Design Thinking as a mindset and process that is starting to get its’ due attention in the US. In India however, it is lesser known and in most cases, an after thought.
What is Design Thinking, you ask? It is a creative process of building products that people simply love to use! Products that not just meet but beat customers’ expectations and bring in the element of unexpected delight!
There are several versions of the design thinking process, having practised design thinking for ~10 years now, here is my interpretation of it.
INSIGHT is all about developing a deep understanding of the customer as well as the environment in which they work. Then, connecting the dots in non-obvious ways to develop clear insights into the customer needs.
DREAM helps you think about many, out of the box solutions before you choose one solution that really solves the customer need you identified. But, you wont stop till you build in unexpected customer delight.
DISRUPT helps you push your thinking beyond what is easily possible and iteratively test your ideas with your customers (no surveys, real experiences tested with fake-o-backends)
Design Thinking in India: Most, if not all individuals creating products in India tend to be engineers by education. I think of this to be a huge advantage. “It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” — Steve Jobs. Given the engineering background in India, we naturally focus on how things works. As such we need to use this advantage and focus on converting new and wonderful technologies into products that people simply love. However, we tend to be guilty of not stopping to understand the problem and simply focus the solution right away. Fall in love with the problem, not the solution — one of the many things, I learnt while at Intuit is something I think we should all apply more.
I believe this has to do with our lineage and how we’ve grown into a country that’s going in the path of a technology revolution!
My message to all product and experience creators is just this…it is not enough to have designers think about customers, everyone in the company should foster design thinking.
Be AWESOME, BY DESIGN — start with discovering those deep insights, dream up solutions that push possibilities and finally create disruptive solutions that don’t stop short of delivering unexpected delight.