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  • Writer's pictureZeynep Burcu Yenipınar

Why is Design Thinking Valuable for Your Business’ Progress?

There are many factors that go into building a successful business and it’s definitely safe to say design thinking is one of them. Design thinking can be defined as an approach to creative problem solving and this is recognized as a valuable asset and innovation worldwide. The general mindset behind this approach is not based on ‘beauty’, but more on achieving the purpose, business goals, and other success drivers.

The whole concept came from corporations’ needs and the lack of the ability to be creative in managing the business, coming up with new product ideas and designs along with new services that are going to meet the needs of their customers. It’s highly based on resolving customers’ problems so it’s absolutely a ‘people-centric’ approach. When addressing people’s problems, design thinking methodology takes into consideration of people’s behavior, background, motivations, habits, behaviors and wants, and needs. Design thinking understands and tries to provide solutions to problems by engaging with customers thoroughly by using certain metrics that drive success as an end goal.

What is the value of design thinking for businesses?

Regardless of the size and industry, all businesses have endless goals and that should be the case in any situation if you want to strive for success. They want to either release more/newer products or upgraded services to provide customers with an improved experience. When businesses make the decision to release new products, it all comes down to creating more costs for the enterprises. To minimize costs and optimize the process, companies should always apply the design thinking methodology throughout the entire production phase.

1. Customer-centric approach is at the core:

Different perspectives are views with keeping the customer in the center is a great way to apply design thinking. Cross-functional teams with different members from the entire organization are brought together to empathize with the customers' way of thinking to come up with different ideas and solutions that would benefit the customers. Then through innovation and prototyping, the products are crafted and tested before getting pushed out in the market to present to the customers. The key point here is to find individuals in the companies, who are good at understanding the customers and can see from their perspectives to able to provide the most suitable solutions. These individuals are great assets for the company and always good to retain in the long run.

2. Identifying the exact problem:

To define the problem(s), you need to figure out exactly what both the company and the customers want that ‘solution’ to be and how this solution will benefit the customers. If you want to provide the most suitable solution/product for your customers’ benefit, you need to know your target audience really well. Here are some of the questions that you should be able to answer without any hesitation. 1. What are the demands of the customers? 2. What age, background, and ethnicity do they belong to? 3. What other products or solutions have they used before for this same problem? 4. What other products are there in the market to address the exact same problem? 5. What is the difference between our product and others in the market? These questions are all part of a market research strategy and once this data is collected it becomes easier to create the exact solution that the customers are looking for as a solution. While gathering the answers, as an organization, make sure you’re in your customers’ shoes and can understand exactly what they’re looking to resolve. 3. Available solution options are directed right where they’re needed

Brainstorming and gathering a range of ideas can help creativity and productivity within an organization. Thus, there might even be some out-of-the-ordinary solutions that can help your company extremely differentiate itself from the competition. Before making a further decision, there is more discussion to discuss the pros and cons of each appropriate idea presented. After the final decision discussion, prototyping is the next step to craft the product and get it ready to be tested so, the companies can see what it’s missing and what needs to be addressed more carefully.

Design thinking might not always guarantee to bring in better products or solutions at all times, but it drives more experimentation, collection of necessary data, and analysis. These all end up helping create a more suitable, creative, and beneficial product than a standard offer. Once a company creates a more customer-centric product that will address the exact defined problem, the ROI will be greater. Overall, design thinking is a way to engage all individuals in the related teams of the company to create a more successful product/solution to strive for success in the market. It allows companies to think outside the box and understand their customer base and target markets at a deeper level. The priority should always be what the customers want and need rather than making great profits through only ‘selling’ your products.

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