Design Thinking for Startups
How we apply design thinking to startups and the importance it has today. It is a process that already has some years in the Market and that despite that there are still people and companies that do not know its importance.
The term was created with the purpose of differentiating the design vision associated with the surface, form or appearances of things, from that referring to its project approach and particular way of thinking, questioning, knowing and acting. The Design Thinking methodology has its origin as many other things related to innovation at Stanford University of California, the design consultant IDEO, was the one who applied it for the first time in commercial projects in the 70s and today this company with Its CEO Tim Brown remains a benchmark in terms of Design Thinking and innovation that refers to a form of creative action adapted to the purposes of the business.
Design thinking is combining what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable. We believe that the repeated practice that uses this creative process centered on the human being to solve problematic scenarios called design challenges can also be used to apply and solve real-life, every day or work problems. In other words, this process can be adapted to any field that has the need to solve a problem.
It even allows those who are not trained as designers to use creative tools to address a wide range of challenges. The process begins with taking action and understanding the right questions. It involves adopting simple mental changes and addressing problems from a new direction.
Design thinking is a simple, five-step, iterative process for creative problem solving.
The main steps in design thinking are:
We begin with a deep understanding of the needs of the users involved in the solution we are developing or looking for and also of their environment. We must be able to put ourselves in the shoes of these people to be able to generate solutions consistent with their realities. We have to get into the skin and head of users and their problems.
During the definition stage we filter the information collected during the Empathy phase and we are left with what really adds value and leads us to reach new interesting perspectives. We will identify problems whose solutions will be key to obtaining an innovative result.
The Ideation stage aims to generate the more options, the better. We should not keep the first idea that comes to mind. In this phase, activities favor expansive thinking, there are no limits and we do not have to have value prejudices. Everything can be worth it and, in many occasions, the strangest ideas are those that generate the most innovative solutions.
Through prototyping we build a “fast” model that will help us shape what until now was an idea or concept. From this moment there is already something physical, something that we can visualize or that we can touch, although of course it can be something virtual in the case of a computer application, etc. We went down to the real plane or of the earth what until now was something ethereal.
The characteristic of making a “fast” model or prototype connects with the idea of Minimum Viable Product (MVP Minimum Viable Product) of the Lean Startup methodology, we do something that does not consume us too many resources or too much time to try it as soon as possible (later phase of TESTEO), the market is analyzed, learned from mistakes and improved, this “fast” flow of action that is transversal and is used in many of the current management methodologies is fundamental.
Linked to the previous phase in which we had created the prototype, we now test it with the help of the target audience towards which the solution we are developing is oriented. Once the feedback is obtained, we will incorporate the conclusions to improve the solution we are looking for.
The value of user experience as a result of design thinking is especially compelling when comparing a user experience project with another investment with similar business objectives. There were countless smartphones before Apple’s iPhone broke into the scene. There were taxis before Uber and social networks before Facebook. There were many vacuum cleaners before Dyson, retailers before Bonobos and Warby-Parker, and electric cars before Tesla.
All these companies share one thing. It is his relentless focus on the client and the best possible user experience, which is deeply rooted in his design thinking methodology.