Design Thinking Is Not A Process, It's A Mindset
Recently, we have seen extensively spoken about this word -concept thought-. Through design thinking workshops several advertising agencies, marketing companies, UX studios and even freelance consultants unexpectedly discovered new revenue streams. Currently there are so many posts out there about how to grasp and master concept thought. Yet please remember that I'm not trying to add to those here, nor am I trying to improve them, with this piece I'm only trying to add some of my own insight.
The most fascinating thing to talk about branding is that it's such a perfect mark. This is perhaps the most appealing way of explaining an innovation model that is based on human-centered observation and prototyping. Nevertheless, the idea is by no means new, and I'm happy to put my neck on the line to prove it. I've seen it all this since being here as a graphic student and builder for the last 20 years. Yet when compared to other methodologies, design thinking sounds very exciting compared to the not so humorous labels given.
How was it that we had before? User-centric style-or UCD-sounds like an disease. Agile UX, lean UX and lean start-up-this sounds like diet plans to me. Service design can also sound dull. And Industrial Empathy- well, that's just not making sense. Today, though, concept thinking is hyped up as the magic recipe for creativity. It is also also represented as a process in 4-5 stages, often with a focus on brainstorming, ideation, and lots of post-it multicolor notes. And it is here that the issue starts.
The most important aspect is to understand that the design thinking framework is not a process that is linear, and it is certainly not some magic formula you can just learn, apply, and then get results from. Any process followed blindly starts to be a problem. In fact, no design process is meant to be linear. It’s meant to be iterative. So, it’s not just about following steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and you’re done. It will be actually more like 1, 3, 4, 2, 5, 1, 4, 5, 5, 4, 2, 1, 5. And again, and again, over and over, until you get an innovative new product that matches the needs and expectations of real-world users, and more often than not, goes beyond that.
The way I see design thinking is simple. I like to think of it as a mindset that focuses on how to look at challenges around us. A mindset that can help us adapt to the process of being more mindful, and open to the right direction towards innovation. But while we do that, we must also know that it is no magic bullet. Methodologies and processes are important, but these are mere tools. What one needs to do is to get the right mindset to make that difference, and to really find the right direction towards the right solution. So here’s what I believe are the qualities you need to get that design thinking mindset:
1. Be curious and observe If you look deep into design thinking, you will see that it is actually all about being curious. It’s about being a keen observer of things around you. You need to be curious about why things are the way they are, why things don’t work, or why people behave the way they do. Once you nurture the mindset of being curious, you let go of judgment, and seek to better understand everything around you. Being observant is about paying attention to the finer details. It is not just looking at thingslooking underneath the top layer is what you need to learn. Observation and curiosity go hand in hand- ask questions when you start assuming, and seek to understand what you don’t know. Curiosity will ultimately lead you to gain empathy for both the people and systems in place, help you connect with individuals and deepen relationships, and see problems from new perspectives.
2. Creating and harboring empathy The next big thing that follows curiosity is empathy. The greatest obstacle when you design products / solutions for anyone else is to consider the people you are designing for. Sometimes we take users for granted, or worse, we prefer to believe how the environment is viewed. We think they 're seeing it as we do and we're going wrong there. The aim is to get an understanding of the conceptual models of users, and how they perceive the world from their viewpoint. It is where empathy comes in handy to understand how they everyday think, feel , and act, particularly in environments and circumstances that are relevant to your product or service.
How, and most importantly, why do they feel and behave the way they do? Empathy allows you to understand this. So, how do you gain empathy and get those insights? The best way to gain empathy is by engaging directly with the people. Methods such as co-design sessions, ethnography/user research, and interviews can help you uncover how and why they see any value in your product. All this information put in an experience map is the way where you can analyze digital behavior, and it can help you understand how people behave, as well as what they might expect from your product or service.
3. Don't just automate- invent There is always a first time for all. It refers to any one of us. Henry Ford once said, "If I asked what people wanted, they 'd say faster horses." Or as Steve Jobs said: "Sometimes people don't know what they want unless you explain it to them." We just didn't know how to use a phone without a dial pad until the iPhone. We make decisions on the basis of previous experiences every day, and all of them are based on a lot of observations, are more or less correct, and often help to lower our cognitive load.
The theories about what you can and can't do, how it's done now, unwritten rules you set for yourself, etc. Challenging the assumptions helps question the status quo, and asks: "How best can this be done? "What we call a" problem "is most frequently a symptom of a root cause. If we plunge in too deep to remedy a problem, the impact will inevitably come back or reoccur. We need to address the cause instead to build more positive change. Innovation occurs when the inspiration originates from the underlying cause.
4. Consider the big picture Design is about understanding the little details about the users we are designing for; however, the big picture is just as important. It is very easy to get too close, and get caught in the specifics of what we are designing, and much easier to forget why we are designing it the first place. Your users are part of many technological and social systems that already have a significant impact on their belief systems and mental models. So, looking at the bigger picture means you consider how these systems in play will influence the innovation, and how the innovation will influence these systems.
They need to note that consumers are not buying the product just for the sake of using it, but for the value it offers. You focus on the importance when you focus on the bigger picture, you focus on the why- and that will help you to make smarter and more important decisions about the things you design. Focusing on the value helps you to build something for which consumers want to pay, share and get back. We can help set the right constraints by keeping the big picture in mind, tap the right principles with solutions that fit in seamlessly and making an effort not to generate new problems while addressing the existing.
I believe it begins with a mentality to build something different. One we shouldn't confine ourselves to the company sense, but we need to have a positive influence to create progress in everything we do-families, relationships, community, politics, society. When all of us wanted to be a little more empathetic and interested, we could also be better at providing meaning in the lives of others.