The Stages of Design ThinkingOctober 25, 2018
Design Thinking is a powerful, transformative approach to problem solving.
You’ve read how organisations and entire cities can be re-designed using this customer focused, user-centric approach. Perhaps you’ve also observed a business revitalised by re-engaging with their customers or seen a Ted talk about the power of human-centred design.
Are you now wondering how to employ a design-led approach to solve systemic problems in your organisation or help your business to better serve your customers? Have you heard the term and thought, “I really need to learn more about Design Thinking”?
If you google Design Thinking Workshops, you’re likely to find quite a few potential training workshops with images of people playing trust games, moulding Plasticine, building with LEGO bricks and using more Post-it notes than you ever thought possible.
This could leave you wondering:
- Is this really what Design Thinking is about?
- Does the training have any substance?
- Are your LEGO skills up to scratch?
A G2 Innovation Design Thinking Workshop is not like that.
Whilst Design Thinking is about creativity, collaboration, finding new perspectives and, at times, being playful – what’s central to Design Thinking Training is learning how to better understand your end-users (e.g. your customers, patients, fans, employees, clients, suppliers, stakeholders…). It’s about learning how to spot the actions, experiences, trends and emotions that influence those who influence your work, and discovering and implementing innovative ways to solve problems and meet their needs. In short, it’s about brokering innovative thinking and delivering powerful results.
The G2 Innovation Design Thinking process is divided into four easily recognisable and actionable stages:
Design Thinking starts with discovering your end-users and understanding problems from their perspectives. This is the time for customer and empathy mapping, problem and trend discovery.
Is all about reframing problems and ideating possible solutions using powerful techniques. This is when we bring out our specially developed creative thinking and ideation tools.
This is the stage for selecting your ideas and conducting low-fidelity prototyping. Low-fidelity prototyping is about finding ways to quickly and cheaply test and experiment ideas. (This is why, when you google Design Thinking, you may see people building with LEGO bricks. LEGO can be an extremely useful method for testing ideas such as building designs or customer experiences. At G2 Innovation we’re big fans of LEGO and it definitely has its place in the ‘Develop’ stage of Design Thinking, but it is not the only method of low-fi prototyping. LEGO prototyping is fast, but not as effective as the paper-based prototyping we use in our One-Day Design Thinking Workshops.)
By now you should be iterating each of these steps until you’ve got a tried and tested solution. By reworking in this way using a Design Thinking check-list, you should quickly reach a level of confidence, where launching is realistic.
Design Thinking training should be focused on understanding real problems and identifying possible solutions. You can use all the Plasticine and Post-it notes in the world, but will they deliver the results you need?
Words: G2 Innovation Group