Design Thinking & Innovation
Understanding how people interact with products or concepts and developing solutions around those interactions is at the core of design thinking. By gathering stakeholders from different departments and different levels of an organization, and by focusing on the basic human needs and behaviors of the audience, design thinkers immerse themselves in a singular problem to come to an innovative solution.
The process of design thinking is generally understood to consist of 5 key stages: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test.
- Empathize - Develop a deep understanding of the challenge
- Define - Clearly articulate the problem you want to solve
- Ideate - Brainstorm potential solutions, select and develop your solution
- Prototype - Design a prototype to test your solution
- Test - Engage in a short-cycle testing process to refine your solution
This is a collaborative, human-centric process that allows for the exploration of multiple solutions to a single problem, quickly and effectively. It empowers an entire workforce - not just designers - to question approaches and ideate on a wide range of possible solutions.
Design thinking is particularly useful for tackling the thorniest problems – getting to the root cause of an issue and applying critical thinking to develop the new solutions. Organizations become aware of a problem and often jump to a solution based on a cursory understanding of where the problem lies, informed by narrow personal experiences and expertise. Even good leaders and subject matter experts don’t always consider that there may be alternative solutions.