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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Design Your Life - Design Thinking

You might have heard of the term Design Thinking. Leading brands across the world, including Apple, Google, Nike, Pepsi, and Samsung, have adopted Design Thinking. Design Thinking is even being offered as a subject at some top universities around the world, including Harvard, MIT, and Stanford. But what is all this about? Why is it taking the corporate world by storm? And why do I want to know more?

What is Design Thinking, anyway? 

There are many definitions, explanations, and even myths doing the rounds, about design thinking. Some say it’s just the next bubble, and conventional methods are the way to go. Some believe that in this fast-changing age, conventional methods need to be replaced with design thinking. And, some swear by it and believe it is the solution to everything. 

Let’s see what it is.

Design Thinking is an ideology and method of creatively solving complex problems, with a highly people-centric approach. Design Thinking fosters creativity and innovation, encouraging us to consider alternative solutions by removing pre-existing blinkers. The entire process helps in challenging assumptions and exploring new pathways and ideas.

Okay. Problem-solving. Different approach. Great for corporate leaders. Why should I care?

Because Design Thinking is for everyone; World Leaders, Corporates, Businessmen, Teachers, Parents, Students. EVERYONE.

  • Designing is about problem-solving. 
  • Design involves defining the outcome and crafting the process to reach that outcome.
  • Design is People-Centric. It starts with empathy.
  • Design can be fluid, and constantly evolving.

How do I Start with Design Thinking?

There are many ways, but let’s start with a basic 5-Step Process, which you can start implementing starting right away.
  1. Empathize: It is important to be empathetic and understand the needs of your team. Design thinking should start with the end-users in mind; Creating a framework where you build empathy and inclusiveness.
  2. Define: The emphasis should be on identifying and defining the core problem and then reaching the best solution. Design thinking helps you to develop a solution-centric mindset, as opposed to a problem-centric one.
  3. Ideate: Create a lot of ideas in ideation sessions. Brainstorm all kinds of possible solutions, while being open-minded about all ideas. Think out of the box and keep jotting them down. Eliminate during the next step.
  4. Prototype: Prototype like you’re right. Test like you’re wrong. Simple. 
  5. Test: Learning from continual testing is your key to Design Thinking. At every step of the way, you create more certainly and think again, relearn, revise and restart to realign. You won’t go too wrong if you test early and keep testing regularly. It’s the best safeguard.

The key point to remember is, Design Thinking is not a linear process. Be Creative. Focus on People. Focus on Your Solutions.