GuruChats – Challenging The Design Thinking Mindset

Design Thinking is “a continuous evolving process through the stages: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test. Within each stage, problems are framed; questions emerge, along with more ideas, until the best answers are evident and chosen.

The steps can be simultaneous or linear and/or iterative. Over the years, Design Thinking has adopted the cognitive processes used by the designers. Now this approach can be applied to a business problem or medical problem or even environmental problem but it involves observations and learnings from the users.

To shed light on this topic we’ve invited some guests who have shared their experience with Design Thinking as an approach and its implementations as a process against business thinking.  Let’s take a look at some of the key points of discussion.

Interpreting Design Thinking

It is an embodiment of creative thinking but impractical without the involvement of critical thinking. In most of its applications, Design Thinking creates opportunities and strategies for innovation. It’s a unique problem-solving approach that focuses on custom-centricity.

Design Thinking Vs Business Thinking

Although both are aimed at problem-solving, the two approaches tend to differ in terms of execution and analysis. An essential element of Design Thinking is empathy which accounts for a focus on human-centered design, an idea often lacking in business thinking where goals are defined on the basis of statistical and other analysis.

Design Thinking Application

Organizations looking to grow often find themselves caught between conventional and newer approaches to innovation. While traditional strategy calls for rigorous analysis and critical thinking, design thinking espouses ‘thinking by doing’. The approach can be applied to any industry or business.

Design Thinking And Time Constraint

Is it possible to execute the iterative design thinking process in limited time? That’s the biggest question from the critics of design thinking. Time limitation is one of the top reasons why people move away from the applying creative thinking over cognitive reasoning.

Collaboration And Design Thinking

Unlike other problem-solving approaches, Design Thinking is specifically a collaborative one which makes it also more restrictive. Sometimes working in collaboration takes more time but on a positive side, it pools in diversity of ideas.

Proceeding From Ideation Phase

This involves the consideration of the human-centered point of view rather than a business plan. The brainstorming ideas are backed by specific insights. However it’s a crucial stage because moving further requires critical thinking and sometimes it means going back to redefine the problem.

Prototyping And User Experience

Prototyping is about bringing an idea to life. As opposed to general understanding, prototyping can happen simultaneously with other phases. The ideas that arise can be prototypes and tested alongside. While designing prototypes, it’s important to keep in view the user experience.

Personalizing Design Thinking

When the idea got adopted by companies, it was linearized and critical thinking became an essence of Design Thinking. But if you are to personalize it, what would you like to change about it?

There has been a recent upsurge in the promotion of ‘design thinking’ along with its active criticism. While some consider it a linear approach leading to innovation others see it as a limitation to creative thinking. In reality, it is an approach that blends both creative thinking and critical thinking. Where our guests do stands in their viewpoint? Let’s explore.

Mehreen is a social media buff and design blogger, who keeps a keen eye on graphic design trends. She has a passion for experimenting with design ideas, and wouldn’t mind if it means going out of her way to find them in Timbuktu. Follow her on twitter for daily inspirations and findings.

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