Design Thinking: Designing for User Success
What is Design Thinking?
Design Thinking is a methodology that designers use to solve the complicated and complex problems that clients face. It’s about moving past the problem and focusing on creating a solution and being proactive. Design thinking designers move forward and solve the problem, ideally before it becomes an issue.
A lot of people think that methodologies like design thinking mostly consists of sticking post-it notes on walls and brainstorming abstractly, but it goes beyond that. Design thinking is a process and mindset that uses creative strategies to create or optimize products or services based on a user-centered framework. Some of these strategies might consist of using post-it notes as organization tools. And brainstorming is an important part of it all. However, the objectives and goals are the key differentiator. The main goal is always to create a user-centered experience.
What does User-centered mean?
A user-centered experience means you design everything about the product/service with the final user in mind. You base everything on the primary needs of the user, not just the needs of the company. When the user wins, you win. If the user has a good experience with the product/service/site/etc., then they will be more likely to return. They will be more likely to recommend your brand. Happy users become loyal users. Loyal users make or break your brand.
How does it work?
Design Thinking is a repetitive, continual, and holistic process used in design and problem solving. It’s composed of different stages of creation that converge, diverge, and repeat. In order to maximize benefits, we suggest using multi-disciplinary teams to execute this strategy. When different backgrounds work together to ideate, plan, design, and problem solve, you are more likely to find holistic, long-lasting solutions. Each person adds valuable information to the process, based on their field of expertise.
Generally the process starts with an Empathy phase where we start understanding the real user pains and needs. The second phase Define refers to the creation of a Point of View based on the information from the previous phase. The third phase Ideate works on bringing up ideas that will help solve the user pains detected on the first phase. These ideas take the form of a Prototype during the next phase, a prototype that is Tested and Implemented later on.
Design Thinking or User Experience?
If it sounds like design thinking and user experience are sounding pretty similar, you’re not wrong. They’re both methodologies aimed at solving user problems (before they happen ideally). This means they’re both user-centered. User Experience focuses on the user when it comes to primarily digital products and services, like UI, apps, and strategy. On the other hand, design thinking can be applied to just about any other product or service. But they definitely walk hand-in-hand. And they both focus on being creative, collaborative, and problem solving.
Design Thinking is about being results/action/solution oriented instead of focusing on the problems you face. It is the way you continue to move forward and innovate.
You might have problems with a product or a service. Or you might be preparing to design a new one. Don’t take another step without using the design thinking methodology. Make sure your product/service is really as good as you want it to be. It will save you time, money, and loads of grief.
Pixel506 is a digital marketing, user experience, and software development company that specializes in combining these three crucial components into digital solutions that improve, elevate, and grow your company. We’re all about finding the right solution that will bring your company the most value.