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How to apply design thinking for brands

by John Saunders
22nd Feb 21 5:57 pm

Most of the leading brands in the world today have adopted the design thinking method. Design thinking has become a demand such that it is a course in various institutions. Design thinking is a process that understands the user, looks over assumptions, attempts to break through problems to find solutions, and multiple strategies not entirely evident to everybody’s understanding.

Design Thinking gives a solution-based method to solve problems. This method would require thought, working, and a collection of techniques that have worked overtime. With design thinking, you must take time to understand the customers that you are designing for brands. From the empathy developed for the user and observations made about the customer, you can solve problems.

Many ideas are created from design thinking through brainstorming sessions. These ideas help when testing the prototypes, and a lot of experimentation will take place. Such experiments that are adopted include testing, sketching, prototyping, and working on ideas and concepts. The order in which you choose to use design thinking methods is not sequential, and they can follow any order.

In design thinking, there are five-stages in general. They include: Empathise with your user, Define the needs of your user and your insights, Ideate by creating innovative ideas and challenging assumptions, Prototype to develop solutions, and Test the solutions.

  • Empathise

To be able to be empathetic with the user on their problems, you will require to consult experts to gain an understanding of the situation. This understanding of people can happen with observation and engagements to gather their motivations and experiences. When you are in the users’ environment, you can empathise with their issues.

Developing empathy is essential to a human-centered design process as it permits design thinkers to discard their assumptions and see needs from the user’s view. Taking time to gather considerable information will help you develop the best understanding of the people’s needs and problems that restrict the brand’s development.

  • Define

Once there is important information from an empathised perspective, you can analyse the observations to define the main problems by making a problem statement. The defining stage helps designers gather ideas to develop functions, features, and elements to solve the problem without difficulty. To answer these problems, you must create questions that will bring more ideas when answered.

  • Ideate

From this point, you understand your people, their needs, and you have synthesis to the observations. Therefore, a problem statement is human-centered that can allow you to think broadly and view the problem differently. Regarding issues in multiple ways gives you more ideas on solving them.

Brainstorm and look at the worst possible scenario to engage free-thinking and expand problem space. Get as many ideas as possible, then pick other idea techniques to aid in the investigation. Test the ideas that come up so that you can find a suitable way to solve an issue. Otherwise, testing your idea may not entirely solve the issue but could bring up other elements that can circumvent the problem.

  • Prototype

Prototypes can be shared and tested by other people or the design team to identify a unique solution for problems during observations. Eventually, applying the solutions on the prototypes to investigate if it is of use to the user or it is useless to the user based on their experience. These experiences give feedback on how the end product will gain favor in the market.

  • Test

During the test phase, the final product generates more understanding of users and how they think and behave. More problems could arise during this phase, meaning the product needs alterations or the solutions require refinements. Testing ends up bringing out a real understanding between the relationship of the user and the product.

Design thinking builds innovative thinking, and ideas that look beyond the obvious are a success factor in anyone’s career. Design thinking has a role in abstract thought construct, physical products, digital offerings, etc., Therefore making it an asset in the growth of any brand.

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