WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING?

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1 WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING?

2 CONTENTS Introduction 3 What is design thinking? 4 A new way of working and thinking 5 Why design? 6 What about thinking? 6 Enter the customer 7 Three reasons design thinking can help you be more customer centric 8 Design thinking and your organisation 9 The four design thinking phases 10 The Double Diamond 11 How to begin when you ve already begun 13 WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING? Developed and Produced by SMS Management & Technology 2

3 INTRODUCTION IF YOU ARE READING THIS EBOOK YOU ARE INTERESTED IN EXPLORING THE IDEAS AND POTENTIAL BEHIND DESIGN THINKING. Design Thinking has gained influence as more and more large and venerable brands and organisations embrace it as a way of surviving the new economy and identifying and revealing new value for customers. Delivering genuine and meaningful customer value has never been more important as new technologies and business-models challenge the old ways of doing business and offer new and exciting ways for customers and business to connect with one another. The objective of Design Thinking is to create new value that is highly desirable for customers, that a business can sustainably deliver and is commercially viable. Tim Brown, co-founder of global design firm IDEO, has described Design Thinking as a discipline. Put simply, it is a discipline that uses the designer s sensibility and methods to match people s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity. It requires commitment to an ongoing conversation within your business and with your customers and can transform customer relations and organisational vitality. But it is absolutely worth it! Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Business believes, In the future, the most successful businesses will balance analytical mastery and intuitive originality in a dynamic interplay that I call design thinking. Martin s point is that business and organisations today need to create the time and space for creativity beyond the concrete disciplines of economic rationalist management practices in order to remain relevant to rapidly changing customer demands. 13 MISTAKES THAT ORGANISATIONS MAKE WHEN BECOMING CUSTOMER CENTRIC Developed and Produced by SMS Management & Technology 3

4 WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING? Design Thinking is a human-centred way of solving problems that balances commercial and technical realities. It is a set of practices, tools, principles and a defined process that starts with empathy for people. It values emotion as a core component of what really drives human behaviour and how people experience the world. Design Thinking starts with understanding your customer or end-user, commonly referred to as developing empathy. This enables you to understand the problem or opportunity you want to explore. The first stage results in a deep and rich understanding of your customers and the problem space from multiple perspectives. From this point the interdisciplinary team generates multiple solutions to the problem. The clash of ideas often results in new and differentiated ways of working that are more relevant to the customer and end-user that might inspire and excite in ways not thought of before. The rest of the Design Thinking process moves through stages of ongoing refinement and learning through prototyping and visualisation until a solution that is feasible, viable and desirable is achieved. However, a solution isn t always found. Accepting failure and an openness to learning through trial and error is central to Design Thinking. WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING? Developed and Produced by SMS Management & Technology 4

5 A NEW WAY OF WORKING AND THINKING The marketplace is in a state of rapid change. Competition is coming from every direction. New products are met with indifference and confusion and the new analytics provide an avalanche of customer information. Analytics certainly helps you identify what your customers are doing, just not the why. Design thinking places you in your customers shoes and asks you to see the world from their perspective. It will help you interpret and understand what matters to them and how they are likely to perceive your product and brand. Done well, you will learn exactly what you need to make, say and do to deliver a joyful outcome your customers will flock to. In short, it will enable you to answer the question of why. WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING? Developed and Produced by SMS Management & Technology 5

6 WHY DESIGN? The Design mindset is both creative and tangible. It draws on principles that are well established in disciplines including Industrial Design, Graphic and Visual Design; and Architecture. These professions are tuned-in to the human condition and have refined their professional practice evolving from the guilds and crafts to what we see today. However be careful not to reduce design down to aesthetics. Creating things that are practical requires a deep understanding of the human condition. If you want someone to buy and use what you have made, make sure it meets as wide a range of human needs as possible. All solutions can be practical and elegant. WHAT ABOUT THINKING? The thinking aspect of Design Thinking involves drawing on commonly used business practices, such as business analysis, value chain mapping, etc. and increasingly applying what we know about the people and the world evidenced in the social and behaviour sciences in order to understand how and why people do what they do. It is the critical and analytical counter-balance to the intuitive and creative direction of designers. The most successful Design Thinking teams know how to draw on multiple sources of information and skill sets to understand and define a problem and opportunity. Placing equal value on both ways of knowing is to open up a world of new ways you can contribute to and participate in the life and experience of people - your customers - and at the same time ensure the feasibility and viability of your organisation. WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING? Developed and Produced by SMS Management & Technology 6

7 ENTER THE CUSTOMER A useful way to think of the value of Design and Design Thinking is as the process of translating human values into tangible products, services and experiences. This definition requires a design team to first identify the values of its target group. Consider that you are designing a new car. Two families, earning similar amounts, same number of children, living in the same city can have vastly different values and beliefs about what a car means, its purpose and use. If your design decisions were based on a demographic profile alone, you may miss the point of what the new car is and means entirely. Having empathy for your customers and end-users is how Design Thinking teams respond to this situation. But what do we really mean when we say empathy? Empathy is essentially understanding a problem or opportunity from another person or group s point of view and taking this into account when making decisions. Taking it into account means accepting that the another person s or group s point of view and experience is right and legitimate. If we appreciate values and experiences drive behaviour, understanding your customers view and experiences will help you make decisions about what will be appealing. Importantly, it will also help you think through any potential harms that might arise from a poorly thought out solution. Customers will see themselves in your solution. Its role and function will be more apparent and thus, likely to be bought and used. Design Thinking is an essential tool for the Customer Experience Manager because it imagines the life of the customer and the way she encounters your organisation. It involves customers in the design process to ensure new products are logical, useful and meaningful. Design thinking answers the customer s brief. Innovation is achieved when the customer s brief leads to elegant, lean solutions that help you stand apart from your competitors. WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING? Developed and Produced by SMS Management & Technology 7

8 THREE REASONS DESIGN THINKING CAN HELP YOU BE MORE CUSTOMER CENTRIC REASON 1: Customers feel more connected to products and services Good design ensures customers understand and see value in your solution. That means they are more likely to buy and use your solution as they see how it fits with their life, and importantly, how it becomes part of their identity. Your organisation s investment is realised sooner, the risks are identified and resolved sooner and you learn about what works and why a set of factors are needed to achieve a desired outcome. REASON 2: Relevance and sustainability are directly related to customer satisfaction Understanding your customer s actual needs, future needs and hidden needs is the key to sustainability and profitability. Solutions that give customers joy by making their lives easier or more meaningful ensure greater relevance for your organisation. REASON 3: Differentiation and having a choice Good design can differentiate a product or service by tapping into insights and customer preferences. The design difference can give you a sustainable advantage - allowing you to charge more, increase market share or reduce production costs. Think of design as the 10% of difference when making a choice to use or not to use a product or service. WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING? Developed and Produced by SMS Management & Technology 8

9 DESIGN THINKING AND YOUR ORGANISATION Design thinking is a proven approach not just in dealing with complex situations. It helps organisations discover options that can be quickly tested. In short, it can help you create new value. As a process, Design Thinking is inter-disciplinary, iterative, practical, collaborative. Fused with Agile and Lean approaches, organisations can move quickly and deliver quickly while retaining the ability to pivot when the world changes. The Agile approach is an alternative to traditional project management methods such as waterfall. Emphasis is placed on empowering people to form selforganising teams, collaborate and make team decisions. It involves continuous planning, continuous testing and continuous integration. The Lean approach involves creating more value for customers by reducing waste. A lean organisation understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continually improve. There is no doubt Design Thinking will challenge the traditional approach in your organisation but good design does have the potential to find ways of dealing with sticky issues such as the tension between cost constraints and environmental constraints. Perhaps your design will be less expensive because it s more environmentally sustainable. In government, it can help reduce waste and improve utilisation and effectiveness. It can help you decide how best to allocate public funds to projects that are desired and meet the needs of the wider community. Ultimately, the customer is the voter and a citizen. Why wouldn t you want to create a better outcome? WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING? Developed and Produced by SMS Management & Technology 9

10 THE FOUR DESIGN THINKING PHASES How do you embark on Design Thinking? Where does it begin? When have you reached your goal? What are the tools that can be used along the way? Design Thinking practitioners have a variety of tools available to them depending on their aim but it is important to use a framework such as the one outlined below. This encourages progression and keeps design teams and projects focussed. There are many versions of the Design Thinking process. What all these processes have in common is use of the Double Diamond. WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING? Developed and Produced by SMS Management & Technology 10

11 THE DOUBLE DIAMOND DISCOVERY IDEATION VALIDATION DELIVERY WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING? Developed and Produced by SMS Management & Technology 11

12 THE DOUBLE DIAMOND IS BASED ON RESEARCH SPONSORED BY THE UK DESIGN COUNCIL. The core tenants are divergent thinking (exploring and understanding) and convergent thinking (sense making or synthesis). The process below draws on a range of processes from innovation, product development and design challenges. The framework also allows for supporting and spin-off projects to be pursued at each stage. It is a learning process which needs to be captured and shared to ensure value is fully realised in your organisation. PHASE 1: DISCOVER Discover The discovery phase has two stages: problem definition and opportunity exploration. Problem definition can involve activities such as idea capture, the challenge brief and visual inspiration using mood walls. Opportunity exploration can involve stakeholder interviews, market research, ethnographic research and synthesis. PHASE 2: DESIGN Phase 2 is all about concept design. This phase can involve co-design workshops, investigations with staff and customers and concept development. The objective here is start to ideate and imagine potential future states. You can bring them to life by visualising through illustrations, story boards and low fidelity prototypes. PHASE 3: DEVELOP Phase 3 in this Design Thinking model is building a prototype product or service. Developing a prototype is crucial to keeping Design values in play. A prototype allows the design to be tested by your staff and customers with the feedback going into further iterations and refinements. Phase 3 is also about value refinement and the potential business model. PHASE 4: DELIVER Phase 4 also has two stages: Presenting the business case and the realisation of your solution. The aim of this phase is to deliver on your outputs, and showcase the value of the solution you have created. By identifying the value of the design process you can prove the significant benefits for your customers and staff using tools such as the Business Model Canvas and proposals. WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING? Developed and Produced by SMS Management & Technology 12

13 HOW TO BEGIN WHEN YOU VE ALREADY BEGUN You are excited about the possibilities and potential for Design Thinking but is it something you can champion or demonstrate? The answer is Yes. One of the first people to explore the notion of Design Thinking was Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon. He believed design to be a fundamental aspect of human and organisational behaviour we all design, all of the time. He said,...everyone designs who devises a course of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones. Design, so construed, is at the heart of all professional training. Design Thinking can be accessed by everyone. The key is to find your purpose. As a way of discovering unmet needs and generating and testing ideas that will meet those needs Design Thinking finds its purpose in enhancing your customer s experience and building that relationship. ONE COMMON MYTH ABOUT DESIGN IS THAT IT S THE PROVINCE OF INDI- VIDUALLY TALENTED SUPERSTARS WHO DREAM UP WONDERFUL IDEAS AND I DON T THINK THAT S THE CASE. I THINK IT TAKES VERY TALENTED TEAMS TO TACKLE COMPLEX IDEAS. TIM BROWN, CEO, IDEO Design Thinking can be the catalyst for better-designed solutions for both products and services, which will help drive growth and profitability. Check out our How to get started with customer first Design Thinking ebook for more. WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING? Developed and Produced by SMS Management & Technology 13

14 ABOUT SMS A leader in advisory, solutions and managed services, SMS cultivates innovation, digital, mobile and design-led business and technology capability to empower organisations across all industry sectors. With over 1700 staff across Asia Pacific, SMS promotes and delivers next-generation customer-centric outcomes for our clients. smsmt.com

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