You might have heard of design thinking but think it’s just another buzzword in an industry full of jargon. (If you’ve never heard of design thinking, take a read of our latest blog post “What is design thinking?”) In fact, design thinking is actually a process that has been used in visual, environmental, and communications design for years, with remarkable results. Try incorporating it into your next project for a trusted method to validate user concerns and incorporate feedback into your brainstorming process.
Here are a few reasons to try the design thinking process on your next project:
With design thinking, you won’t lose sight of your users.
One of the hallmarks of design thinking is a relentless focus on users, starting from the very first phase all the way through the entire process. In fact, design thinking is intended to help you produce outcomes that work best for your users, not just for your own teams.
For example, let’s say you’re designing a user interface on a new web platform. The design thinking process doesn’t just look at the UI as a design problem. Instead, it helps you reframe the UI design as a human problem, focusing on the areas where users currently get frustrated and helping you ask the right questions to design effective solutions.
With design thinking, you can save time in the long run.
One of the biggest time drains on a project is having to go back to the drawing board to readjust or fine-tune solutions once a product has been completed and users get a chance to familiarize themselves with the way it works. Perhaps the button that you thought was intuitive will actually be confusing, or the guide you wrote doesn’t answer the most frequently-asked customer questions.
Many of these delays can be avoided, if not eliminated entirely, by using the design thinking process, which involves real users from the beginning, helping you better craft a product that actually reflects their needs.
With design thinking, you’ll get real-time feedback from users.
You already know the importance of user feedback to your work, whether you are designing a new user experience process, laying out an eLearning module, or writing a user manual.
But in many workflows, user feedback doesn’t happen until something has actually been created, at which point there is so much sweat equity in the project that it’s difficult to reverse course and incorporate user feedback fully.
With design thinking, you’ll incorporate user feedback along each step of the way, meaning your final outcome will be much closer to what your users want than it would have been had you skipped the design thinking process altogether.