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Design Thinking for Business Innovation

Business Innovation is the creation of substantial new value for customers and the company by creatively changing one or more dimensions of the business system.

In other words, it is the invention, formation and adoption of something new that generates business value. This includes new products, services, or processes, such as integrated supply chain solutions.

It generally refers to changing processes or creating more effective ideas, operations and products.

In return, Design Thinking is an iterative procedure in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions.

It provides a solution-based approach to problems through a different way of thinking and working as well as a collection of hands-on methods.

It refers to the cognitive, strategic and practical actions by which design concepts are developed.

The five different stages of Design Thinking are as follows:

1. Empathise
The first stage of the Design Thinking process is to gain an empathic understanding of the problem you are trying to solve. This involves consulting experts to find out more about the area of concern through observing, engaging and empathizing with people to understand their experiences and motivations, as well as immersing yourself in the physical environment so you can gain a deeper personal understanding of the issues involved. Empathy is crucial to a human-centered design process such as Design Thinking, and empathy allows design thinkers to set aside their own assumptions about the world in order to gain insight into users and their needs.

2. Define (the Problem)
During the Define stage, you put together the information you have created and gathered during the Empathise stage. This is where you will analyse your observations and synthesise them in order to define the core problems that you and your team have identified up to this point. You should seek to define the problem as a problem statement in a human-centred manner.

3. Ideate
During the third stage of the Design Thinking process, designers are ready to start generating ideas. You’ve grown to understand your users and their needs in the Empathise stage, and you’ve analysed and synthesised your observations in the Define stage, and ended up with a human-centered problem statement. With this solid background, you and your team members can start to "think outside the box" to identify new solutions to the problem statement you’ve created, and you can start to look for alternative ways of viewing the problem.

4. Prototype
The design team will now produce a number of inexpensive, scaled down versions of the product or specific features found within the product, so they can investigate the problem solutions generated in the previous stage. Prototypes may be shared and tested within the team itself, in other departments, or on a small group of people outside the design team. This is an experimental phase, and the aim is to identify the best possible solution for each of the problems identified during the first three stages.

5. Test
Designers or evaluators rigorously test the complete product using the best solutions identified during the prototyping phase. This is the final stage of the 5 stage-model, but in an iterative process, the results generated during the testing phase are often used to redefine one or more problems and inform the understanding of the users, the conditions of use, how people think, behave, and feel, and to empathise. Even during this phase, alterations and refinements are made in order to rule out problem solutions and derive as deep an understanding of the product and its users as possible.

 


 
 
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