How to work with desigh thinking

How can we use design to highlight products and services to a whole new level?

We raised the issue at a seminar at Ideon Innovation. With the help of visual elements, clarified needs analysis and smart solutions you can reach customers and solve problems that you've never done before! Here are the key strategies for your success.

The best part of the lecture was the realization of visualization. To talk with the users and visualize the customer journey. I've already booked an appointment for guidance on this.
- Startup
Very interesting to hear how you are working in the various processes, and what the value is. And how to transfer the academic to an actual working process.
– Student

We were invited to our partners Ideon Innovation to talk about how Design Thinking, as a method, can be used to create innovative strategies, address issues and resolve challenges. Design Thinking is used to match people's needs with what is technically feasible and transform a business strategy to customer values and market opportunities.

Design thinking as a method

Design Thinking is about tackling and solving a challenge or a problem. Often you think you know what the main problem is, but when we examine it closer, we will understand and find the real problem. Design Thinking is innovation with a human-centered approach that draws inspiration from the designer's toolkit and integrates human needs and technical capabilities to achieve business success.

Customer-centric thinking

Design thinking is a customer-centric approach with an iterative process. It identifies and investigates known and ambiguous aspects of the current situation in order to discover unknown parameters and alternative solutions which later leads to a complete concept. Because Design Thinking is iterative, it means that the consumer needs are potential starting points, these together with the original problem will be redefined and evolve during the process.

Start with the user, then the innovation

Innovation comes from needs. So do not forget to always start with the customer in mind! Visualize your target audience, your challenges and opportunities before you start with the innovation. By starting from a need or a problem, instead of creating something new, you already have a group of customers who demand your solution. It is always more difficult to sell a solution that no one asks for.

Strategies to use the process

1. Know your problem

What is really the main problem? Is the problem the problem, or is there another problem behind? Find out the actual challenge, that is not always what you think it is.

2. Get under the skin

Study the challenge, observe, familiarize yourself with the situation. What is happening? How does it work and why? See and discover movements, patterns and habitual behaviors that explain the context of your problem.

3. Insights

Who is the user, how, where and when will your product or service be used? Interview, observe and understand how your customer thinks when using your product or service. Visualize insights so that both the design team and the client receives the same common image of the insights that emerges. For example, use mood boards by putting together images, colors and texts to collect the means and feelings you want your service or product to communicate. Or gather ideas on post-it notes of different colors to make your insights clear and visible.

4. Create

Sketch, model, style. It is now the first versions of the concept will be visual. Here we begin to co-create with customers and in teams. This happens in the brain-storming workshops, with design boards and concept models.

5. Validate

Validation involves creating rough prototypes of the concepts that have been developed. We develop 3D versions of the concept sketches to quickly test ideas at an early stage. The prototypes can be simple and rough – cut and clue with paper or cardboard, build with paper polls or lego. Why? It is difficult to change and see what can be improved with something that already looks complete and well made.

6. Implementation and realization

Now it’s time for the product or service to get into the right context! The service will be realized and the product implemented. Here at Zenit Design we are with you from the first seed of an idea, to the creation, packaging, and also the evaluation after the product or service is launched. Remember not to miss the big picture! How will the finished product or service be presented? In what context will it be visible and does it need some adjustments to really fit the final context?

Want to know more?
Get in touch with:
Rolf Van De Boel
Service Design Lead
+46 727 09 58 02
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