The habit of writing down our entrepreneurial ideas in a notebook is a good way of not letting them slip our minds, but this only serves as a reminder. Later on, we have to dive in deeper: to develop the idea, assess the needs it covers, compare it with its potential market, design the strategies associated with its materialisation and look for ways to validate each action.
The smartest way to turn our ideas into something greater than a list of notes is to apply a methodology that allows us to exploit the best of our creativity.
At Nakima we are experts in the application of the design thinking methodology, a tool to foster and channel creativity, and we use it when a client asks us to join them in an innovative initiative that will improve their business opportunities.
This methodology was created at Stanford University of California in the early 1970s and its first application for profit was carried out by design consultancy IDEO. Current CEO, Tim Brown, talks about design thinking as a creative process for innovation that is driven by the direct observation of the needs and desires of people. It aims to improve their experiences as users of products and services in a process that can range from design and manufacturing to marketing and advertising.
The process is developed through workshops with multidisciplinary teams that are made more dynamic by experts. These different profiles not only provide their specialist viewpoint but also offer criteria and opinions beyond their usual function, thus enriching the work of the team.
In the design thinking sessions the ideas arising from the creativity of our clients and partners develop and evolve in a rich and stimulating process. Additional value comes from the fact that the sessions strengthen the participants’ sense of belonging to a team. At the end of the process, the professionals feel that they have been involved in a motivating, enjoyable and highly productive experience.
This is considered one of the best methodologies for design innovation for several reasons.
Design Thinking Focuses on the End User
It is not about people adapting to the product that is created but quite the opposite: design thinking puts end users in the spotlight. As the process is intrinsically focused on them, analysing their needs, their difficulties and their problems, the ideas that are developed are very close to the user experience, which leads to optimal prototyping and testing processes.
Design Thinking Focuses on the Group Experience
Often the technological aspects and marketing strategies do not go hand in hand. In design thinking, the multidisciplinary make-up of the teams means that all aspects associated with the process are taken into consideration.
In addition, the fact that all professionals must leave their usual work environment generates a breadth of vision which is difficult to achieve with traditional creative methods.
Design Thinking Uses Empathy
Empathy is the fundamental basis of design thinking. This ability to connect with reality and the feelings of others facilitates a deep understanding of the situation and ensures more accurate forecasts of how new products will be received in the market.
Design – Test – Iterate
The intimate and profound knowledge of users’ needs leads to the design of prototypes that offer results which can be validated and iterated in a more agile and economical way than through a traditional approach. The results of the process are also more useful and powerful.
Design Thinking Creates Value by Solving Real Problems
Design thinking is not only aimed at promoting creativity and innovation: it is also specifically aimed at creating value because it solves problems, whether small or large, and addresses any issues of a commercial or industrial nature.
If you are interested in learning more about design thinking, you should check out courses at D. School (Stanford). If you already know about the methodology and you want to implement it in your company, get in touch with us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.