To keep ahead of today’s competition, businesses need to be constantly evaluating and evolving their offerings and how they engage with their customers. While trying to increase business agility and shorten time to market, existing inefficiencies become more complex and interdependent, and solutions require a higher altitude perspective. Design thinking accelerates business growth through user-driven discovery, co-creation, and experimentation. The iterative approach works well with other popular business methodologies like Agile.
How does Kavi Global use Design Thinking?
The first phase of our Analytics Value Acceleration (AVA) process is the Discovery & Design engagement. We empathize with users to identify trapped value or opportunities to innovate. We ideate solutions at the nexus of business strategy, people, process, and technology to deliver an analytic solution roadmap and business case.
We also design custom Intelligent Products to supercharge your operations or customer experience.
Product Design and Development
Design Thinking Methodology
Although there are many variants of the design thinking process in use today, we’ll highlight the most common 5-step framework. Keep in mind the design thinking process does not have to be linear, steps can be done in parallel and you will often iterate back and forth to previous steps.
Empathize- Engage with users to understand their needs. User interviews are a great way to do this- explore pain points for the user and what their ideal solution looks like. Other important data inputs include market research, reviews & feedback, competitive analysis, financial analysis, etc.
Success in the Empathize step is understanding what your users’ needs and current pain points are and having collected enough supporting information to contextualize their needs and pain points.
Define- Distill the research and user feedback to define the issues. List all the issues and break them down into sub-issues as far as you can (you may need to iterate discussions with users or run data analyses).
Success in the Define step is developing a list of issues tied to users’ needs and identifying ways to test any related assumptions or biases.
Ideate- Start developing potential products for the problems. Tie the new ideas to the issues identified in the Define step to show how they are being addressed. Iterate with users to rank and prioritize products for prototyping.
Success in the Ideate step is having high level requirements for the product with an understanding of how important each requirement is for the users and the potential benefits to the business.
Prototype- Develop a prototype of the new product. For example, this could be a wireframe for an app, a future state process diagram or mock-ups for a new email campaign.
Success in the Prototype step is creating a product design that satisfies its requirements, meets the users’ needs and is an improvement over the current product.
Test- Pilot the prototypes with users and gather feedback. Insights discovered during prototype testing can lead to problem redefinition, new ideas for solutions or identification of new user needs that require iteration to an earlier step.
Success in the Test step is having a product that meets users’ needs. If applicable, develop a roadmap for future development of the product and define how to measure success of the product through metrics.
Future of Design Thinking
Design thinking is as popular as it has ever been due to the demands on businesses to increase agility and focus on their customer experience. Flavors of Design Thinking will continue to pop up, but regardless of any formal framework you apply, if you 1) put the customer’s needs first 2) challenge biases and expand your boundaries of problem definition and 3) create a culture of experimentation, you will be in a position to innovate and evolve along with your customers.
About the Author
Dave Zinger is an Engagement Lead at Kavi. Dave has a broad background in data science, engineering, project management, quality assurance, and change management with a decade of experience in the life sciences industry. Dave enjoys reading, playing music, and yoga.