Design Thinking can sound like one of those woolly, arty-farty terms often used by designers who have no idea how a real business is run. How often has a meeting been started with the words:
“Our aim is to create a simple, clean, modern…blah blah blah”
As if anyone would want to create a “complex, rough, old” product. Meaningless drivel.
Design Thinking can seem to live in the same dreamy, pointless, redundant space as those words, but it absolutely shouldn’t.
What Does It Do Then? Quickly
In short, it helps you pinpoint the real problem and create an innovative, efficient and superior solution.
Imagine that you’re a 14th Century German craftsman. You want to improve the sales of your book and increase your customer base. However, there aren’t very many literate people around to copy out the text for you.
Possible solutions to that problem could be to teach more people to read and write, to invent a better pen, ink that doesn’t dry in the nib, increase your employee’s target words per minute etc.
Or you could create the first printing press. That’s Design Thinking.
The problem wasn’t a lack of people to copy the text.
The problem was one of replicating the pages.
Any Practical, Tangible Benefits?
Have a look at this
Every device with a button is being connected to the internet. They had to keep up or get left behind.
People were only concerned with 2 things in their electric toothbrush. Charging and brush head replacement. Consumers tended to forget to buy replacement heads the second they left the bathroom.
Charging at home would be simple with a dock through induction. But what if you’re on the road? Include a USB charger.
An app, connected to the toothbrush via Bluetooth, could allow you to simply press a button on the brush and receive a reminder on your phone to buy replacement heads.
The Oral-B iO toothbrush caused a 2.5-point growth in value share for Procter & Gamble over 2 months and, from July through December 2020, accounted for more than half of the US power brush category growth.
Design Thinking is a worthwhile investment with measurable, qualitative benefits to a business and has been proven to return far more than its cost.