Design thinking your way to business success

November 7, 2016

Ever wondered why some websites succeed at leaving a lasting impression on the consumer minds? Be it the ease of navigation or the aesthetics of its layout, at the end of the day, what brings a consumer back to your website over and over, is their perception of its overall browsing experience. But hey, is it by sheer luck that a website ends up “creating a great browsing experience”? Arguably, the overall browsing experience of a website culminates from factoring in several creative and technical aspects. Nevertheless, Design thinking is what makes it possible for design agencies to measurably reproduce success at designing websites, software and applications to represent any business type.
Generally speaking, with the advent of complex technologies in the modern times, it is of utmost importance that the human interaction with technology be made as simple and intuitive as possible. Design thinking is the approach followed by creative leaders to achieve this. It is evident from the tremendous success of start-ups having designer founders, such as Airbnb, Tumblr, YouTube and Flickr, that design thinking is at the heart of organizational strategy and innovation. Having said that design thinking extends far beyond just hiring a couple of designers and offering them the work environment, conducive of creative thinking and innovation. It is rather about embracing an open minded design centric culture at your workplace where you inculcate the design thinking ideology among people involved in the idea execution process.

Features of a design centric organization

Creative problem solving, lateral thinking, story-telling, communicating ideas through models and a solution-focused approach are some of the key attributes of design thinking.

1) It is all about creating great consumer experiences
For successfully implementing this ideology, a business must focus on the consumer experiences, more than anything else. It is not just about “how good you make it” but “how good it makes them when they use it”. Gone are the days when you would make a product and set out to find customers for it. In the present day scenario, you adopt a creative problem solving approach to find products that can address to your customers’ needs that are unmet or sometimes, even unuttered.
2) Prototypes add a practical dimension to learning
The approach of a design centric organization towards innovation is more social than individual. This is why, they build customer journey maps, models and prototypes to discuss the problem and its solution to as great lengths as possible. These models enable them in engaging with their target audience, practical learning, testing, fine-tuning and gaining a real world insight into the implementation of their idea.
3) Failures make way for true innovation
Design centric organizations are never afraid to fail or not to get it right, the first time. They understand that nothing is a bigger obstacle in the path of innovation that the fear of failure. Therefore, they treat failures as opportunities to learn and cover them under their cost of innovation.

How to implement design thinking at your workplace

The function of a creative leader is to design the way they manage and lead their business in order to innovate and perform. Simply put, as a creative leader, chalking out a business strategy is the starting point towards designing your business success. The trick is to think and act how a designer would, whether or not you’re qualified to be one. The creative aspects of imagination, art and emotions, when combined with the logical aspects of analysis and planning, help design an all-encompassing business strategy. This helps an organization relate with its consumer experiences more closely and eventually, build a stronger connect based on emotions, leading to higher level of brand loyalty.
A designer’s methods of closely observing, empathy mapping, story-boarding, creating personas, creating mock-ups and prototypes together ensure creative thinking that takes logical and creative aspects into account. Design driven organizations are likely to adopt these methods while strategizing their success.
The creative leaders in these organizations focus on nurturing their team of designers and innovators by fostering their knowledge, skills and attitude. They constantly analyse, identify and surpass any constraints that have kept the business from growth. They regularly practice brainstorming sessions leading to idea generation, working on their critical thinking and creative problem solving abilities and representing their ideas as a prototype.

Final words

For any business, design thinking is no more of an accessory or a choice but it is an essential tool if they need to survive in a highly competitive market. Whether it is about presenting their complex software systems to its customers in a user-friendly manner or globalizing their offerings by adjust their processes in different cultural contexts or establishing itself in a particular branding context in order to appeal to a focused group of audience, design thinking is the singular solution. However, in practice, we observe that design thinking has been more of a buzz-word that is much talked about with little implementation across the conventional organizations, if any. Furthermore, people often tend to confuse design thinking as being a rather narrow design concept to be kept aside for the design functions of the business. On the contrary, to be reckoned as a strategically sound organization, it is about time we realized the significance of design thinking for innovation. At avant-garde design-centric organizations such as Carmatec, the team of technologists, innovators, creative designers, storytellers and strategists works coherently to accentuate digital experiences and disseminate the brand stories with a right mix of technology and design thinking. The practices like these go a long way in building a strong connect between the brand and its customers.