Design thinking is a framework that can help accelerate the decision-making process. It is a way of solving problems and making decisions. It applies to many industries, including education, business, healthcare, and more.
At the IGNITE competition held by the National Innovation Foundation, some brilliant ideas encompassing Design Thinking were showcased. Let's read in detail about one such idea. A class 9 girl from the North-Eastern state of Nagaland presented the idea of an electronic purse. This purse is supposed to be paired with a watch. She devised this idea after learning about many stories of theft. The purse would be password-protected, and an electronically paired watch would alert if the owner gets away from these or someone steals the purse. Now, if this isn't Design Thinking pooling with empathy, then what is? We can refer to these individuals as ‘Idea Entrepreneurs’ as well.
This way, design thinkers aim to identify what people need by observing their behaviours and then creatively propose solutions. They use creative and out-of-the-box approaches to address these problems.
Furthermore, Design thinking applies to both personal and professional life. It helps decision-makers think differently about their challenges and break out of traditional approaches to problem-solving while generating new ones through creative exploration.
Here, we will discuss the meaning of design thinking, why it is necessary for decision-making skills, and ways to boost your decision-making process.
What is Design Thinking?
Design Thinking is the approach to solving problems creatively that goes beyond standard solutions. It includes creative problem-solving and design skills that empower innovation, creativity, resilience, and resourcefulness.
It applies a human-centred empathy that empowers rigorous team collaboration to explore new solutions and insights that make lives better. When it comes to finding answers, individual experience often provides valuable insight for provoking opposite conditions of thinking from familiar ones for unexpected combinations of approaches. Understanding what others are going through can lead us to create better designs with individuals as active participants in the process. This collaborative mindset achieves higher levels of performance when tackling common problems.
Why Design Thinking Is Beneficial In The Decision-making Process?
Design thinking has been instrumental in shaping some of the most lauded innovations of our time, from pioneering medical equipment to global retail brands. But while it has helped solve 10% of global needs, it can now help humans work together to solve 100%. It does not just inform how we think and make decisions. It fundamentally changes the way we do every single thing.
It is crucial in the decision-making process because it accounts for a completely holistic perspective that includes the five senses. The person does not take on the view of an engineer, etc. but instead sees themselves as an anthropologist trying to solve problems. And these problems are often rooted and personally within people, organizations, or even communities.
The design thinking approach relieves some pressure by permitting designers to ask questions before coming up with answers. The questions could be, What do we understand? or What challenges are facing us?
Ways & Stages To Boost Design Thinking Process
Through the Design Thinking process, we look at the problem from different perspectives to generate breakthrough solutions. The five ways & stages in this approach are:
Let us understand what they are one by one!
The Design Thinking process starts by gaining an empathic understanding of the problem you are trying to solve. Gaining this understanding comprises consulting experts and immersing yourself in a physical environment. This way, you can get a solid personal knowledge of those issues involved- which helps narrow down what solutions would be best for solving these problems based on your research, consultation, observation, and engagement with others who have experienced similar struggles.
Design thinkers use empathy to find the best needs and solutions for their users. Designers must set aside assumptions to truly understand what is going on with our lives. The more information designers have, the better equipped they are. It helps them to create a product that will lead to success!
Define the Problem
This stage of the process involves designers succinctly articulating their design for solving a particular problem. After empathizing, they integrate what they have learned from researching into an issue and outline it as a challenge or problem statement.
In this stage, designers analyze how to solve the human-centric problems that have been observed throughout the empathy phase by synthesizing information to make connections between themselves and others (the audience).
Ideation is the stage where designers can come up with solutions to solve a problem. Designers at this stage lean heavily on their ability to invent creative, outside-of-the-box ideas and design around them before deciding if something will work or not in future levels of development.
The more ideas put together during ideation, the better insight one may have into whether they are solving for user needs successfully or not.
The goal is to find the best idea for each problem. Now, it is the time to try out all of your thoughts and see what you like best. You might find a few different solutions that work for similar problems, or even one solution could solve multiple issues!
At this stage, try creating some prototypes on paper so you can test them out before making something more expensive.
Here, designers and evaluators visit the final stage of testing a product. They do this step to see how well it meets all its initial goals. After this, they compare it against what went wrong or what has happened that they did not predict during the earlier stage.
Changes are made based on problems found with other existing services/products. Along with this, also trying to get an understanding of how people think, behave, and feel so they can come up with better solutions next time around.
Design thinking is a powerful design tool that you can use to make the decision-making process simple. It is foremost for companies and educational institutions of all sizes. But it is especially beneficial when you are making complex decisions on how your company operates or what new products you should develop, or how to provide education to students in the most creative way.
Design thinkers use their knowledge in creative problem-solving and empathy with others to come up with solutions quickly, which helps them avoid costly mistakes. This article focuses on how design thinking is essential for the decision-making process. It also provides you with some tips for how to use it in your own life or career.
Design thinking does not just help kids to devise new products and offer services. In essence, it's a mindset of being an entrepreneur and innovator. But what if this seems too daunting for children to learn these practical lessons on their own?
For you, we have resources such as Design Thinking Workshops that will help you get started! If you want to learn how design thinking can boost your decision-making skills, you can enroll for an upcoming workshop on Design Thinking.