From Thomas Edison and his lightbulb to Steve Jobs and his cutting-edge range of computers, a vast majority of inventors, innovators, and businesspeople have one thing in common-their stellar ability to identify and solve people’s problems.
Most of these successful people and businesses have one unique common denominator that allows them to derive, learn, and apply insightful human-centric techniques to solve problems in a way that is creative as well as innovative. This common denominator is a methodology known as design thinking.
Simply put, design thinking is an iterative process in which you try to understand the challenges faced by your end-user and resolve them with the help of new strategies and a hands-on approach to subsequently deliver excellent user experience (UX).
Surely then, it is imperative for businesses to invest in design thinking to thrive amongst peers. However, before we delve into why, let’s first learn more about the design thinking process.
The design thinking process is a UX framework that allows you to solve complex, even unknown problems in the software product development process. It is, essentially, a non-linear process that can be defined and executed in five stages.
In this first step, you work on developing an empathetic understanding of the issue that you are trying to resolve. This includes speaking to relevant experts, observing and engaging with concerned people, understanding their motivations, and essentially immersing yourself in the problem environment to gain a deep understanding of the issue at hand.
Once you inculcate empathy, it becomes easier for you to set aside your notions about the issue and gain meaningful insight into the end-user’s needs.
Now, after gaining a thorough understanding of why your customer is facing a particular problem in the empathy stage, you need to collate your observations and define the core problem which you will have to address. Additionally, you will also need to put together a team that can help you solve your user’s problem and deliver excellent UX.
In the define stage, you and your team will be able to verbalize your human-centered problems as well as establish the functions, features, and other unique elements that your solution will need to have.
After having defined the problem with empathy at the center, you can collaborate with your team and come up with a few out-of-the-box solutions for your unique problem statement. This can only be done when you develop the skill of looking at your problem from different angles and come up with alternative solutions for each issue. The winning idea will then combine the best elements of all your solutions, thus helping you resolve the bigger problem at hand.
Additionally, at the end of your ideation phase, you should test out some of your solutions and narrow down on a few that can graduate to the next stage.
Now its time to turn your out-of-the-box solution into a minimum viable product that is scaled down, inexpensive, and only accommodates the core features of your solution. With this prototype or MVP in place, you can easily investigate and analyze the problem solutions generated in the ideation stage.
The prototype helps you test your proposed solutions with minimum resources with a small group outside your design team. These solutions are then examined and accepted or rejected based on the users’ experience.
The best solutions that are identified in the prototyping process are rigorously tested in the testing phase. Being the last of the five steps, testing is an iterative process that is used to redefine problems and inform the comprehension of the end users regarding the conditions of use. Testing allows you to identify the aspects of the solution that are working as well as those that need to be modified to achieve excellent UX.
Additionally, during this phase, any necessary fine-tuning work needed to go that extra mile is added in the solution to ensure a stellar end-user experience.
So, now that you’re familiar with the design thinking process, lets take a look at why you need it and how it can help you enhance your UX.
When coming up with a problem solution, there is a chance of losing sight of the real problem. There is also always an extensive list of variables that can hinder your progress while coming up with innovative solutions.
Design thinking saves you from making big losses and focuses on the solution of the core problem that people need. While cost savings are an inherent aspect of the design thinking process, the end product is beneficial to the users as well as the business since
Ideas fail. Deadlines change. Feedback often isn’t what you want it to be. All of this can make you lose your bearings. However, if we have a logical path to investigate our issues and test out solutions, we can still deliver a best-in-class product.
This is what you get by deploying the powerful design thinking framework.
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