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Design Thinking. Why Is It Important?

Updated: May 13, 2022

When you hear the term “Design Thinking”, what comes to your mind first?

Is Design Thinking something that only professional designers can do?

Do I need to know Photoshop?

And what exactly is the purpose behind Design Thinking?

We see that there is a lot of confusion around this buzzword.

Whether you’re a designer, an entrepreneur, a CEO, or an employee, you must not be left with the touch of a continuous urge to innovate. Come what may, we all know it’s the secret sauce to advancement and success.

After all, all the successful startups, be it Facebook, Airbnb, Tesla, or Uber, were all borne of innovative thinking. And we are also very much aware of the fact that Innovation cannot be a one-time deal; it must be ingrained in the company's DNA.

It’s quite obvious that creativity and invention are not easy to come by.

This is when Design Thinking comes into the picture.

Design Thinking has long been regarded as the holy grail of invention as well as the cure for inactivity. Moreover, who hasn’t heard the story of Airbnb which got transformed into a billion-dollar business by employing Design Thinking? Netflix and Nike are other such examples of successful companies that use Design Thinking.

Now, let’s have a deeper insight into what it is all about.

What precisely is Design Thinking?

“Design Thinking is a human-centered and collaborative approach to problem-solving, using a designed mindset to solve complex problems.”

— Tim Brown, Executive Chair of IDEO

In simpler terms, it is all about understanding the consumers' problems, demands, and expectations which is essential for creating a user-friendly and functional product. More than any other area of design, UI/UX is the only design that requires deep involvement in the client’s reality.

Skipping to the good part, it is a method that any sector can utilize, not just design-specific ones.

IDEO, a design consulting firm, popularized the design-thinking technique. Thereafter, it is extensively employed worldwide for both individual and business ventures.

5 Phases of The Design Thinking Process

It is a repetitive and non-linear process that follows a five-stage thinking approach:

  • Empathize: This is the first and undoubtedly the most crucial stage which involves analyzing the problem. As you know, it can’t happen without understanding your users clearly and empathizing with them.

  • Define: Once you have analyzed all the issues and conducted all the research, it’s time to define the core issues of the users.

  • Ideate: Since you have gathered enough information about the problem you’ve identified in the previous phase, it’s your turn to think out of the box and propose a series of possible solutions. This phase also involves applying different ideation techniques such as brainstorming, reverse intellection, and having the worst possible idea.

  • Prototype: Finally, it’s time to transform your ideas into a tangible solution by developing a prototype. It gives you a concrete result that can be tested on real consumers. This phase is pivotal for keeping a user-oriented approach.

  • Test: In the final phase, you must keep track of how your customers engage with the given prototyped solution. It is the stage where you get feedback on your work, improvise your prototype, and iterate the process till the consumer is completely pleased.

OK, We get it. But why does Design Thinking matter?

Coming up with an idea is one thing. It's completely another to create one that actually works. The key value of design thinking lies in the idea that it provides a clear path to innovation. You must be thinking that Design Thinking sounds a little bit complicated. No doubt, a product can be developed without all of this fuss. So, why should we care about Design Thinking?

We know many questions are arising in your mind but stick with us here.

The Design Thinking approach is valuable in any complicated system (not just design ones) because:

  • Its main goal is to target the customer’s issues and meet all the requirements through a human-centric approach.

  • Helps in tackling vague problems and creative challenges through brainstorming.

  • Drives folks to come up with innovative solutions using an iterative methodology.

  • Organizations run in high gear and work more smoothly.

Let’s not beat around the bush anymore and shed some light on the proven facts for the importance of Design Thinking in today’s fast-paced world:

  • In a McKinsey’s recent study, it was found that revenues and shareholder returns are comparatively higher in design thinking companies.

  • According to the EMSI Burning Glass 2021 report, there was high demand for jobs requiring Design Thinking skills. Also, the job market experienced a sudden rise in such occupations after 2020.

Wrapping it up,

It's quite evident from the above data that Design Thinking's significance has been continuously rising in businesses and other platforms. DT has been gaining limelight as several leading firms have been adopting its practices to boost their proficiency.

Before Apple’s iPhone blew up in the market, there were loads of smartphones. Prior to Uber, there were cabs and online streaming platforms before Netflix. There’s a reason why these startups thrived in the market. All of these firms focus on one thing i.e. providing the finest user experience which is possible by Design Thinking.

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And if you are one who needs some assistance in creating user-oriented apps, then join us at the table, and let’s get started. Feel free to Connect with us.

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