Understanding Design Thinking and how it can create value for you

6. oktober 2017
af Sarah Deloughery 

What is Design Thinking exactly? And how can it benefit your company?

Design is a fluffy word and depending on the context, it can mean so many different things. Some see design as aesthetics, some as quality and others as functionality. All though hard to explain, design typically has three definitions: design as an object, design as a service and design as a process. Working with Design Thinking you might come across design in all three of these aspects, but Design Thinking combines business and design mindsets into an overall human-centered approach to innovation, which helps develop concepts that are desirable, economically viable and technologically feasible.

Design Thinking is becoming quite the buzzword and companies across many different fields have or are beginning to incorporate the approach into to their businesses. SAP started incorporating the approach in 2005, and IBM launched their own Design Thinking approach in 2015[1]. But historically, Design Thinking dates back to the 60’s, when Michael Farr[2] talked about the field as being able to understand both the business and the design approach – and the ability to combine the two. In 1991, the design and consultancy firm IDEO was founded (currently led by my all-time favorite Design Thinker Tim Brown (watch this TED talk with him), and since then the field has grown profoundly.

It has become clear that using design in different ways and on a strategic level creates competitive advantage, boosts innovation capacity, adds value across the whole value chain and has a positive impact on the bottom line. Research from Danish Design Center and Danish Industry from 2016 shows that using Design Thinking creates greater customer and user-satisfaction leading to happier and more satisfied employees. It also creates innovation based on new knowledge, leading to new business models, and in the end a better bottom line.

By working with Design Thinking, we help our clients find the most optimal solutions for their challenges, creating value for both the business and the users.

  • We investigate and analyze needs and cross-border challenges in the business area
  • We identify & define challenges
  • We conceptualize best solutions
  • We prototype, test & validate solutions
  • We develop & implement solution

In short, Design Thinking is about understanding the users’ needs, keeping business purpose and strategy in mind, and creating something that is technologically feasible – all at the same time. Design Thinking is about ambiguity, empathy, collaboration, open mindedness and business understanding.

For more info, check out www.2bm.dk/designthinking

[1] https://www.ibm.com/design/blog-page.shtml?the-making-of-ibm-design-thinking

[2] Farr, Michael (1965), Design Management. Why is it needed now?

Sarah Deloughery

Sarah Deloughery

is our Design Consultant and an expert on Design Thinking.

Since 2012, Sarah has worked in different areas of the design field and holds a Master’s Degree in Design Management.

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