The Design Thinking Process

Unlock your organization’s creative potential using these 5 simple steps

What is design thinking?

Design thinking has gained momentum over the years as an effective approach to solving problems and developing quality products/services. The biggest differentiator from this workplace strategy versus others is the transition from asking how businesses can sell something to asking how they can solve something for their clients. Design-driven companies outperform the S&P by 228% over 10 years.

Tim Brown of IDEO, a thought leader in the field of design thinking, defines it best as “a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible.” At Azul Arc, we have embraced the key ideas associated with the design thinking process:

1. Empathize – Insight through observation and experience

By focusing on the user experience, observing how we use products or services, and noting the difficulties faced, we are able to design something that is consistently used and appreciated.

2. Define – Building on ideas with a bias toward doing / creating

Process and synthesize the findings. This is easier said than done and takes a lot of work. Being able to empathize and truly understand what the end user wants is equally as important as the analysis and technology involved. What we value the most is achieving the best user experience possible. Davinci got it right when he said, “Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication”.

3. Ideate – Collaborating at the intersection of disciplines

Design inspiration is all about embracing different perspectives Input is received from not only the design team, but from other areas like development, marketing, and sales.  The exploration of ‘unconventional ideas’ is encouraged, as the most beautiful solutions are often found in unusual places.

4. Prototype – Making the complex, simple, “friendly” and easy to use

With a design thinking approach to problem solving, you are continuously developing on ideas, prototyping and going through shorter iterations until you end up with a simplified solution (a “no user guide” approach to problems).

5. Test  – Putting your prototype into action

Combining all of the knowledge from the prior four steps, this process refines and iterates on feedback to create a model that can be tested and implemented.

We have made it a company goal to always be thinking about creative solutions from this perspective, and are now proudly displaying this little graphic around the offices as a bit of positive reinforcement.

Wondering what the design thinking approach could do for you? Drop us a note today!

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