Thinking like a designer

COVID-19 has triggered quick and extensive changes in human behavior as well as transformed our future. Radical shifts in how we live, such as the way online interaction and remote working are now more the norm than an option, and are likely here to stay. Entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are adapting to meet people’s needs in new ways.

This situation raises a crucial question for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs: How do you apply creative thinking and empathy in order to innovate rapidly, and in the right ways, when behaviors and expectations are changing so much and so fast? Not only in society, but also in the workplace, creativity has become an economic demand. In fact, every entrepreneur and intrapreneur is a designer.

Design thinking (Human Centered Design) mindset and philosophy lets you better understand people’s needs, pain points, motivations, behaviors and concerns, and also makes for a more efficient, more flexible design process. It also helps to think more openly and broad, to uncover the illogical and to see the unpredictable in designing new products, services and business models.

By engaging early with your cutomers and seeking their input, perspective and feedback, you gain valuable insights while still working with prototypes and sketches rather than fully built services or products. This way you can avoid steering resources in the wrong direction. Entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs apply design thinking in order to develop new products with a high likelyhood of market acceptance. Design Thinking finds about the true customer needs and insights, which reduces the risk of failure. Design Thinking methodology is based on the following principles:

  1. Empathy. Excellent understading of the customer as well as team members. Engaging the customers and getting continuous user feedback. Designing never ends. 
  2. Failing forward. Failing often and early, through short iterative cycles. Failure is a fundamental part of the innovation process and a source of knowledge that leads to accelerated learning process.
  3. Autonomy. Optimism, curiosity and inspiration. No tops and downs, no restricitions, no predetermined solutions.
  4. Interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity approach. Bringing different perspectives on the problem. Team diversity.

The iterative process and human centerdness helps to create meaningful products that we all need and want. Iterative appraoch means that you do the process more than once and therefore you can make failures happen. You need to make those failures in order to learn and to correct your own assumtions during the design process in order to find the best solution for your customers!

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