Tag Archive | tools

Free Design Thinking Models to Help You in Your Project

by Miikka Paakkinen

Design in a business context looks to answer two questions: what problems are your customers facing, and how might we solve those problems while providing the best possible experience? Design thinking models can help you in your quest for the answers. Along the way, they might also assist you in asking better questions and finding the biggest underlying problems worth solving.

In this blog post, I will introduce three design thinking models that offer free toolkits for you to use.

Why does design thinking work?

 

 

Before going to the models though, let’s take a quick look at what design thinking can do for you.

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What is design thinking and why is it important to your business?

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Building a prototype.

 

Design thinking is a creative problem solving and innovation process that makes change possible. Instead of FOR users, this human centered approach designs services and products WITH users.

The systematic process of using design thinking tools for innovation creates competitive advantage –  a good reason to every business manager to adopt it to their working processes.

How does design thinking differ from other innovation processes

Design thinking turns the traditional innovation process upside down. Whereas before the innovators had a certain goal for their process, in design thinking it is unknown where the process will take you – thus pure innovations can be born.

Genuine search for a solution for your business problem requires learning. Design thinking is applied in an iterative circle that uses co-creation and testing, for example prototyping. Learning and finding a solution by iteration need an atmosphere where it is okay to fail – instead of trying to prove to be right and avoid mistakes.

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How to be a good designer

You need to have the right mindset

Nigel Cross, Emeritus Professor of Design Studies in the UK describes in his book Design Thinking (2011) successful designers as optimists and opportunists, who are exploring uncertainty hopefully and dedicated to the tasks in hand. Unlike engineers who want to test, measure and prove something, designers cope with this uncertainty by analogy-making and intuitive judgements. They also use ethnographic approach in order to dig up tacit knowledge and make new hypothesis of future situation of use.

Cross compared designing to sharing a social process of interaction and to a face-to-face negotiation between different participants of the process. To make a proposal for a solution designers use a wide range of designing techniques, such as sketching, prototyping, mock-ups and scenarios. A successful designer cannot work alone in his studio; being an innovative designer requires capacity to work with a small team that shares the same passion to creative thinking and that is also capable of broad system thinking.

You need to go beneath the surface

Tim Brown, CEO and president of IDEO, an innovation and design firm, points out in his article Design Thinking (2008) that designers have a new role at strategic level in service delivery. He continues that design thinking can radically renew health care services, for instance. Rather than sudden breakthrough, a service innovation process is a systematic creative human-centered process followed by iterative cycles of prototyping and testing. It is hard work at customer interface, not only designing more attractive products, advertising or communication strategies.

You need to have right tools and process

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Service Design meets Futures thinking # 3

A research based series of posts discussing the statement “Futures Research supports the Service Design process in multiple ways and throughout the whole process” by Minna Koskelo and Anu K. Nousiainen.

Part #3: The Process Perspective

Our two previous blog entries have been summarizing the purpose of our study and the main findings including the synergies of service design and futures thinking, thus why it is beneficial for the two disciplines utilize approach and methods from one another and learn from each other. This third post introduces Service Design Process that is enhanced by futures thinking. Additionally we illustrate how service design thinking benefits foresight process.

The big picture: Becoming a human-centric innovative trendsetter

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Service Design meets Futures Thinking – IN ACTION

Before our 2nd blog post for the series of Service Design meets Futures Thinking, we have a special news for you !

The first test environment for combining Futures Thinking with Design Thinking takes place in Helsinki in two weeks ! This is an invitation to all design thinkers, futures thinkers, strategic minds and innovative leaders to take part in the day on Friday 9th November at the heart of Helsinki, Finland – The World Design Capital 2012.

LaFutura is here ! Continue reading