Innovation is one of the key parts of design thinking that participates strongly in its success. Design thinking is an iterative process that leads to perfection by focusing on the customer's problems and finding a solution to help them. The process eventually results in the benefit of both the customer and the organization.  

What is Design Thinking? 

Design thinking is a method to increase a company’s value and bring relief to users. It emphasizes user experience over the market, design over engineering and customer over product. In other words, it values the customer more than the business, eventually leading to business growth and expansion. Design thinking and innovation is not for the known problems or solutions but for non-existent and unique things that the world needs. 

Why is Design Thinking So Important?

Design thinking and innovation holds importance due to its holistic approach that connects business, logic, society and emotion. Besides being creative and rational, it considers economic needs as well. It is a key method for a business to be in the competition by making the organization follow a new path and iteratively work on the developed prototype. It encourages questioning, creativity, experimentation and learning. 

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What are the 5 Phases of Design Thinking?

The five phases of design thinking are as follows:

  1. Empathizing
  2. Defining the problem
  3. Ideation
  4. Prototyping 
  5. Testing

An entrepreneur should understand the problem through the user's perspective with empathy. Gather the information and define the problem. Work on design thinking for innovation and bring a solution. Develop a prototype for feedback. Test the prototype to understand the potential and limitations for further modifications. 

Distinctions Between Design and Design Thinking

Design isn't the commonly understood shape and structure; rather, it is the working mechanism. Design thinking is a practice that connects the necessities with technology while considering feasibility, economic and customer value and market potential. Design involves analysis, imagination, and creativity to bring out the solution. In contrast, design thinking uses logic and reasoning with imagination to benefit the user and the organization. Ultimately, the design aims to improve the quality of life and design thinking assists in doing so. 

What is the Driving Force Behind Design Thinking?

Constant and accelerated change may end up eradicating the business if not worked through. It drives entrepreneurs to administer design thinking in different aspects of their business. The solution requires design thinking coupled with innovation and the encouragement to take risks to tackle the problem with a unique and non-existent solution.

Design thinking promotes companies to change their mindset not just to solve problems but to find them. Incorporating long-term strategy planning and setting a work environment that runs on creativity, imagination, and iteration can help businesses. 

Which Problems Can Design Thinking and Innovation Help Us Solve?

Design thinking can help overcome the following problems:

  • Re-inventing business models
  • Organizational culture change
  • Affect multiple systems and diverse stakeholders
  • Change in behaviors and markets
  • Societal challenges that require unity
  • Redefining the value of the business

Creativity at Work Design Innovation Protocol

The protocol involves mentioned components:

  • Discover: Learn, discover, find and define the problem
  • Reframe opportunity: Organize the gathered information sensibly
  • Incubate: Change the mindset and approach and reflect on it 
  • Ideate: think out of the box
  • Refine ideas: check their feasibility
  • Prototype: Give your idea a practical form and take the feedback
  • Test: further check the efficiency of the idea
  • Deliver: Evaluate, get the approval and launch
  • Iterate and Scale: Based on the reviews and feedback, optimize and scale up

A Framework for Design Thinking

Framework or structure for action is a big solution and path to high efficiency. Design thinking is also the framework for solving complex problems and developing new ideas. It focuses on users' needs that still need to be addressed by companies. Design thinking thus involves collecting the data, using logic to find the root cause and generating a feasible opportunity to meet people's needs and help the company grow. 

Implementing Design Thinking

Entrepreneurs or any individual who wants to implement design thinking needs to follow the mentioned steps:

  • Develop the mindset for uniqueness. Concisely practice design thinking and innovation.
  • Find ways to apply the thoughts, bring up a product, and work to optimize it to bring up the confidence and expertise
  • Understand the shortcomings or the points that need to be focussed while being creative
  • Emphasize users' experience, step in their shoes
  • Share your experience, create the same environment at work, and collectively work on bigger problems
  • Work on opportunities and assumptions

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Stanford's Design Thinking Model

It involves five steps:

  • Empathy is a key to understanding the user and their problems
  • Create diverse teams
  • Communicate the ideas
  • Experiment to find different solutions
  • Apply structured process

Scaling Design Thinking and Innovation

It involves the application of design thinking in companies. Several organizations have integrated design and design thinking to operate at scale by developing their principles, teaching staff at all levels, recruiting skilled designers and design thinkers, and obtaining design firms. Cisco used design thinking to find HR solutions to the problems of hiring new talents, developing the team, learning, educating, leadership and others. 

Indra Nooyi incorporated design thinking by hiring a Chief Designer Officer that brought changes in product creation, labeling, packaging, consumer interaction and appearance of the product. They continuously work on it to remain in the market and grow exponentially. 

Critical Success Factors When Implementing Design Thinking

There are four success factors:

  • People
  • Leadership
  • Process 
  • Environment

Design thinking and innovation can be implemented when the team is guided through the resources and goals and uses design thinking to achieve them. Using a structured framework with regular incorporation of advanced tools and techniques and collaboration and innovation of the workforce play crucial roles. 

Examples of Innovative Products being Designed

Numerous products have been developed using design thinking and innovation of leaders and team members. Enlisted below are a few:

Organization

Domain

Bendable 

Education

Braun, Oral-B electric toothbrush

Healthcare

Project Bloks

Coding

Moonrise

Employment

UberEats

Food delivery

Airbnb

Tourism

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Conclusion

Design thinking and innovation have demonstrated the positive consequences of finding the problem and its solution. Kickstart your career growth story with our UI/UX Design Expert Masters Program, and learn the design-centric approach towards user interface and user experience, including UX research, UI styling, User-Centered Design process, wireframes and prototypes, usability testing, and more.

About the Author

SimplilearnSimplilearn

Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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  • *According to Simplilearn survey conducted and subject to terms & conditions with Ernst & Young LLP (EY) as Process Advisors