Problem-Solving in 5 Steps Through Design Thinking
4 min read
As Albert Einstein said, we can't solve problem using the same thinking we used when creating the problem.
Instead of relying on established thinking patterns, we open the door to the design thinking method. Through creativity and interaction with users, design thinking allows us to understand their needs, create an emotional connection, and design solutions that work!
We reveal 5 steps that designers use in their work and are applicable in everyday life:
Step 1: Don't assume; talk!
The first stage of design thinking is empathy - the moment of understanding the problem your client is facing. Empathy allows us to put aside our assumptions, listen to the user's needs, and see the problem from every angle! Imagine that you have a client with a problem with users who constantly complain about the delivery of goods from the website taking too long. What's the first thing you do when you have unhappy customers?
If you don't have a delivery problem, you'll read user comments and create a survey or interview to understand their frustrations. Ultimately, the problem is not in delivery but in setting expectations that may need to be specified on the site.
And so, the conversation itself solved one kind of problem! 🙂
Step 2: Focus on user experience
The next stage is defining the solution. Here we analyze the collected data from the first step and focus on improving the user experience. The more satisfied the users, the faster the business progresses, so a focus group or brainstorming session is always a good option at this stage! Gather a group and pose a problem; the solutions will sort themselves out. "I would like it if I could receive delivery by express mail, so I don't have to wait this long," said one. "If I received a gift with the shipment, then I wouldn't even mind waiting," another will say.
The goal must undoubtedly be the end user's satisfaction and seeing the problem from their point of view.
Step 3: Push the boundaries of creativity
This is the stage for brainstorming and generating a wide range of ideas to solve the problem better than our competition! Organize a brainstorming session with the team and use techniques like mind mapping or post-it notes to develop innovative suggestions. Some ideas may be too ambitious, "Should we deliver goods by helicopter?" or maybe a slightly silly "How about we hire super fast delivery ninjas?"
Finally, look at the board, pick out the best ideas, and elaborate on them. The result can be interesting. Maybe with the delivery, you send a small token of attention, a stuffed toy of an old ninja with a message - "Trust me, I used to be faster!"
Just imagine the user's smile when he opens the package and sees the toy and the Instagrammability of this package. 😏
Step 4: Create a prototype
The prototyping phase is your workshop, where imagination becomes a reality. Be like a child, play, and create prototype solutions. In our slow delivery example, we can create a prototype website with additional options for the fast delivery of goods or even simulate the delivery process to test its effectiveness. Use colourful sticky notes to show different steps in the shipping process, add staples to connect pages, and create a maritime prototype. But why stop at just a website? Why not simulate the entire delivery process to test its effectiveness?
For example, lay a small path around the office and then use office supplies as 'packages' to be delivered.
Let the creativity flow as you build prototypes. 🙂
Step 5: Test, test, test!
When you have created your prototype, it's time for the so-called moment of truth. Testing. Here we reveal the strengths and weaknesses of our solution prototypes. The trick is to be brave during testing and let the ideas face the users! Feedback can range from: "This express delivery option is anything but fast!" to "Your delivery was so fast I thought you hired Usain Bolt to deliver it himself!". 🙂
In both cases, we get information that tells us if everything is okay or needs more work.
So, the next time you analyze a problem, remember that people are the main characters of this story. Put yourself in their shoes and see the world from their perspective. That's the secret of design thinking - fighting for the user experience, not just for the client's profit. So grab your ideas, put a smile on your face, and start changing the world in the most creative way possible! 🙂