Design thinking

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Design thinking is a framework used to better understand the audience and to meet the customer’s needs. The design thinking process involves 5 steps which include: empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test. This process leads the design team through a series of steps which are utilized to better understand the audience on a deeper level in order to find solutions to their needs and uncover any problems that the customer might not realize they need assistance with.

“Design-thinking firms stand apart in their willingness to engage in the task of continuously redesigning their business…to create advances in both innovation and efficiency—the combination that produces the most powerful competitive edge.”
—Roger Martin, author of the Design of Business

Human-centered innovation

Human-centered innovation is the deep understanding of the customers’ or users’ needs whether they have been unmet or have not been articulated by the client. If you are able to find solutions to needs that have not been articulated, you are able to far exceed the customers expectations and bring value to their product or service. Design thinking minimizes the uncertainty and risk of innovation by engaging customers’ or users through a series of prototypes in order to learn, test, and refine concepts. Design thinkers rely on customer insights gained from real-world experiments.

Crash Course in Design Thinking

In this week’s assignment we were partnered up with each other and asked to view the Virtual Crash Course Video together as we filled out the corresponding worksheet. During the 90-minute video we participated in the Gift-Giving Project. We were asked to identify the needs and develop a solution to redesign the gift-giving experience for our partner.

The assignment consisted of us asking each other about a recent gift we had given and finding a way to take that gift giving up a notch. In order to find the best gift solution, we had to ask questions, sketch an idea, and design a prototype from craft supplies in just a few minutes. The assignment moved me out of my comfort zone and required me to think outside of the box for a creative solution. I found it exciting and it left me wanting to ask more to better understand the audience. Reflecting back on the assignment, I wish I had asked more questions to understand the audience and gift giver on a deeper level.

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