Design-thinking, human-centered approach to the continuous improvement cycle.
Even if it’s said that customers don’t know what they want and need, that doesn’t mean you can ignore who they are. Because they don’t know what they need, or want, you cannot ask directly. All that translates into more research from your side to create the product in advance. It is not just about gathering huge amounts of data and elaborating predictions out of it to make risky bets on an idea. It goes further with active human observation and interaction.
Design-thinking in short: all the innovation activities with a human-centered approach, powered by clear understanding through observation of wants, needs, likes and dislikes. It helps develop new products, create new strategies and unlock new markets. Innovation comprehends: art, craft, science, business savvy, understanding of markets and customers.
What do individuals look like good at this role? Design Thinkers personality:
- Empathetic, understanding a product from many different perspectives. Customers, different users and other stakeholders.
- Attention to detail: notice what others don’t, observe the world and processes in minute detail.
- Integrative thinking: use intuition, reason and imagination. Go beyond ideas that might sound contradictory, i.e. apparently mandatory choices, to develop a solution that sorts the problem.
- Optimism: there is always a solution to a problem. Experimentalism: try to find creative ways to validate their ideas.
- Collaboration: the increasing complexity of products require skilled multidisciplinary professionals with expertise from different fields working together.
Step-by-step guide to involve design as part of the innovation process:
- Add it at the very beginning.
- Human-centered approach, factor in human behaviour, needs and preferences along the business and technological consideration.
- Get the help of your own customers to shape the products, utilising the possibilities offered, for example, via web..
- Rapid validation: experimentation and prototyping from the first week, measure the prototyping speed.
- Budget to the pace of innovation, rebalance the budget as new opportunities and discoveries appear.
- Find interdisciplinary talented individuals, apparent non-designers can also excel at design-thinking.
The key to success in design-thinking innovation lies in hard work augmented by creative human design in processes, followed by iterative prototyping, market validation and improvement. 1. Inspiration, 2. Ideation and 3. Implementation