When I began programming, one of the things that spurred my interest in the field was the ability to solve the problems I cared deeply about with a simple program. Over the years of problem solving with software engineering I’ve come to realize that it not just about the problem or the solutions, but majorly the users.
Users play a major role in the execution and shaping of ideas and solutions. "Users are like oxygen to our ideas". This has made me to be very interested in the topic of Design thinking.
Design thinking is a collaborative and iterative approach that utilizes a designer's framework to solve complex problems and find desirable solutions that focuses on the users i.e. it is a human-centered approach.
Having started my career as a graphics designer and worked in various design roles, I have fully understood this designer's framework. As a designer, whenever i'm given work to do, I quickly prototype the idea or concept and show the client/user to get feedback on the work done. I engage the user at every phase of the design and this is what Design Thinking is all about. Applying this process to a broader set of problems and ensuring that we produce the most ideal solution that the user feels connected to.
Design Thinking Process: a brief on the steps to provide solutions to complex problems
- EMPATHIZE: Understand the experience.
- DEFINE: Articulate your discoveries.
- IDEATE: Come up with as many solutions as possible.
- PROTOTYPE: Develop a cheap and easy representation of your idea.
- TEST: Share your prototyped idea with your intended users.
The biggest difference and what sets Design Thinking apart for other approaches is the word ‘EMPATHY’.
Empathy is simply defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. We generally think of empathy as being a nice thing, something that caring people do to help others, but there’s more to it.
One of the core principles of design thinking is its focus on human values at every stage of the process and empathy for the people for whom you’re designing is fundamental to this process.Design thinking is deeply rooted in empathy, where you try to see from the perspective of a user of a given design or product.
“It is really hard to design something for someone if you don’t have empathy”.
Empathy is the starting point for innovation. Design thinking starts with the needs of individuals because designing for individual needs often leads to greater insights and inspiration. The best solutions come out of the best insights into human behavior when we understand and can predict the actions of the humans we’re designing for.
Design thinking is about shipping
"Done is never done, just ship"
The power of your ideas lie in the hands of your users. In other to innovate we have to think of the now, and quickly run experiments with the real world and not having to wait for the perfect solution.
Let people use your prototypes, ask for feedback and listen to what they say. Find out what worked and what didn't. Learn about your users, reframe your view and refine your prototype. Design thinking is less about thinking and more about doing.
I give presentations on design thinking. Get in touch.