Whirlwind Visit to Design Thinking
Design Thinking is a human-centered approach to solving problems and developing products. It is a mindset that organizations have to develop to become more innovative and build a strong relationship with their users/customers.
If you want to learn more about Design thinking and the different processes involved in it, you should visit this course Understanding Design Thinking.
Now that you know the Design Thinking process, the next big step is to learn how to implement it in your team, organization, or community to solve complex human-centered problems.
What are the techniques and tools required to develop the solution, how to build a team, identify the different aspects of the problem in hand and how to develop a feasible solution?
Good Design Thinking
Organizations, Design Agencies, and Executives usually think that the end product/deliverable of a design thinking process is a concept on a whiteboard or a set of sketches for UX development.
These concepts are then handed over to developers who have no idea about the concept and how the things should work. It becomes tough for the developing team to develop the expected solution without adequate knowledge. This leads to an unfinished and worthless solution and loss of precious time.
A good design thinking process must involve both the Designers and developers and should be an agile process rather than a waterfall model where the designers’ handover the sketches to the Development team.
Representatives from every discipline must be included in the Design Thinking Process like Product Owners, people from Management Team, from Marketing team, from the research team, developers, Testers, QA team members, Operations Team Members, and Subject Matter Experts.
This list of people can vary depending on the structure of your organization and the length of the design thinking process.
Involvement within Team
The Team members should meet once a week or at the beginning of the session. This helps in understanding the problems, knowing how to build a solution.
The focus should be given on weekly sessions rather than daily status meetups because the members of the team may have other commitments and may not find daily meetings useful.
The goal of the team meetings should be to devise methods and solutions to solve problems and develop products rather than to know the progress.
The Place and Tools
The team members should preferably meet at a place other than the workplace because the workplace may be a distraction.
Places like conference halls and training rooms are good because they have large spaces where large whiteboards and sheets of papers can be placed. At the end of the day there is no need to remove them.
The basic supplies for the ideas to be represented to other team members are whiteboards, sketches, and markers.
Finding the Right Problem
It’s possible that the team has some idea about the solution they want to develop. This idea can be due to the experiences of the team. The team has some customer feedback and assume the solution based on the previous projects and experiences.
The team should put aside these assumptions aside while trying to find the real problem and understand the customers to find the right problem.
Dealing with Pain Points
One of the most important things is identifying the pain points for the customers and addressing them.
The design team may be familiar with the problem statement. However, to understand the real pain points of the user, the team should put aside their views, and interact with real users instead of depending on feedbacks.
Based on the insights collected by users, the team should build a customer journey map to identify the pain points.
The next step is grouping the pain points and prioritizing them. This helps in focusing on the crucial pain points that need to be addressed.
The final and most important step is converting the pain points into goals that solve the problem.
What is Prototype?
The basic definition of a prototype is, “A sample version of the product developed for testing whether it meets the users’ expectations. The goal is to test the product and knowing the flaws before investing in the final product.”
Prototyping is the process of creating prototypes from the ideas and concepts generated.
There are different methods of developing prototyping. These methods are broadly divided into low fidelity and high fidelity method.
Low fidelity: The prototypes developed using this method usually do not have user interaction.
High fidelity: This is a more refined approach to prototyping. The prototypes developed using this method have proper user interaction.
Low Fidelity Prototyping
Low fidelity prototypes include simple sketches and paper prototypes that help in experiencing the concepts.
Advantages of Low-Fi Prototyping
They are fast.
Easy to make.
High Fidelity Prototyping
High fidelity prototypes are more user interactive, made using graphical tools, and used for testing.
Technicalities involved for product development are specified.
Can be used for testing
Requires technical skills
For low fidelity prototypes, tools like whiteboards, markers, and sticky notes are used. However, for designing high fidelity prototypes, there are many tools used which simulate User Experience (UX). The most famous UX designing tools are
Categories of Prototyping
The four categories of prototyping are:
Generating new ideas
Conveying complex interactions
Documenting the design
Learning how users interact with ideas.
Documenting with Prototyping
Sometimes good ideas fail to make it to a viable solution because of poor understanding, and the reason is weak documentation. Traditional documentation techniques are not sufficient enough for the stakeholders to understand the bigger picture.
Documentations fail to effectively communicate the intent, emotions, and details of the idea. Prototypes help the stakeholders, as well as the consumers, understand the functional flow of the solution.
Prototypes should be extensively used in the documentation process. This helps in reducing the written documentation. However, written documentation should not be eliminated, they help to provide the content and assist them in reading. They also help to keep track of the progress of the solution.
The Value of Prototyping
Prototyping is an important part of the Design Thinking process and creating feasible solutions. However, there are two mistakes that teams usually make while prototyping.
They do not have the clear idea of the solution and start building the prototypes.
Getting trapped in the details while making prototypes.
So to determine the right time for prototyping, the team should try to answer a few questions.
Is the idea complete?
Is the team getting occupied by details instead of answering the tough questions?
Both questions help in building better prototypes.
What to Prototype?
Sometimes, the prototypes that you build may fail to solve the problem. This happens when you deviate from the idea, or you select the wrong question to prototype. It is imperative to know what ideas you should prototype.
To select the right idea to prototype, you should identify the pain points of the consumer and carefully develop a plan about what you are making before you start.
To get the proper ideas for prototyping, you should spend adequate time in different design thinking processes like defining and ideation. This helps in refining the ideas before developing the prototype. Performing design thinking activity also leads to better team collaboration.
Now that you have understood what is design thinking, how to implement it in your organization, what type of skills you need to form a design thinking team, and how to develop prototypes. It is time to know what is User Experience and how to create a great User Experience.
User Experience is not just designing beautiful websites and applications. It is applied in every industry that connects with its user and wants to give them a better experience of their services and products.
Interaction Design is a part of User Experience (UX) design. Interaction design is sometimes abbreviated as IxD.
Interactiondesign.org defines Interaction design as the interaction between people and products. It is about the experience of using a product. Interaction Designers create a meaningful relationship between people and the products and services they use.
The term interaction design was first coined by Bill Moggridge and Bill Verplank for software design in the mid-1980s.
It is a collaboration of many design principles like interface design, industrial design, and software design. Interaction designers collaborate closely with other designers, researchers, analysts, strategists, product managers, developers, testers and more to develop a meaning interaction.
The Presence of UX
Whenever you think about User Experience and UX design, the two things that come to mind are Websites and Mobile Applications. However, User Experience has a much broader reach than just websites and mobile applications. User Experience applies to any product and service that has an interaction with people.
If people are interacting with the product, then an interaction designer should be involved. Interaction design is also more than just drawing the interface, and deciding the best ways to display information. It’s about designing for the entire interconnected system.
Interaction Designers work closely with engineers and developers, to understand the technical constraints and opportunities. They work closely with product managers, and business leaders, to identify opportunities and solutions, and work closely with other designers, to coordinate the different efforts into cohesive product design.
The Presence of UX
An essential part of the work as an interaction designer is to identify what a project needs.
What do the team already know?
What do they need to learn?
What do they need to explore?
What do they need to ask, observe, or measure?
Choose the methods and documents that are most appropriate for the project, and which are best for capturing and conveying the problems, insights, and solutions.
Interaction Design Model
There are many reasons people interact with different products and services. As you move deeper into the interaction design model, there’s a shift from the environment, circumstances, goals, and outcomes, to how individuals perceive, understand, feel, and act in a situation.
Knowing their context and goals helps businesses better understand how they will interact with products. This helps them design better products and provide better services that meet the user needs.
Interaction Design Model
To understand the needs of the people you need to understand their psychology like what are they doing? How are they using a product? Crafting a product that is easy and effective is an essential goal of interaction design.
Interaction design is ultimately about how people behave or interact with a product to achieve their desired outcomes and goals. Every interaction with a product involves a cycle with multiple steps. You may spend more or less time and effort on each step, based on our context, goals, and experience, but these steps can always be used to describe how people approach and interact with a product.
Finally, you have arrived at the end of the course. Let’s see what you have covered in this course:
How to implement design thinking in your organization?
How to build a Design Thinking Team?
What is prototyping, and are the different ways to build prototypes? The importance of prototyping.
What is User Experience and Interaction Design?