Learn what's missing from the design thinking techniques practiced at some large agencies and business schools. See how their process stops short of helping your development team set priorities for what to build, test their assumptions as they move forward, and know they are delivering the right thing.
- Lots of design practitioners, including large universities and famous design agencies, seem to think the end deliverable of design thinking is a concept or storyboard. The idea is that after they've gathered some initial data from customers, the experts then create an interface, sketch it out, and hand it over to developers in your company to build. If you work in a company and you're charged with delivering projects, you know that's hardly sufficient. You need an understanding of the interaction and an implementation plan with deliverables and milestones.
The sketches don't give you an understanding of the relative importance of each design element. What's core to the interaction, and what's just nice to have? Product development has moved on from the old waterfall techniques, where someone would specify the whole design upfront, then hand it off to a technical team to implement. Now, teams work in iterative cycles and try to deliver business benefit as early as possible. Without a road map, a plan of what items depend on what other items and which are most important to build first, the development team will struggle to move forward.
If an agency delivers a sexy presentation to your executives, those executives are gonna turn round and get you to build it. If the design thinking process doesn't help you with the development process, it's a waste of time, because you'll never really be able to build the concept in reality. Those concepts might look great, but how likely is it that the development team will be able to understand, let alone implement, those sketches? And what will happen if they do implement them? How likely is it they'll work? The other element missing from this celebrity version of design thinking is a comprehensive way of gathering fast, frequent customer feedback on everything from early prototypes through alpha builds to the post-release version of the product.
If the team who'll be rolling up their sleeves and delivering the product weren't involved through the whole design thinking exercise, and if the design thinking exercise doesn't end up giving you a tested prototype design and an implementation plan, then it's nothing more than a set of unproven concepts. That's why I always advocate involving representatives from every discipline on the team in the design thinking process. There's a myth that only design agency staff can do creative thinking, so you need them in order to bring creativity to your company.
The reality is they follow the same techniques that you will. Creativity really is the result of applying these techniques in a way that opens you up to seeing the possibilities. The more you practice this with your team, the less likely it is you'll need the mythical creative input from an external company.
In this course, Chris Nodder explains where design thinking fits into product development and what it can help you achieve. He describes each step in the process, from identifying the problem you want to solve and brainstorming solutions, to prototyping, development, and release. Learn about the pros and cons of this approach and how to overcome challenges such as organization inertia and silos. Done right, design thinking can start your organization moving toward broader user-centered design techniques such as information architecture, content testing, usability testing, and marketing research.
- Agile, lean, and design thinking
- Preparing to sell design thinking to your organization
- Finding the real problem
- Correcting course
- Offshoring and outsourcing
- Getting past organizational inertia and silos
- Tracking your success