Design Thinking

Changing business dynamics

Business strive to become more and successful, earn grand profits, find new ways to achieve new feat of success and new ideas to engage and gain customer loyalty. There are many changes and challenges that business faces while aspiring for better profits, success and customer engagement.
Everything around us is changing and it is changing very swiftly. Consumer experience getting more mobile, customers expect lightening fast personalized responses, market competition demand low cost solutions, changing technology dimensions make innovation inevitable..

All businesses…doesn’t matter if it is a small or big business, whether it is a old enterprise a new start up; all businesses need to ride the changing tides differently to come out as a winner.

In the recent times we have witnessed that the giant successful businesses have collapsed and disappeared like those never existed. What worked for decades and decades earlier, is certainly not working today and selling any more.

There are lots and lots of start ups who come up passionately with unique ideas, only few of those survive and one in the thousand becomes profitable/successful. Brilliant ideas and zealous technology team is not enough; there must be more to make business successful.

What business is seeking answers for

  • How to gaze if idea would succeed or not without too much of spend and in lesser duration?
  • How to find a proper way to measure the ROI on a given product idea/feature?
  • How to judge if the business model good enough to survive?
  • How to run sustainable business without losing on innovation?
  • How to ensure the customer needs are addressed comprehensively?
  • How to engage consumer better?
  • How to decide which market or customer segment to target?
  • How to make shareholders and stakeholders wealthier?

Why Design Thinking is turning into be a must?

“Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”—Albert Einstein

To address all the questions mentioned above the traditional approaches and the same problem techniques would not work. There should be a paradigm shift in how you engage with customers, how you think of a problem and find out solutions.

Here is a snap which displays the success of companies following Design Thinking.


Design Thinking led companies such as Apple, Coca-Cola, IBM, Nike. Procter & Gamble and Starbucks have performed incredibly well in the S&P 500 during the span of 10 years by a remarkable 211%, according to a 2015 assessment by the Design Management Institute.

What is Design Thinking

Tim Brown (the CEO of IDEO) defines it nicely, “Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”

Design thinking is a paradigm shift in solving challenging needs, problems in a simple and innovative way. Design thinking mindset is solution focused and action oriented towards creating a preferred future.

How it go about Design Thinking

You can practice the given steps to implement Design Thinking.

Empathize: The most insightful and innovative design work begins with human centered empathy. First understand your users as clearly as possible and empathize with them. This could be in the form of an interview or user research. Empathy is crucial and is at the heart as it allows designers to think unbiased and learn from users about their needs. The approach is Customer first and customer need is at the core of this phase. Designers try get into user’s shoes to uncover insights of user’s need in the with an open mind.

Define: Learning to re-frame the perspective after gaining insights from users is a powerful design tool. In this step, the team collates all the insights, information and interactions happened during the empathize phase. Team then articulates and defines the problem that needs to be solved for. This stage focuses on the comprehensive understanding and definition of the challenge/problem.

Ideate: Ideation phase enables team to think of different and alternative ways to view the problem. This phase is utilized by the team to think beyond the usual ways to solve the problem. Team aligns to generate ideas, brainstorms all possibilities to solve the challenge. Design Thinking provides interesting and innovative techniques for ideation and problem solving. All possible solutions are spelt out in this phase and team picks and chooses from the given solutions to come up with the best viable solution.

Prototype: Prototype helps in testing the assumptions with respect to everybody’s assumption and understanding. Team creates a prototype with just needed set of features/needs. This ensures that the prototype is built within minimum energy, time & cost. If there are any gaps in understanding or disagreements then those could be considered in the next iteration.

Test: In this phase, the prototype is presented to the real users and their view is taken on whether the needs are met with the prototype. User tries to test the prototype. The act of testing the prototype, identifying improvement gives birth to the next iteration of adapting the improvement, rephrase the problem, again brainstorm and build the better prototype version.

Golden Triangle; Collaboration In Design Thinking

Great work results from collaboration and not from excellent individual silos.
Design Thinking empathizes on collaboration among all groups i.e. human ambitions/desires, business commercials and technology possibilities. When all groups come together and use creative techniques then the design innovation enables team to come out with the prototype and evolve from there.  Each group present their aspirations and limitations. Design Thinking Team works together to solve the challenge by brainstorming all possible solutions.

Way to heaven; all challenges solved

Design Thinking addresses all the challenges that we discussed earlier. Lets look at it one by one.

  • This approach and exercise gives a clear insight into which ideas to be picked and which should be filtered.
  • Among the given features/ideas which can be picked up first for prototyping.
  • The beyond ‘usual inquiry’ human interaction with the customers drive actual need and save a lot of energy & money which otherwise would have been a waste.
  • Human centered interaction is focused by demo of prototype, gaining feedback and repeating the cycle until desired success is met. This ensure that customer needs are met in spirit and intent, and it is merely not a contract fulfillment.
  • Business model and economical viability are essential ingredients of this. This ensures the presence of financial discipline.
  • The feature selection, roll-out, acceptance and revenue associated with it can be calculated & analyzed.
  • The incremental, iterative, inspect & adapt feedback loop allows sustainable pace of releasing features and generating revenue. This allows sustainable business powered innovation cycle.
  • As the solution needs to be creative and low cost, technology teams creatively works on new possibilities/tools to ensure quick way to implement, test and release.
  • On the whole, the value gets generated for the user which earns profitability to business and the beauty is the growing dollar curve is visible & transparent to the stakeholders.

What are you waiting for? Grab a cup of coffee and be the best designer in your design thinking team.