What is Design Thinking
Design Thinking is the latest trend in the graphic design industry. It is a revolutionary approach catering to the entire business world for devising human-centric solutions. Thriving amidst new releases and evolving technology, Design Thinking has redefined consumer expectations.
A Harvard University review claim that Design Thinking has the potential to unleash creativity to the full extent earn unperturbed commitment and improved problem-solving methodologies. In this article, we will discuss what Design Thinking is for graphic designers, how it works, and if it is a good enough approach.
The Design Thinking approach connects different people from various departments, including designers, business leaders, and innovators, to develop ideas and solutions to a problem. It is known as outside the box thinking process due to its unconventional problem-solving methods. The aim is to improve customer experiences, improve products, analyze and enhance the way users interact with them. The core of Design Thinking challenges common assumptions and prove validity in current conditions.
How Does Design Thinking Approach Work For Graphic Designs
The most common Design Thinking cycle is a 5-step process, which includes:
- Empathize: This is the first step to Design Thinking in which the team researches on consumer needs. It allows you to set aside your assumptions and gain real-time insights into the users’ characteristics and prerequisites. Empathy is one of the fundamental elements of designing human-centric solutions.
- Define: Once you connect with the audience and collect the information, it’s time to give voice to the problems. A graphic designer may effectively communicate the kinds of issues users face when navigating websites on different platforms. It is one of the most common problems that web users face.
- Ideate: This part is where you challenge common assumptions and generate innovative ideas to resolve the problems. During this step, the graphic designers view the problems in a different light and find an alternative. Brainstorming is the key to ideate on solutions.
- Prototype: This is the experimental part of the whole design process in which you try to find the best possible solution. The team works on multiple options to find which idea will work best for the given problem.
- Test: Once you select the possible solution, you test its effectiveness. Although, it is the last step of the entire design process, yet the designer can iterate to step 1 or 2 if the designed solution is unable to generate desired results. Teams often use outcomes to refine or reinvent design solutions.
How can Graphic Designers Get Started with Design Thinking
To devise human-centric solutions, the team needs to be well-aligned so that all aspects of the design solutions are coherent. Graphic designers often rely on the following methods to stay aligned and focused on the Design Thinking process:
- Communicate: Talk to the team and correspond with individual members/stakeholders from different teams to identify meaningful outcomes/solutions for the users’ problems. You can even define a timeframe to achieve those results.
- Playback: Ask for regular feedback and exchange ideas to stay connected throughout the process. Let the members share their opinions at each step of the Design Thinking process instead of receiving responses at the outcome.
- Run-Through: Let the actual users try the prototype to get real-time feedback on your design solutions. It will also show you how effective the proposed solution is in addressing and resolving consumer issues.
Is Design Thinking The Right Approach for My Business
As we have discussed the Design Thinking process and its works for graphic designers, let’s unravel the benefits that the approach offers to businesses:
- Mitigates Risk Factor: The risk of failure is lower since the process involves prototyping and testing. Testing also ensures that the design meets user requirements while consumer behavior insights churn out elements that could lead to a design fiasco.
- Offer Innovation: The process engages creativity to surface out innovation and uniqueness. However, it also guarantees that the novel idea is practical and deems fruitful results. Since it is an iterated cycle; Design Thinking continuously improves the final product to perfection.
- Open Learning Avenues:
As multiple people and stakeholders are on board, it brings fresh minds and new learnings to the table. Exchanging ideas build an opportunity for learning and growth among individuals as they gain exposure to new knowledge and skills.
- Improve User Experience: When the design solutions undergo testing before the launch, it assures the business that the solutions are practical and aimed at improving user experience. According to McKinsey’s latest study, human-centric approaches offer a 32% increase in revenue and a 56% greater ROI.
Challenges of Design Thinking Approach
The most-hyped sensation of all times, Design Thinking, is considerably failing as an innovative design methodology. Although there is nothing wrong with the approach but its continuous abuse in design processes has led to its downfall.
Today, when you see various mobile apps and websites, there is a remarkable similarity among them with little to no uniqueness or innovation. Due to copycat trends and standardization of multiple elements, Design Thinking becomes a rutty business.
Graphic designers seek opportunities to learn from the industry experts and grow while pushing boundaries and upskill themselves. But
Design Thinking encourages other non-designers to participate in the process, limiting the creative potential of the task.
It propagates an environment where creative skill deteriorates instead of improving problem-solving skills paired with unique ideas and optimum execution. Rather than pushing the boundaries for getting the best outcomes, designers and business owners settle for “good enough” options.
The second most common cause of the downfall is the failure of collaboration and co-design within the design fraternity. When there are too many stakeholders and team members grouped, design, and problem-solving skills evaporate. Time is also a defining factor for the success of co-designing. Often when you discover solutions through brainstorming and co-design, it’s usually the tip of the iceberg. You can uncover various other viable options with further ideation and maturity. But, typically we rush into the development stage without further ado.
Exploring and testing ideas is crucial for Design Thinking processes. The coherence and bonding among the stakeholders are highly essential for the success of the approach. This will, in turn, increase motivation among the team members to innovate and transform in this digital arena.
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