Design Thinking with NBK

October 7, 2019 at NBK, Kuwait (invitation only)

Design thinking is a process for creative problem solving.

It has a human-centred core. It encourages organizations to focus on the people they’re creating for, which leads to better products, services, and internal processes. When you sit down to create a solution for a business need, the first question should always be what’s the human need behind it?

In employing design thinking, you’re pulling together what’s desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable. It also allows those who aren’t trained as designers to use creative tools to address a vast range of challenges. The process starts with taking action and understanding the right questions. It’s about embracing simple mindset shifts and tackling problems from a new direction.

Why?

  • It can help you or your team surface unmet needs of the people you are creating for.
  • It reduces the risk associated with launching new ideas.
  • It generates solutions that are revolutionary, not just incremental.
  • It helps organizations learn faster.

How?

  • Empathy — Understanding the needs of those you’re designing for.
  • Ideation — Generating a lot of ideas. Brainstorming is one technique, but there are many others.
  • Experimentation — Testing those ideas with prototyping.

What?

  • Captures the mindsets and needs of the people you’re creating for.
  • Paints a picture of the opportunities based on the needs of these people.
  • Leads you to innovative new solutions starting with quick, low-fidelity experiments that provide learning and gradually increase in fidelity.

When?

  • Product design
  • Service and experience design
  • Business design
  • Leadership
  • Organizational change

The great beauty of design thinking is that the essential elements combine to form an iterative approach. It may not always proceed linearly, but there’s a roadmap to help move you toward your solution.

It starts with identifying a driving question that inspires you and your team to think about who you’re really designing for, and what they actually need. Next, you gather inspiration—what other solutions out in the world can help you rethink the way you’re working? Use that to push past obvious solutions, and arrive at breakthrough ideas. Build rough prototypes to make those ideas tangible, and find what’s working and what’s not. Gather feedback, go back to the drawing board, and keep going. And once you’ve arrived at the right solution, craft a story to introduce it to your colleagues, clients, and its users.

Some of those steps may happen several times, and you may even jump back and forth between them. But that roadmap can take you from a blank slate to a new, innovative idea.