What Is Design Thinking?

We all live and work in a world that is constantly evolving and transforming. Design thinking helps guideus through the maze of challenges that traditional problem-solving methods can’t quite navigate. For sure we’ve all encountered challenges and have gotten stuck with a problem and think, “There’s gotta be a better way”? Enter design thinking. Think of it as a buddy system for your brain. It’s about teaming up, caring about the people you’re helping, and coming up with ideas that haven’t been chewed over a million times.

Design thinking is a versatile approach to problem-solving, transcending industries and disciplines.No matter what your profession is…design thinking can help you create innovative solutions that truly matter.

Lets Break It Down In 5 Easy Steps

These  non linear steps, rather they are fluid, allowing for continuous refinement and improvement.

1. Empathize: Understand your users. It’s like getting into someone else’s shoes. You gotta feel what they feel. Chat with ’em, hang out, just get their vibe.

2. Define: Frame the problem. So what’s the real issue here? Break it down into simply succinct phrases and make it clear.

3. Ideate: Generate solutions. Time for a brain party! Toss around any and all ideas. Crazy is welcome. Let the creative juices flow!

4. Prototype: Bring ideas to life. Show it! Chicken scratches will do!  Make a doodle, a rough thingy—anything to get your idea across.

5. Test: Refine and improve. Can you say research? I can’t say it enough. Get out there! Let your target poke at it, tell you what’s up, and then tweak as needed.

Is It Really Worth It?

Whether its about product design  or  social innovation, design thinking offers benefits that go beyond simple problem-solving.

Unleash Creativity: Design thinking encourages creativity and innovation. Fostering an “safe” environment, your giving your brain permission to go wild!
Better with Buddies: Collaboration drives innovation. When everyone’s in, ideas get prolific!
Users Dig It: Understand and empathy provides perspective. If your users are smiling…you’ve got a win!
Roll with the Punches: Don’t get propriety about the solution. Being flexing and open to change is the name of the game. Change is cool.

Some Real World Evidence:

  • Sharing platform Airbnb was facing a crisis in 2009, with little revenue and lackluster growth. The founders turned to design thinking to identify the root cause of their problems, which turned out to be the quality of their listings. They noticed their photos were kinda meh. They jazzed that up, and now they’re big-time.
  • Stanford University’s d.school: The Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University, better known as the d.school, has been a pioneer in design thinking education. These professors teach the good stuff. Helping future world-changers do their thing.
  • IDEO.org: This non-profit design and innovation consultancy focuses on addressing poverty and social challenges through human-centered design. They’re out there fighting the good fight. From health to learning, they’re making days brighter.

Thinking the Design Way

Embracing this way of thinking is about more than adopting a new methodology—it’s about cultivating a new mindset.
Feeling is Knowing: Give a genuine listen. It’s cool to care.
Messy is Okay: Life’s a rollercoaster. Hang tight and enjoy the ride.
Mix It Up: More minds, more magic. Different folks, different strokes.
Do the Thing: Whip something up. Test it out. Fix, repeat. Action beats perfection.

Design thinking is so much more than just a problem-solving methodology – it’s a mindset and a way of life. It’s not just some buzzword. For us at 3H, it’s the ‘secret’.  We dig it, enabling us to deliver exceptional results for our clients.