Our service innovation and design studies started with an interesting Design Thinking course held remotely by Katja Tschimmel. During the two instruction days we learned the basics of Design Thinking, went through a Design Thinking process in small groups using Miro and did also some creative thinking as well as thinking outside the box exercises. We liked the execution of the course very much. It was two very intensive but fun days. Below you can read part of our learnings from the course
What is Design Thinking
During the last decade Design Thinking has become a popular approach for innovation. Design and Design Thinking are closely connected as Design Thinking is based on design methodology, the designer’s culture and way of thinking (Tschimmel, K. 2022a, 47). However, design never achieved the same position in the corporate world as Design Thinking has now achieved.
Design Thinking is a cross-disciplinary method which combines innovation with a human-centered approach. It investigates thoroughly the needs and wants of people and turns then into customer benefits and business value. (Brown, T. 2008, 86) Design Thinking is being used in fields such as service, business, organizational, social and educational innovation (Tschimmel, K. 2022b, 13).
Design Thinking Principles
Design Thinking is based on the following principles:
- Collaboration means that as many stakeholders as possible should be included in the process.
- Human-centered approach underlines the importance of user’s perspective.
- Experimentation means that mistakes and failure belong to creative processes.
- Divergence highlights the importance of thinking in different perspectives and looking for future possibilities.
- Visualization helps to simplify complicated things.
- Holistic perspective takes into account the system of interactions around products, services etc.
- Prototyping makes ideas tangible through early simulation and testing.
Another way to describe the principles of Design Thinking is by dividing them into three main categories with sixteen subcategories (picture 1). The main categories are thinking, actions and mindset. (Tschimmel 2021)
Picture 1: Principles of Design Thinking by Mindshake
Process of Design Thinking
The way we see this, is that the process of design thinking is out there with an ultimate purpose – to make the world a better place. Designers, innovators and anyone in between strive towards solving challenges of various multitudes by using innovative and creative approaches while getting inspired, ideating and, finally, implementing ideas into real-life environments. The most successful way of utilizing a Design Thinking approach is often a collective process, involving mind work of a number of individuals, who have a common goal to reach, an issue to solve or a process or service to improve.
Design Thinking’s Areas of Application
Design Thinking, or human-centered problem solving is traditionally used in business and strategy, as Mootee is describing in his book, however, the application areas of Design Thinking are increasing diverse, versatile and can often be seen utilized in unexpected scenarios within industries that slowly only begin to realize the potential that Design Thinking methods can bring to the table.
Moreover, Design Thinking in a modern society is seen as far more than simply a product design tool; it is used for creating something that is not only technologically possible, but also financially viable, as well as valuable for a target consumer, with the customer being at a centerpiece of the process.
Written by Katja Kotilainen & Yulia Lobanova
Brown, T (2008). Design Thinking: How to deliver on a Great Plan. Harvard Business Review June 2008, 84-95.
Kolko, J. (2015). Design thinking comes of age. The approach, once used primarily in product design, is now infusing corporate culture. Harvard Business Review September 2015, 66-71.
Mootee, I. (2013).Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation : What They Can’t Teach You at Business or Design School. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated.
Tschimmel, K. (2021). Design Thinking Master Class 3.-4.9.2021 material. Laurea University of Applied Sciences.
Tschimmel, K. (2022a). Design vs Design Thinking. In creativity and Innovation Affairs. (in process) Available only for SID students at Laurea University.
Tschimmel, K. (2022b). Creativity, Design and Design Thinking – a human-centered ménage à trois for Innovation. In perspectives on Design II: Research, Education and Practice II. “Serie in Design and Innovation”. Springer International Publishing. (in print)