Design thinking – searching and finding innovations
Design thinking enables you to find user-centered product and service solutions that unveil new usage contexts. Our design thinking experts accompany you on your way to developing novelties that will advance your company.
Design thinking is a creative, artefact-oriented method for finding solutions to complex problems. The approach is playful and experimental for a reason: By intensively dealing with the original question, your team develops new perspectives. Delving into the subject raises awareness for the users' requirements and forms a vital base for new product ideas. Thus, design thinking offers new principles, methods and techniques to find opportunities for new products and enhanced services.
What is your strategic direction?
Design thinking is especially well-suited for determining the strategic direction at an early stage of your project. This will help you find approval, also at higher management levels. While user experience design focuses on interaction design, design thinking is a more general problem solving approach.
Thinking outside the box
As opposed to human-centered design, design thinking deals with the problem and its different solution approaches in a more holistic way, enlarging the solution scope. The stakeholders develop a different mind set – they have to think in different directions, in unconventional ways and outside the box. This creates empathy for potential users and colleagues. Instead of relying on a logical, analytic approach, they trust their own intuition.
This different approach is supported by working in a flexible space: A lot of work is done standing up, notepads and inspiring prototyping materials are always available. Prototypes may be role plays, presentations, drawings or hand-crafted ideas, which help to quickly visualize approaches and bring them to life. This allows you to develop not only a rational-logical but also a holistic assessment of your idea.
The benefits of design thinking
Design thinking is a multidisciplinary approach integrating all the stakeholders of a company into the design process. This forges solutions that are readily accepted, implemented and marketed by all divisions of a company.
Design thinking also works under pressure and proves that a lot can be achieved in a short time. Existing methods such as creativity techniques and UCD methods can be easily integrated.
You don't only use market opportunities, you create new ones. This is how real innovations come to life.
Design thinking changes the mind set of your team and helps to focus on opportunities instead of limiting factors.
These solutions lay the foundations for the future of your company. You have to deal with increasing costs and competition on a daily basis. Stand out from the crowd by designing a unique product with an unconventional approach, bringing you one step ahead of your competitors.
In the right hands – UID's hands
A team of proficient user experience designers is by your side from the initial strategic phase all the way to the actual implementation. Our staff have expanded the UID method by attending trainings at leading design thinking institutions in Europe, and are now able to offer our customers in-depth knowledge for their design-thinking projects. This perfectly complements their vast experience as user experience designers.
Five phases of design thinking
1 Scoping workshop
Together with you, we lay the foundation for your design thinking project. This gives you a new perspective of your plans. Our design thinking experts support you in specifying the issue at hand, giving it a new direction or expanding it. In this process, the focus is on the strategic direction of your product.
possible methods: semantic analysis, charrette, stakeholder map, analogies, user journeys, fast-forward
2 Observing & Understanding
This stage is about familiarizing and empathizing – with future users, the challenges, the usage context. Our experts visit users in relevant situations, for example at home, at work or during their spare time.
possible methods: observation, cultural probes, extreme users, qualitative interviews
During this phase, the user experience designers draw inspiration from the wealth of new impressions. The information they have collected are clustered and summarized to reflect the views of the users involved. User experience experts look for patterns that give clues for possible solutions.
possible methods: storytelling, deducing requirements, nuggeting, sense making, clustering
4 Ideating & Prototyping
The ideation process is based on the results of the field research, aiming to generate as many ideas as possible. The most promising ideas are pursued further and implemented as low-fidelity prototypes. Based on the insights gained in the tests, the ideas are refined further, step by step.
possible methods: brainstorming methods, other creativity techniques, paper prototyping, storyboards
As soon as the first prototypes of the ideas are available, the testing process starts. After the prototypes have been refined, the tests are repeated. The guideline is: It is better to do several test runs with just a few users and to refine the ideas iteratively instead of carrying out a comprehensive test when the idea has been almost fully implemented.
possible methods: interviews, rapid usability testing
After the end of the design thinking project you can continue to rely on UID's usual service standard. We can accompany you with your actual, well-prepared HCD project or support you during the implementation right down to the smallest detail.