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Design thinking, when design is applied to business

Updated: Dec 5, 2021

More and more today, design thinking seems to play an important part in creativity and innovation. The biggest companies and brands are adopting and applying it. Even the most prestigious universities in the world are teaching it. But what is design thinking and why did it become so important and popular?

Design thinking is basically a toolkit that we can use to build a better understanding of what will be of value to the stakeholders, along with systems for testing possible solutions rapidly, with direct feedback from these people. Design thinking is used to make sure that the ideas really create value for the people we are trying to serve.

The perfect design

Design process is the sketch of three intersecting shapes. The first one is the set of things that are interesting to the designer. The second is what is important to the users of the design. And the third is the set of things that create value for society as a whole. Great designers work at the intersection of all three areas: designer, user and society. The people that think about how to apply design principles to the development of business, call this process design thinking.

design thinking

The design thinking process

Using a design thinking process, helps encourage the team to challenge and improve ideas, reduce the risk of producing an ineffective solution, and ensure that the final deliverable will really work for the intended users.

Everything around us is designed. However, there is a difference between invention and design. Designing is a smart process and is the result of both explicit knowledge and deep cognitive skills. It is the ability to shift thinking from the purpose or function of a task to tools or products to assist with the function to achieve these tasks. This requires the ability to see the world and its problems from a variety of different angles. Indeed, good design thinking teams have to be ambivalent, and must evaluate the problem from multiple perspectives.

Design thinking is also used to identify, diagnose, and deconstruct problems. Indeed, in order to solve a problem creatively a three phases process is required.

Design thinking process
  1. The opening, also known as divergent thinking. It is the time for generating ideas, and gathering information.

  2. The exploring, the emergent period, when great ideas show up. It is time to perform some experimentation, to test ideas and to prototype.

  3. The closing – which is characterized by convergent thinking. It includes coming to conclusions, making decisions, and acting.

When the problem is complex, the process is repeated many times.

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