Design thinking in product development

Hi, Online Solutions Group here. We will teach you today about Design thinking in product development.

We’ll Answer. What is design thinking? Why is design thinking important for fostering innovation within my business? How do I practice design thinking?

You’re also both super innovative and creative, so you’ve come up with a million cool coaster features that are very helpful and funny.

You’re just about ready to mash all these fun features into one product. What’s the best next step to proceed?

Once you’ve hired the perfect team, how do you tap into your team’s collective creativity and make stuff that works? You might try design thinking.

Design thinking is the practice of mixing creativity and structure to solve complex problems. It’s been used for everything from creating solutions for major societal issues to redefining established companies in fast-changing industries.

In addition to solving big problems, design thinking is a great way to teach teams and individuals how to generate and test ideas creatively and effectively. This allows innovative teams to produce functional final products, like roller coasters.

If you spend time and effort generating ideas and testing them out (prototyping), you’ll be able to turn your best ideas into something tangible, whether that’s a physical product, a virtual service, or something else entirely.

By encouraging your team to learn design thinking, you’ll reinforce innovative values in your culture, give people a common language to talk about innovating, and make innovation something that’s accessible to everyone on the team.

LISTEN UP! As you begin to practice design thinking, you can fine-tune your team’s creative capacity by focusing on 3 core E’s: empathy, expansive thinking, and experimentation.

First, let’s talk empathy: Seeing the world from other people’s points of view encourages employees to develop ideas that aren’t just new but are useful, too.

Users should always be your #1 focus. Begin every exercise by discussing the people who will use your product or service. If you’re building a roller coaster, think of park patrons who want to enjoy some fun without getting hurt or sick.

When you empathize with your users and take inspiration from their real human needs, feelings, and motivations, you’ll be driven to create meaningful solutions to actual problems.

Next it’s time to do some expansive thinking, AKA brainstorming, to generate ideas with your team.

As you generate ideas, think quantity, not quality – most ideas generated won’t necessarily end up working. Instead of trying to think of one perfect solution, think about your problem from all conceivable angles to get several possible solutions.

Try a brainstorming exercise to get creativity flowing. For instance, challenge your team to come up with ideas that aren’t just 10% better than the status quo but 10x better. Basically, thinking big – like, really big – can give you radical new ideas.

The more perspectives the better, since that also means more new ideas. But research shows that a brainstorming session’s productivity tends to decrease when your group is too big, sessions are recorded, or people can’t work on their own first.

Once you have a long list of ideas, you’ll need to narrow it down to the best ones. This is where you begin experimentation, AKA building prototypes.

In the prototyping phase, you’ll build an early-stage version of your idea and test it out on a small group to see what actually works. Then, gather data to decide if it makes the most sense to move your idea forward, kill it, or tweak it.

Decide based on the project how you’d like to prototype. For example, you can test a product internally before releasing it to the public, or release a new service in beta to get feedback from people outside the company before a wide release.

Emotional support and constructive feedback are crucial at this stage since you’ll be examining the failures of your prototypes in order to learn from them and improve upon your product or service moving forward.

Once you’ve gotten the hang of design thinking, put those skills to work by testing your next idea for a product or service in what’s called a “design sprint.”

Just like a regular sprint, a design sprint is deliberately fast-paced. Your team will go through several phases of prototypes in just a few days. This framework can reduce the risk of spending a bunch of time on one idea that might not even work.

A design sprint has 5 phases: Understand, sketch, decide, prototype, and validate. First, in the understand phase, you and your team map out the problem you’re trying to solve so that everybody’s on the same page.

Next, you sketch, AKA brainstorm a broad range of ideas and narrow it down to a select group. Once you’ve narrowed it down, decide as a team which ideas are actually worth testing.

Then, you’re ready to prototype. Build only what you need to test your ideas in a very short amount of time. Finally, validate: see how live users interact with your team’s ideas and hear direct feedback from your target audience. In any case, it is best if you make a minimum valuable product.

DO THIS NOW! How will you know when you’re ready to move on from the brainstorming phase to prototyping? Let’s create a checklist to help you evaluate future brainstorms. You’ve probably realized that you need to do a decent amount of research before you can jump into Design thinking. Let’s do a quick evaluation to see if you’re ready. Go to our website and fill in the online test! You find a link in the description.

Thanks for reading.