Design Thinking Applied

Stanford method applied to digital innovation.


Ian H Smith

Design Thinking means, as the name implies: thinking (and acting) like a designer. It is all about solving problems in a people-oriented way. At Being Guided we combine Design Thinking as a method to enable digital innovation, combined with Salesforce technology as the no-code/low-code platform for rapidly delivering what comes from this creative process.

The Hasso Plattner Institute of Design and Stanford University (the enabled Design Thinking as a mult-stage method for innovation and Mutual Value Discovery between buyers and sellers. As you will see below, this is a very easy to understsnd, common sense approach.

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The Stanford method provides eight (8) stages—Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test, iterate, Implement and Evaluate . This offers a structured yet flexible framework to better understand users, challenge assumptions, redefine problems, and for us at Being Guided, rapidly create digital innovations.

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Stage 01. Empathize

Purpose: Understanding the users and their needs.

Application in Digital Innovation: In-depth user research, such as interviews, surveys, and observation, provides insights into user behaviours, needs, and motivations. This is crucial in digital innovation to ensure the technology or solution developed is genuinely user-centric and addresses real problems or desires.

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Stage 02. Define

Purpose: Clearly articulating the problem to be solved.

Application in Digital Innovation: After gathering user insights, define the core problem in a user-centered manner. This stage is about synthesising observations and articulating the problem in a way that guides the development of digital solutions. It helps in ensuring that the innovation addresses a specific, relevant challenge.


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Stage 03. Ideate

Purpose: Generating a range of creative ideas to solve the defined problem.

Application in Digital Innovation: This phase involves brainstorming and exploring a wide array of potential solutions, encouraging out-of-the-box thinking. It's essential for digital innovation as it fosters creativity and leads to the discovery of unique and effective digital solutions.

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Stage 04. Prototype

Purpose: Turning ideas into tangible products.

Application in Digital Innovation: Prototyping involves developing scaled-down versions of the product or its specific features. In digital innovation, this can mean anything from wireframes and mockups to Minimal Viable Products (MVPs). Prototyping is crucial for visualising how digital solutions work and for gathering feedback before full-scale development.

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Stage 05. Test

Purpose: Gathering feedback and refining the prototype.

Application in Digital Innovation: Testing includes formal Test Automation plus user trials and feedback collection on the Prototype. In digital innovation, this phase helps in understanding the user experience, identifying issues, and validating the solution’s effectiveness. Test Automation is key to refining a digital product, making it more user-friendly, ensuring it meets the users' needs.

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Stage 6. Iterate

Purpose: Try, This, Try That (T4) - fail fast, be brave!

Application in Digital Innovation: Iterating takes you back through any other previous stages and ensures that a mindset of continuous improvement is adopted and where moving fast does not mean breaking things, but with Change Intelligence built-in, having enough information to know the risk or cost related to each change in thid

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Stage 7. Implement

Purpose: Finalising the product and launching it.

Application in Digital Innovation: The final stage involves finalising the design based on testing feedback, completing the development, and launching the digital solution. This phase ensures that the digital innovation is polished, user-tested, and ready for the market. This is underpinned by applying a combination of Change Intelligence and Test Automation technologies.

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Stage 8. Evaluate

Purpose: To let your curiosity and restlessness drive disruptive, positive change.

Application in Digital Innovation: Design Thinking provides a structured approach to understanding and solving problems in a user-centered way, which is crucial for successful digital innovation with Salesforce Lightning Platform and Tangle Manufacturing - underpinned by Managed Services built on a combination of Change Intelligence and Test Automation technologies.