Design thinking process

Daniel Pink writes in his book A Whole New Mind, “Abundance has satisfied, and even over-satisfied, the material needs of millions–boosting the significance of beauty and emotion and accelerating individuals’ search for meaning. This means as more as we improve and meet our basic needs, our desires will keep increasing. We expect better and sophisticated lifestyle and never ending wants. Design thinking posses a tool for visualizing such experiences and give them a desirable form. In my previous blog I talked about qualities and traits of a ‘Design Thinker‘. Today I will talk about how design thinking process works and how we implemented that in our startup.

Inspiration! Ideation! Implementation!

As the above image shows stages of design thinking process. Ideally it looks like a linear process but it is more complex than it looks. A design thinker have to keep coming back to start or mid to find right solutions and innovate a problem.

It starts with empathising with people around and users who have faced the issues and taking inspiration from them to come up with innovative ideas. This stage involves entering the realm of the users and, as far as possible, “becoming” them so as to begin work on custom-designing a solution. Similarly while finding ideas for our ‘Promazers’ startup, it was challenging for us to find the ideas because we need to empathize the problem faced by people, but now we also have to address issue faced by a part of UK population and find our relevant customer segment for same. After talking to a few people we found that the benches other seats in public areas are too cold to sit in winters and they avoid sitting on them. We looked into that issue and faced them ourselves too defining the problem further. Defining means analyze your observations and synthesize them in order to define the core problems you and your team have identified so far. This is where you ensure that what you are addressing sits in sharp relief before you, its properties known in full.

So we started generating ideas for this problem with the knowledge we have gathered in the first two phases. We started looking for ways by which people can keep them warm and use public seats. After looking from various perspective we came to idea which can keep the users warm, can be carried easily, is light weight, water resistant and made up of sustainable or eco-friendly materials. We thought of making a book like product which can easily fit in a regular bag and can be carried everywhere. Simultaneously it must be eye appealing to encourage others to buy it as well as an advertising strategy.

Coming to prototyping stage where our design team produced a few inexpensive, scaled-down versions of the product to investigate the problem solutions generated in the previous stage. ‘Claire’ being the product designer in our group was very active during this stage and found multiple ways to design the prototype. She checked different materials and finalized bamboo for outer layer and woolen felts for inner layer to sit on. Then to add a unique factor to it she tried to make laser cut hinge in between which came out really well.

Then final step was to test the prototype. I personally checked the sitting on it on a cold bench and it was excellent. Well job done by the team! It was warm and comfortable too. We also went to other people and asked them to sit on it and check. They also gave positive reviews. Only problem was of size as it is a small book like product and its max size is that of an A4 sheet. We are working more on it and will revise the product after taking more reviews.

 

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