Design thinking is the process of understanding the real customer needs and solving them as opposed to the business owner`s assumptions about customer needs. Design thinking is a process that involves steps that are discussed in this course. This course aims to help business owners create a product, services, and innovations that address market needs. Design thinking is a five-step process which is outlined below:
The first stage of design thinking is to gain an empathetic understanding of the customer pain you want to solve using your product, service, or innovation. This stage involves observation, engaging, and empathizing with your target customers to understand their challenges and experiences.
This stage also involves putting yourself in the customers` environment to gain a deeper personal understanding of customer needs. This process helps design thinkers to set aside their assumptions and solve real customer needs. During this stage, a significant amount of information is gathered to be used in the next stage of the design thinking process.
Define the problem
During this stage, the design thinker puts together the information gathered during the empathize stage to define the customer need. The problem should be defined in a human-centered manner, not as the company need. For instance, the problem statement should be “campus students need practical based learning” instead of “Tutorgram needs to provide campus students with practical based learning”.
By defining the problem, your company can be able to come up with a product, service, or innovation that can effectively solve that problem.
After understanding your customer needs and defining a clear problem, your team should start generating ideas to solve that problem. You should come up with as many ideas as possible through brainstorming and other ideation methods. You need to think outside the box to come up with an effective solution to the specific customer need. You should test your ideas to come up with the best way to solve your problem.
A prototype is the first version of your product or solution. The purpose of prototyping is to test the viability of your idea and to find out the customer reactions. Many prototypes can be created based on the ideas on the table. The prototypes can be tested by your team or a small segment of your target customers. The prototypes are either accepted, rejected, or improved according to the user experience. By the end of this process, your team should have a better version of your product.
The complete version of the product is tested on the market. This is the final stage and the observations made during the testing stage are used to define more problems and create more solutions. This will help the business improve the business model to better solve customer pains.
Many businesses create products based on assumptions about customer pains or market needs. This is the wrong direction to take as the business may end up creating a product that is not accepted in the market. An effective design thinking process will help you eliminate the wrong assumptions and address the real customer pains.