Design Thinking is Everything

 

Getting customers to where they want to be and making great products that improve the process of getting there is at the heart of experience design thinking. But what do companies stand to gain from prioritising it? In this week’s blog, we explore design thinking methodology and why it sits at the core of the way in which we do business with our clients.

As a Digital Consultancy, experience design and research leads how our organisation operates. We use design thinking to help solve complex business problems with our clients - taking them on a journey of systematic reasoning and ‘what if’ scenarios that help predict future states. This process is always carried out with the end user in mind.

Why has design thinking become so prevalent?

The discipline of design is naturally broad. A new breed of designer trained to enable the fusion of technology and business has pushed out the boundaries of product design and problem-solving, giving a more agile and inclusive spin on things. Design thinking takes a holistic view of a business, uniting all potential organisational silos and taking account of them in an integrated way. But the reason design thinking has become so prevalent is that it has the power to drive competitive advantage.

Creating competitive advantage through design thinking

User experience is the number one concern for organisations - across consumer brands and increasingly B2B.  In the past 5 years technological advances have meant that brands can now engage with users in ways previously unthought of - continuously and through use of real time data. It is fundamentally a way in which to disrupt and compete.

Design thinking in practice - CAF’s 5 day Challenge

This past week, the team and I spent time with one of our clients undertaking a 5 Day Challenge (a week-long workshop) and as usual, the driver for success was the design thinking, as well as establishing a clear understanding of the challenge at hand and developing a joint vision for success.

Teamwork and communication

A major aspect of having successful engagements with our clients is establishing clear “ways of working” from the outset to understand how to come together as one team to achieve a shared goal. Communicating early and often and having open dialogue was the underlying driver of the 5 Day Challenge and a focus on how to transition our client from a desktop focused solution to a mobile-focused solution.

Feedback from across the merged team as to what the mobile user experience should be, how a focused solution should look, how it should work were issues at the top of the agenda.


Coming to a consensus

To limit the impact of group thinking on our approach to designing any new solution, we recruit a panel of potential users and take them through several detailed surveys to establish how they would use a new mobile / web app.

Feedback from the target demographic is important, not only when you create a new solution, but also when you look to create new iterations and add features. We track the feedback in a variety of different ways (audio, video and text) to help create or modify,  specific features within the app. This experience-led approach keeps the user at the centre of the project. Being technology agnostic, it really doesn’t matter what new tech is used - just the effect it has on user experience and outcomes. The thinking really is all important.

Want to find out more about design thinking?

Watch our 5 Day Challenge video documenting a recent workshop from a client’s point of view or drop by our Farringdon studio for a cup of tea and a chat.

 

 
Kenneth White