In an interconnected world that is constantly changing, we have come to expect businesses, especially of the digital variety, to offer personalised products and seamless services that improve the way we live, work, and play. To keep up with a saturated, ever-evolving marketplace, businesses must reinvent the way in which they design and build these offerings. Design thinking provides the perfect strategy to do exactly that - shifting the focus from the business to the end-user (i.e. customer) to better understand their needs and creatively discover the best possible solution to meet them.
What is design thinking?
Design thinking is a customer-centric, solution-focused, and action-orientated philosophy that uses empathetic, creative, innovative, and analytical skills to change the way we tackle problems. This method of thinking encourages businesses to keep their customers in mind when exploring new alternatives to existing problems or outdated processes. In the digital transformation sphere, a collaborative team would use direct observation and qualitative data to begin to really understand and empathise with their customers’ needs. This allows us to become more apt to design products and services that ensure user-friendliness, customer satisfaction, and convenience. What are the advantages of implementing this method?
By honing in on people, contexts, and cultures, you’ll boost creativity, and are more likely to discover possible improvements that provide real value, not only for your end-users, but for your company too. Based on insights from usage metrics and new customer needs, designers and engineers can fix glitches often - improving and upgrading products and services as they go - resulting in excellent customer experience in the long run. The collaborative nature of design thinking also increases staff satisfaction and overall productivity by joining the forces of product managers, designers, and software engineers to mull over new solutions. How can my organisation begin its own design thinking journey?
The first step to accelerate digital transformation with design thinking is to observe and empathise with your customers. If you can, interview them to find out exactly what they want from the digital experience. Quality, high-speed internet
, click-stream data, and chat-log mining can come in handy here to discover how they interact with your product or service, and where they may be encountering issues. After analysing the data collected, you should be able to pinpoint what needs your time and energy to formulate a problem statement - outline the specific concern, and gear it towards improving the customer experience.
Now that you have a definitive problem, it’s time to sit in a group and brainstorm possible solutions. The key here is to have as many different creative minds as possible because this generates more ideas to use.
The best ideas are then turned into inexpensive prototypes that can be tested on a small group of customers. Their feedback is then used to adjust the prototypes for further testing. The work shouldn’t stop once an optimal solution is reached – we should be continuously refining and innovating to better the customer experience.
In conclusion, design thinking is a powerful tool that your business can employ to offer user-centred solutions that exceed the customer’s expectations. As a result, your business will not only remain relevant to the wants and needs of the consumer, it will also be considered a pioneer for creative, out-of-the-box thinking.