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Introduction to design thinking

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Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A guest blog by Fairy Dharawat

While researching for a new topic for today’s writing, I came across the word ‘design’. The word made me curious, curious as to its meaning. Design has always being stereotyped as something beautiful and is often thought of with a limited vision of dealing with everything beautiful; say a pattern in dress, fashion designing; nice interior, interior designing; art, moveable design. But design is much more than a few vocational professions. Design is about planning and execution.

Design has many connotations; it is different for different cultures, it’s different for you and me. The relevance and importance of design has rich layers of several external as well as internal factors. It is often emphasised that everything with design is related to a thing of beauty and elegance. But design is more than a visual perception of an observer. If we are to really define design, then what is design? No definition exists that can justify design in general or that has universal meaning. Design is different and hence I believe, as design is a perspective, it cannot always be beautiful. A design that you might like, I might dislike; we perceive things differently. So what exactly is design? Why are we discussing about it anyway?

Well the reason today, we are talking about design is because we are going to introduce ourselves with the term ‘Design Thinking’. So that we know a little about design and its diverse perceptions, let us acquaint ourselves with design thinking.

What is Design thinking?

Design thinking has many definitions, but put simply, ‘Design Thinking is a problem solving tool that looks for an improved result.’

Design thinking:

· Is working on that brilliant idea and executing it for real?

· Is your thinking made up of technical thinking, business thinking and creative thinking?

· Are you dealing with multiple questions? These questions relate to many aspects of dealing with any problem that one may face in the world of business.

Asking right questions helps in solving problems before the design process gets underway.

Questions such as,

Is it viable? – Business Related (Make financial sense?)

Is it desirable? – Creative Related (aesthetic?)

Is it feasible? – Technical Related (Does it work?)

These questions will help one solve high-cost problems through creativity, simplicity and collaboration for that brilliant business design.

Design thinking helps in taking predicative measures for problems that are expected and which can be averted. Design thinking helps in doing its bit on deflecting possible problems. That is because design thinking helps to understand a possible idea that would have a set of problems and provides a set of solutions tailor-made. Design thinking is more or less related to innovation. Innovation is all about ideas, suggesting even dumb, bad or wild ideas creates an ability to innovate. Promoting innovation is not easy, because talent is not the only requisite. A mind needs to be trained with regular churning of great, dumb, wild and insane ideas on a regular basis to get that one brilliant idea that changes the game.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, one can say that design thinking is huge. If there is no specific term to describe design, imagine the efforts required to understand design thinking. Though theoretically easy, the application edge required for this kind of thinking is critical. Practice makes perfect and testing the waters beforehand is advised. The application of design theory involves organising ideas in a disorganised way. It means allowing ideas to flow freely, without restraint, no matter how wild or crazy they may be.

The ideas can then be assessed using the relevant questions. Is the design practical? Does it work? Does it make business sense? Have we been creative enough? Does it look good? The more questions that are asked, the closer we can get to being innovative. The closer we can get to formulating ideas that are new, that no one has pieced together before; the more innovative we become. Through innovation, through design theory, progress is made and wealth is created. Apply the theory and ask the questions and you create growth and create wealth.

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