Design Thinking is a trendy term these days, and for good reason! More and more launchers and businesses are learning about the power of this empathy-driven methodology to solve problems.
Design Thinking isn’t just for professional designers, like those in graphics or engineering. It’s for everyone on your team. It’s about each person using their unique skill set to design solutions to problems. It’s a CEO designing a feedback loop to get the absolute best feedback he or she can, and then sharing that design with other leaders. It’s an executive assistant designing a process to automate meeting invites and then rolling it out to the entire company. Everyone can be a designer because everyone is focused on solving problems for the entire company.
Once your team is empowered to begin design thinking, here are the five stages to solving problems.
1. Understand and Empathize
This stage is about putting yourself in the shoes of the customer. It involves moving the focus from “how can we prove our company is great?” to “what are the challenges that the customer faces? What do they really need?”
Brainstorm how to address your customer’s needs. Don’t just brainstorm with the same people over and over. Pull in people from different departments who understand the customer from a different perspective.
This is where you start to work through how you’re going to actually build the solution. Build a little, and test.
Test your prototype. Seek honest feedback and listen to people’s reactions. Don’t take it personally if they don’t say what you want to hear. Be thankful for their honesty and get back to tweaking your prototype to test again.
Your problem is deeply understood and your solution has been through several iterations of design, validation, and prototyping. It’s time to launch the solution into the world.
By following this Design Thinking methodology, you can create a solution that you know will solve a real problem with a welcomed, tested, and perfected solution.