Enabling new ventures to win.
Design Thinking is powerful. It works for startup and spinout ventures: challengers who want to disrupt business-as-usual. Good Design Thinking builds receptivity, rapport and trust between enterprises and challengers.
The focus here is on engaging with large and mid-market enterprises: connecting digital innovators who deliver measurable value outcomes in exchange for timely investments in early-stage tech solutions.
With this Design Thinking method, you can frame, and reframe the problem(s) being addressed by the digital solution - often well-ahead of completeness of a technology. This means focusing on value over cost.
Placing people at the centre of digital innovation.
Digital innovation empowers people: citizens as both producers and consumers in the broadest sense of these words. Making processes and tasks 'frictionless' is really something that's needed everywhere in life.
Web and mobile apps or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions for business need to be as intuitive as everyday consumer apps and services: Facebook, Twitter, et al. If you have to provide user training, you've failed.
Design Thinking places people at the centre of reimagining processes and tasks: for the better - business or consumer. This requires a method, an organised way to engage people in collaborative digital innovation.
A meaningful method for digital innovation.
Design Thinking is all about solving complex problems in a people-oriented way. It is a pragmatic, hands-on approach to innovation. Design Thinking is being inquisitive: asking questions, challenging conventions.
At the heart of successful Design Thinking is a culture of curiosity and empathy. This means being interested in solving problems, seeing them from other people's perspectives. Hence, our process starts with Empathize.
Here, Design Thinking is the structured method that guides an end-to-end approach to creating digital innovations and achieving measurable value outcomes. It is a focus on action and continuous improvements.
Inspired by the Stanford d.school.
This method embraces the Design Thinking developed by the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University (d.school). This is five steps, applied in an iterative loop: Empathize; Define; Ideate; Prototype; and, Test.
Empathize means building the receptivity, rapport and trust required to enable a meaningful outcome for the next step: Define. By creating the right Definition, the subsequent steps of Ideate, Prototype and Test work better.
The key to Ideation is hands-on, rapid iterative work in the Prototype and Test steps. This means not being afraid to make mistakes - but enabling a 'fail fast' approach with a 'T4' mindset: Try This, Try That.
Uncovering insights for digital innovation.
Empathy Mapping enables the generation of both explicit and implicit needs, discovered at the earliest stages of tech innovation. This is capturing everything per User Persona as: Say; Think; Feel; and, Do.
What follows are four further steps towards the creation of a Minimum Viable Proposition: something that has been inspired by deeper insights generated from Empathy Mapping sessions with all key stakeholders.
Observations from Say and Do, combined with Inferences from Think and Feel enables the creation of Points of View (PoV) Statements, categorised as line items under the three columns of User; Need; and, Insight.
Creating 'win-win' outcomes.
For larger enterprises innovation is about more than just planning new products or services: it's about imagining how to compete and win in new ways. Design Thinking transforms existing conditions for the better.
Design Thinking for tech innovation is all about converting knowledge and insights into a comparative advantage. This invariably means moving fast: a focus on doing, not planning, failing fast - and continuously learning.
Applying this Design Thinking method allows buyers and sellers to come together around new tech innovations - way ahead of completeness of product or service. This becomes the foundation to create 'win-win' outcomes - fast.
The emerging Design Anthropologist.
Design Thinking moves design to a higher level: from functional design and incremental improvement to transformative design and reinvention. The language of the designer is found in our everyday conversations.
Design Anthropologists are the emerging talent: moving beyond user experience (UX) design to a more universal problem-solving with digital innovation and packaged Software-as-a-Servivce (SaaS) solutions.
With AI, Machine Learning and the Internet Of Things, the human-computer interface has become very complex. Anthropology enables a better understanding of people and how they interact with a broader array of devices.
Focus on doing, not planning.
Creating meaning is the tough aspect of Design Thinking, applied. To properly communicate and validate ideas and insights, a focus on doing, not planning is essential. This often means multiple iterations and conversations.
Remember the five-step steps of Design Thinking: Empathize; Define; Ideate; Prototype; and, Test. Ultimately, getting to the Prototype and Test steps fast and not being afraid to make mistakes here is key.
Design Thinking is all about institutionalising creativity in the enterprise: a tangible link between employees, partners and customers - focused on win-win outcomes. This helps tech innovators inspire creativity through practical work.
It all starts with Empathize.
The key step in Design Thinking is Empathize. This means that the innovator must position themselves in the place of all stakeholders and users of the digital solution to truly understand their needs and challenges.
Truth in Design Thinking is key and only comes when sufficient receptivity, rapport and trust is really established between all participants engaged in tech innovation. Asking meaningful questions also requires truthful answers.
Shaping and phrasing questions in all five steps of Design Thinking is key: from the first step of Empathize, through Define and then iterative loops for Ideate, Prototype and Test. This means uncovering implicit and explicit needs.
Tangible outcomes as Web and mobile apps.
Design Thinking driving digital innovation only has value if it results in real world outcomes: useful Web and mobile apps. Typically, solutions offered on a cloud ecosystem - a two-sided network of producers and consumers.
Underpinning Design Thinking is the idea of Rapid Application Development (RAD): making full use of prebuilt business logic made available on No-Code Platforms and Reusable AI and Machine Learning Assets.
This becomes a journey of converting 'brainware' into software: the realisation of digital innovations reinforced as compelling, affordable Web and mobile apps or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions.
Thoughts on Design Thinking applied to digital innovation.