Here’s everything you need to know about design thinking, including the definition and why it’s sweeping the corporate world.
Design thinking began as a method for developing cutting-edge new technology and goods. However, this methodology is now widely used for corporate and personal projects in both the private and governmental sectors all over the world.
IDEO, a design consulting organization, popularised the design-thinking technique. After Tim Brown, the CEO of IDEO, published an article in the Harvard Business Review in 2008, describing the use of design thinking incorporated, including at a California hospital, a Japanese bicycle manufacturer, and the Indian healthcare industry, the methods gained traction in the greater business world.
What is the definition of design thinking?
Design thinking is a set of problem-solving techniques that prioritizes the needs of the consumer and its overall other cogitation. It is built on empathically observing how people interact with their surroundings and developing unique solutions through an iterative, hands-on approach.
Design thinking is “human-centered,” which means its decisions are majorly based on the evidence of how customers (people) interact with a product or service, rather than how someone else or an organization believes they will interact with it. To be human-centered, designers must observe how people use a product or service and continually refine it for the betterment of the consumer’s experience.
The linear approach in Design thinking
By using logic, past data, and existing solutions, designers solve problems with linear thinking-or vertical thinking. When using linear thinking methods, design thinking online courses usually apply it to analyze the ideas that are generated during divergent thinking sessions to see which ones might be the most effective.
The linear approach is also considered as everyday thinking.
It is vital to make sense of a world rather than not making any sense. It combines a particular ordered structure which means we can be rational and have confidence in our outcome predictions. This thinking helps us to tackle the problems with ease.
Foremost it is important to have logic; Like if we have a Problem A, apply solution B to get result C.
The Past Data helps us to look at something we have already seen before and address it in manner X.
If we have the Existing Solution, Like Brand A has a tool (B) for achieving that. Let us adapt our own method.
The problems one might face while using a linear/vertical approach for design problems can be a bit complex;
- Committing to a fixed starting Point
Before we dive in for solutions, we need to identify and commit to the particular starting point. Do not jump straight to a problem statement without analyzing all the factors like those who use voice-controlled devices need a privacy feature for phone calls since they are afraid of being spied on.
- Limit your numbers for a possible solution
You can restrain yourself by constraining yourself to a single starting point and line of reasoning. Designing an app that jams or blocks all listening devices within a 40-foot radius while someone makes a phone call can be a good example.
- Finishing your task with sub-optimal solutions
You may come up with solutions that seem desirable (to users), viable (brands can support and sustain), and feasible (technologically feasible) when you misdirect your problem-solving efforts. However, the actual missing point of the problem might create other issues like your app can get banned because of signal interference issues.
In our case, we rapidly identified listening devices as the source of the problem. However, by doing so, we’ve closed off other possibilities, such as signal-detecting equipment that may warn users of the type, number, and distance of devices that might be listening in on them. As a result, while the power of an analytical, logical method of thinking allows us to transition smoothly from one point to the next, the fact is that it’s more like a narrow funnel pouring into a little box of possibilities. You can quickly drop down to feasible solutions with such a small breadth of issues to address – but they’ll almost certainly be flawed or sub-optimal.
When and How Should You Use Linear Thinking?
You and your team still need to think in linear terms, and timing is crucial. Unless your topic is astonishingly simple, you should save linear thinking for later in brainstorming sessions, after you’ve thoroughly examined everything on the horizon of actual creativity. The design thinking method takes care of this, but here’s a quick rundown on how to incorporate linear thinking:
- Through these closely related ideation modes and the strategies they entail, get disruptive to enhance your views of a problem and examine all conceivable aspects and options that they involved:
- Divergent thinking is the first one — Prioritize quantity above quality, fresh ideas, and the ability to make decisions.
- Lateral thinking in linear thinking-Focus on neglected details, question assumptions, and consider alternatives via lateral thinking.
- Thinking outside the box – Find fresh ways to tackle the challenge and explore the borders of the design space by understanding what’s limiting you and why.
- Arrive at a point when you can reframe the problem and see the numerous variables at play, including your users, other actors, and so on, in a fresh perspective. This occurs after you’ve gathered a large number of ideas using techniques such as brainstorming. You’ve got your brilliant ideas; now it’s time to use convergent thinking to:
- Sort them out.
- Make a theme out of them.
- Look for similar threads.
- Decide on the winners and losers.
Thinking linearly does not imply that you stop being creative and rely solely on logic to make decisions. Rather, you keep an eye out for opportunities as you:
- Consider alternatives to logical norms (for example, when you believe to yourself, “This solution won’t work since the world doesn’t operate that way.”).
- Examine the position of a concept concerning the situation. (For example, “A voice-controlled device eavesdropping symptom can be treated with a jamming app.”)
- Recognize the problem’s reality and proportions. (For example, “The user’s changeable position inviting should be the focus.”)
- Determine the most appropriate criterion for evaluating the concept. (For example, “What would we expect the phone user to do in comparison to the problems that would be inflicted on others nearby?”)
Finally, linear thinking enables you to construct and fine-tune good ideas before adopting them into testable prototypes. Then you’ll have a better chance of finding the most attractive, viable, and feasible solution for your audience, which may be unique enough to secure your brand a profitable market gap.
Design thinking isn’t necessarily a linear process
It’s worth noting that the above-mentioned phases of the design process aren’t necessarily in that order. In many circumstances, the loop is highly iterative. Individual processes might occur simultaneously or the product team can shift between phases as they design a product, depending on the needs of the project.
Accept that the product design process is iterative. It’s rare to come up with an ideal solution right away. When insights gained later in the process might influence decisions made earlier in the process, this is a highly common scenario.
- Who is eligible to take part in design thinking?
Design thinking emphasizes cooperation between designers and users; but, does this imply that only designers are allowed to participate in this process? Certainly not. In fact, inviting colleagues from diverse disciplines to participate in design thinking is suggested because it might generate a wide range of ideas. Different points of view on the subject will lead to better solutions in the end.
- Is design thinking only applicable to digital products?
No. Design thinking training is a methodology that may be used for both physical and digital designs. Design thinking allows you to put your assumptions aside and create products that are designed particularly for your users’ needs, whether it’s digital software or a real chair.