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Why might Human Centered ‘Design thinking’ be a useful tool to a problem? [Innovation]

Why might Human Centered Design (design thinking) be a useful tool to increase the creative response to a problem or need for a new innovation? Discuss how each step of the process and why that step helps with the creative process.


The mode of thinking with Design Thinking moves from concrete to abstract and back to concrete. Largely the process flow is as follows; 1) Inspiration (Concrete), 2) Ideation (Abstract) and 3) Implementation (Concrete).


The first step is ‘Inspiration’, which is the initial stage of design thinking process that allows us to try to understand and empathize how and why things and people are working in the existing way and define the problems based on the findings. It is focused to understand the problems that targeted customers face. While the problem is framed, a process map is developed, a team is established, related data is captured, problems are observed carefully and the needs of the users of are well defined during this process.


In the class, we have used a ‘Empathy map’ to exercise to visualize our customers. By using the empathy map, we were able to get the ‘feel’ for how customers would feel about the context surrounding a job to be done. The empathizing process helps the team categorize our knowledge of the users into one place. We can communicate persona of our customers to others by drawing image. In the class we drawn a picture of customers and situations, which made it easier to communicate within the team. The drawing the situation can be a quick way to explain about our user attitudes and behaviors, which leads to the innovative solutions.


The second step is ‘Ideation’ which is considered the most important step which lead to collaborative process of generating many ideas through brainstorming. We can come up with many ideas based on the needs and problems defined in the first step above. At this step of ‘ideation’, we can bring forward all kinds of ideas which are sometimes boring, stupid, crazy, irrational and reasonable. For exercise, we wrote down one idea per post-it-note in the class without speaking each other initially and then we collected other ideas that we can imagine in other post-it-notes. It was a very active fast exercise. Our team gathered so many good creative crazy ideas and laughed about what we have wrote down. And then we used another map of ‘Quick, Wacky, Boring, Impossible’, in the class which also helped us categorize them effectively. We were able to imagine many ways that we can satisfy the identified job-to-be-done of the users through this ‘ideation’ process.


The third step is ‘Implementation’ which is the last space of design thinking that requires prototype and testing. We establish a prototype based on the ideas that we have collected. Once the prototype is made, we go out to ask initial users and collect as many as feedbacks about the prototype. Many prototypes can be tested towards the creation of the best possible solution. The prototypes can be investigated, improved, re-investigated and improved in an iterative way. By doing the iteration, more and more future customer-value driven prototypes can be designed and developed. The results and feedbacks gathered can be used to redefine problems and the conditions of use, and think how our potential (future) customers would think, feel and behave.

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