5 Reasons Why You Should Embrace Design Thinking

Design thinking has become a buzzword. It is repeated so many times and defined by people in so many ways that most designers are still confused what design thinking is and should they embrace it when creating their designs or not.

Here is how David Kelley, Founder of IDEO defines design thinking and draws a parallel between design thinking and leadership, “The main tenet of design thinking is empathy for the people you are trying to design for. Leadership is the same thing-building empathy for the people for the people you are entrusted to help.”

Tim Brown’s book, “Change by Design” which explains the concept of design thinking in detail. Here is an excerpt from this book “Design thinking is a human-centred 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.”

If you are still not sure whether you should use design thinking or not, then here are five reasons that will convince you to embrace design thinking.

  • Design For All

APFEL (A Practice for Everyday Life) is based in London and has a core tenet of design thinking built into its name. According to Kirsty Carter who is the co-founder of APFEL, “For us, ‘design thinking’ is really just a catchy term for the range of methods and approaches that we put into practice within our everyday lives – for navigating the world around us, learning and developing, and experimenting. We approach design projects and problem-solving in a way that feels instinctive, starting with research and investigation, conversation with the people involved, testing ideas, considering different contexts, and responding to feedback”

APFEL design agency worked with Mae Architects on MyHouse, which is an affordable housing project that let buyers design their own homes. Emma Thomas, other co-founder of APFEL said, “Mae’s work on the project is an example of design thinking in practice: it identified an important area of need, and considered the challenges faced both by potential buyers and by construction companies.”

“Using this information and research, it collaborated directly with a fabricator to come up with a model that would offer the flexibility that makes self-build housing so attractive, whilst removing the need for buyers to manage the design and building process themselves. Our role was to help Mae create a public face for the project, to make it accessible and appealing to their target audience. We needed to convey the possibilities that MyHouse offered, in the absence of any images of the finished houses, which were still in development at the time.”

  • No Limitations

Multinational corporations such as IBM, Procter and Gamble and Marriot Hotel all are incorporating design thinking into their internal processes. “Think of design as an entirely rational discipline, and that it can’t afford to be otherwise, and we’ll end up merely optimizing everything as opposed to having an optimistic and imaginative view of the future, Alongside design thinking we also have to make sure we’re talking about wild imagination, radical ambition, and sometimes magic. Those things don’t quite live comfortably in the way design thinking is defined in many organizations.”

  • Iteration Leads to Refinement

During his time as a CEO of IDEO, Wolff Olins made design thinking an integral part of branding agency’s core practice. He summed up the whole concepts into three points.

  • Exploration
  • Hypothesis
  • Creation

Further elaborating on his point, he said, “It has to have exploration, so you’re going to have to go out and understand people who are not you. It has all the techniques of ethnography, of people-watching and so forth. The second thing is that it believes the past is only useful for stimulus and inspiration, but the answer is going to be something we’ve never seen before. Therefore, it has to be hypothesis-led and iterative in nature. You don’t say one plus one equals two, you say: Here are 18 ways we can solve this problem, let’s put them out there, let’s test, let’s iterate and let’s make them better and let’s find one solution.  the final thing is that design thinking says those things have to be designed. The design bit of it means that we need to use the fundamental tools of design to solve those problems.” Web development Dubai is done using all these three principles.

  • It Goes Beyond Feelings

Lee Coomber, Creative Director at Lippincott said, “Design thinking should be a 360-degree activity, incorporating all aspects of the business or brand but keeping the customer at the heart of the process. The task is to create something that has great utility yet is beautiful at the same time. These two elements married together create an emotional bond with the customer.”

He further adds, “Design is to business what evolution is to nature; it enables brands to change and survive. At a time when so much of our lives is going to change as a result of advances in technology, designers need to make the world not only work better, but be beautiful as well. Design thinking can allow design to be more influential, less visual and more a means of opening up opportunities for businesses by building holistic experiences and emotional bonds.”

  • Counterculture

OneMethod, a design standard in Toronto did so well at employing design thinking that their self-promotional event pop up ended up establishing a new restaurant. Those who bought an art piece at the event got three free tacos. The customer experience was so good that customer requested the company to open a taco restaurant.

Vanessa Eckstein, founder of OneMethod said, “It is honing our intuition and our nonlinear thinking in order to explore openly, flowing between the simple and the complex in order to rethink the parameters themselves. It is not simply about what we do but how we think and what is necessary to make it happen. Every project we work on begins and ends with this process. It is our means to mining depth and finding the authenticity from within,”

She further adds, “Counterculture is so much part of our DNA that we spent six months researching expansively and putting what we found up on our creative wall – where everything flows and lives – moving images and words, poems and historical timelines up and down, looking for those un-obvious but provocative connections to reveal themselves,”

Which reason persuade you to incorporate design thinking in your web design? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.

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