creativity can finally be measured with design thinking

Good news for businesses and their clients. Design thinking is getting more embedded into the work place. This method converts creativity into hard-hitting results. With design thinking the customer's problems are (again) central. The solution is not always the app or website you had in mind. Toma Lulgjuraj, senior digital strategist at We are you (Fintech), shares his views.

design-thinking-proces-met-post-its

get rid of standard brainstorming sessions

Armed with post-it notes and markers, the project team leaves for the meeting room. How can they offer value to their customers? How can they be innovative? The ideas that follow from such a session are often based on past results and gut feelings. Assumptions instead of evidence. After formulating the problem, the strategy, product or service is set up. A new app is needed. A new website. Or new functionality.
"Choose design thinking to solve a problem. This method involves fewer risks and gives more results."

the person is central to increasing sales

The design thinking approach is different. The creative process that precedes the development of a digital product is less vague and has more structure.

Players such as AirBnB were faster to embrace this methodology. They put people first in order to increase sales. It delivered better annual figures and a stronger connection between people and brands. Is design thinking only relevant to creative breeding sites, such as AirBnB, Uber and Google?

Luckily not. We use these methods regularly to help our clients. Toma sees many benefits for organizations. 'If you use the design thinking method to solve a problem, the ideas that follow are often more innovative than those generated in a traditional approach. You also work more efficiently and in a more targeted way. All together this leads to less risks and more results.

what is design thinking?

Design thinking is a method of dealing with problems in a collaborative and solution-oriented way. You make creativity tangible by structuring the creative process. Companies that apply design thinking go through 5 steps:

  1. You immerse yourself in your (end)user.

  2. You define the problem or challenge

  3. You think in terms of  possible solutions

  4. You make prototypes

  5. You test these models

Central to this method is the user. You make all decisions based on what future customers really want. You do not only rely on your gut feeling.

design-team-tijdens-standup

the question behind the question

'We notice that organizations often do not have a concrete enough idea of what the real problem is,' says Toma' They come to us asking for an app, but is their user actually waiting for an app?'

'Before we dive into the development process, we have to find out. We do this by applying design thinking. Empathize, define, validate, test and process until we have found the best solution. Who knows, perhaps the consumer does not need an app, but would be better served by new functionality in their current website.'

design thinking tactics

One of the techniques that we use within design is a 'design sprint'. Over the course of four days we bring people from different specialities and departments together. Then we set to work to develop and test a concept. If this concept does not work, you have only wasted four days. Instead of dozens of meetings, overheads and possible investments.

For the Dutch bank Knab we set up a design sprint, Toma illustrates. 'We tested every idea or application that we came up with with the consumer. For example, did consumers find the application useful or necessary? Was the customer experience with the app in line with what Knab wanted to convey? This allowed us to concentrate on delivering the right base in a short time. We could always add those fancy features that make the experience even better."

 

why design thinking is valuable

 

More and more entrepreneurs and businesses can see the added value of design thinking. From a recent research report by Forrester it appears that managers reported improvements on a number of fronts. Tasks were completed much faster, were better focused and more priority was given to business strategy. 75 percent less time was spent on R & D.

Moreover, design thinking circumvents the hierarchy within a company, because you get immediate feedback from the user. As a company you can really listen to your target group, this means you can really offer meaningful added value. That increases the chance that people come back or recognize your brand. A study by McKinsey shows that companies that use design thinking perform significantly better than companies that do not.

businesses deliver added value

 

We also see positive results after applying design thinking. The chance that you develop a solution that does not resonate with the user is much smaller. Being more focused on the customers' concerns, while constantly testing the solutions, results in businesses delivering more added value to their customers for the same amount of effort. A win-win situation.