Design Thinking: A Friend every Entrepreneur must have

We are in an era of overwhelming complexity and uncertainty, but there is also a huge opportunity ahead. The world as we know it is experiencing accelerating change. That sets the stage for entrepreneurs to rise and make tremendous impact.

In the face of chaos, there is an opportunity to add real value to the world. How do we serve the world? How can we adapt existing companies to the new business environment? What new ideas can we come up with to solve people’s problems?

Entrepreneurs can be at the forefront of this revolution and redefine the economic and social dynamics of the world. The key is design thinking.

Design thinking is the process of solving people’s problems creatively by understanding the needs of the people. The big idea of this is to focus on humans while designing the product that solves the problem. It is called a human centric approach.  

Since the heart of every business should be understanding people’s needs and how to serve them well to solve those needs, this method is all about making a specific problem the foundation of the product/business. By adopting design thinking, you can see through the eyes of the customers and create a product that actually solves a problem.

In the existence of real pain points lies the opportunity to create products or provide services. There is no better time to adopt design thinking than in this moment. Most of the great businesses we know today have been started during times of chaos. Crisis creates breakthrough.

By adopting the design thinking processes which are explained below you can take a creative idea and turn it into a successful business.

The Design Thinking Process

There are five main steps to design thinking. It encompasses logical thinking, creative thinking, group thinking and testing tobirth innovation. Since the core of design thinking is humans, it starts with empathy – ability to understand people’s needs. Others include problem definition. Ideating, prototyping, and testing.

1.    Create empathy

The first and perhaps, most important process of design thinking is empathy. Empathy is simply the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. It is about seeing through the eyes of people and observing them to learn their needs and pains. Being curious and inquisitive helps to understand people and the world as a whole and to have a bigger picture of why people do what they do and how they can be helped. Understanding this can a birth a product.

2.    Define the problem

Reflect on the information you have gathered from your observations of people and the world around you. This will help you get a clear understanding of the specific problem you are trying to solve. Group, layer, and bundle ideas until you find a very compelling idea.

Then gather information that will help you identify the most important issues to address. You cannot solve everybody’s problems.Focus on the most important or impactful issues as the point. This step is crucial because it focuses your energy and guides your future designs. The goal is to translate defined problems into tangible, human-centered statements, rather than focusing on the details of technology, financial returns, or products. Here, creating a vision and mission statements is very important.

3.    Ideate

The most important steps are empathy (understanding the people) and problem definition. After these two steps, it is important to find a way to solve the problem.

Now it is time to brainstorm ideas and different solutions to these problems. In this stage, no idea is wrong or senseless. The goal is to get creative and gather as much idea as possible. Each idea can later be analyzed to choose which ones to take to the next stage which is prototyping.

4.    Prototype

This phase is the beginning of bringing the idea to life. It helps to move from talking, theorizing and ideation to creating something that can be tested and seen by other people. This stage involves creating physical or digital model of the idea and get feedback from other people. By gathering feedback and going back to refine the idea, you can understand the best way to present the solution to fit the needs of the people.

5.    Test

This is about taking the idea to the customers. In the phase, a prototype is tested by the customers and their feedback can be used to further improve the product to fit the market. Testing a product regularly results in restructuring and redefining the solutions as you benefit a higher knowledge of the consumer.

It is a vital possibility to make certain that the entirety of your solution is focused on the needs of people who are going to be using it. You need to realize what they think, both good and bad. Use the data to remove unimportant features of your prototype. That is the way you construct the quality product viable and put it in the best shape for final launching.

Now you have understood how design thinking can help you to revolutionize the world with great ideas and solutions. For the world tobe a better place, we need more design thinkers like you. So, get out of your comfort zone and build something to solve a problem by adopting design thinking.

The world is waiting for you……

by Ayodeji Ojo

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