obtaining relevant answers from real users;
– Reduced unnecessary costs for production based on insight. The product will be produced if the market needs it and if it is desired by users/ consumers;
– Reaching quality by producing quantity. The more prototypes at the beginning, the more feedback to create a successful end-product.
– Discovering new markets. The smartphone, or the first iPhone, was designed to assist people who have a lot of different devices. The smartphone includes several gadgets in one. Its creation reveals the new market of smartphones and smartphone apps.
According to Roger L. Martin, the author of The Design of Business, companies that use Design Thinking stand out for their willingness to constantly redesign their business to excel in innovation and efficiency.
Design Thinking methodology is used to create innovative products and services for end-users. This methodology is simultaneously applicable to innovations in business processes and the managerial style of running the business.
This method has a lot of unique benefits and advantages that make it easier to understand and solve complicated problems at work every day. You can learn more about how successful businesses use Design Thinking as a secret weapon by reading about it here.