Design thinking: What is it and how to apply it to your company?

Design thinking: What is it and how to apply it to your company?

The work environment is as important as the methodologies used in a company daily. Therefore, we will see what design thinking is and its way of achieving final results, respecting each phase of work and its main actors: the professionals.

What is design thinking? : Value creator for your customers.

In 2008, an article published in the Harvard Business review entitled Design Thinking and written by the current IDEO Executive Director, Tim Brown, popularized this method of working with their respective bases. Although the real origins of the term design thinking are much older.

Design Thinking is an effective methodology that is used to solve complex problems. Therefore, a variety of professional profiles are needed to work, due to it is important to have a 360º vision when developing a project. Design thinking is born from the perspective of design, but its methodology can be applied in many fields.

Creativity, multidisciplinary teams, teamwork… Design thinking is used to think about a problem from the beginning to the end, using effective tools to deal with it.

Design thinking is a work methodology that thinks about the final user from the beginning of the creation process

Nowadays the term is more than consolidated, and also there are numerous options in which this type of methodologies can be worked on. For example, through networking, you can have access to different profiles of your same area and be able to apply this methodology for a large project, don’t you think?

 Stages of thinking: the non-linear methodology

First of all, before carrying out an approach like this, it is important that the workspace is a flexible office, comfortable and that it adds value to the generating ideas process.

Once you have generated an optimal space, let’s see what five stages you should apply to, in a set time; obtain innovative results thanks to design thinking:

  • Empathy: as you can imagine, in a first phase we will focus on the user. Here you have to ask yourself what is important for the user, what desires, needings… It is about channeling the process to final users and adding value to the final result. Among the techniques or tools that you can use in this first stage of design thinking, you have interviews, focus groups or research through softwares such as Brandwatch, for example.
  • Definition: once all the required information is acquired in a first stage, in this second stage of design thinking, focus on defining. This is a difficult stage, since it is necessary to select what is especially relevant to be able to work in a single way (although it is important to anticipate that, at all times we can return to this phase and change this information, due to the process is cyclic). Define is to find the path by which creativity will travel, it will anticipate where the focus will be placed in the next stage.
  • Devise: After defining the problems encountered in the previous stage, we focus on creation, in the search for solutions. This requires a lot of imagination and the best is to use techniques that encourage creativity. Through brainstorming or mind mapping, we can manage this stage optimally.
  • Prototyping: now it’s time to land ideas, shape them and make them tangible. Through the design thinking stage of prototyping, the idea becomes reality. In addition, in this phase it is also possible to generate new ones, because once you work on a road, new connections may arise.
  • Testing: the last stage of design thinking is the time to see how users receive the final project and empathize with their experience. It is the turning point of the process, because it is necessary to open your mind and listen to what they say about the project, if it gives solution to their needs or if it really calms their desires.

Finally, it is important to keep in mind that if there is something that characterizes design thinking is that it provides five stages to experience different phases. It may happen that a prototype does not work as expected after applying the design thinking methodology, although it is also possible to find where the focus of the failure is to go back to that stage and change the result.

“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities”

Stephen Covey

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