We use Design Thinking to solve complex problems for our clients. Our extensive methodological skills in the field of user experience make us the perfect partner when it comes to user-centered innovation.
What is Design Thinking?
Design thinking is a user-centered approach to develop creative solutions for a wide variety of problems. These solutions include new market potentials for products and services or even concepts for solving social questions. The needs and requirements of tomorrow's users are always in focus. Furthermore, design thinking is not about the personal creativity of a single person – the process builds on collaboration in an interdisciplinary team.
PHASE 1: UNDERSTANDING
Understanding is the first phase of the design thinking process. Its goal is to develop background knowledge and to get a better understanding of the challenge to be mastered. The team might talk to experts, do desk research or create a stakeholder map. Whatever helps to quickly familiarize with the subject and to create a common understanding within the team is allowed.
PHASE 2: OBSERVING
Based on the findings of the first phase, the team prepares and undertakes research in the field to understand the complexity of the user requirements. They talk to relevant user groups, observe how people behave, collect artefacts and explore physical spaces. Sometimes teams also immerse by stepping into the shoes of a real user or creating analog situations.
PHASE 3: DEFINING
In this phase, the team identifies user needs and develops insights. By detecting hidden patterns, surprises and contradictions within the research material, the team uncovers fields of opportunity. The result is a common point of view, defining for whom the solution will be, what problem it should solve and why this is relevant.
PHASE 4: IDEATING
The goal of the ideation phase is to create a vast pool of ideas. And when we say vast, we really mean it! The team members think in different directions, in unconventional ways and outside the box, using various brainstorming and creativity techniques. At this point, no idea is too silly or risky, no idea is rejected. The most promising idea is only selected in the last part of the phase.
PHASE 5: PROTOTYPING
Prototyping helps to convey ideas at an early stage. It’s better to fail early and often, and that‘s why the team continues to ideate while prototyping, refining their ideas with every new prototype. While initial low-fidelity prototypes simply illustrate the core idea of a concept, more sophisticated high-fidelity prototypes can focus on critical functions to get specific feedback from users.
PHASE 6: TESTING
Testing is the phase that provides the team with feedback on their ideas. The purpose is to learn from users in order to improve solutions. Sometimes this means that the team needs to change some aspects of their prototype, sometimes they need to go back to ideation or even rework their point of view. Iterations are an important part of design thinking on the way to the best possible solution!
PHASE 7: IMPLEMENTING
The final stage of the process consists of specifying and implementing the product or service in detail. Depending on the scope of the project, we can either support your in-house developers or implement the idea for you. Our team has a wide range of development and coaching skills to bring the idea to life. Furthermore, we are part of an international network of companies with diverse skill sets for complex projects.
We have found that using the design thinking process offers our customers a number of additional benefits:
Your team becomes familiar with the design thinking mind set. A clear concept of the importance of a user-centered approach is spread in various departments of your company.
Design thinking raises awareness of opportunities instead of limiting factors. It allows looking at the challenge from a different perspective. This, along with great teamwork experiences, often gives the entire team a boost!
Integrating all stakeholders into the design process leads to generally accepted solutions und committed team members.