Design Thinking

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What does Design Thinking mean?

Design thinking is, as the name suggests, a way of thinking. Many people only think of designers when they hear the term and that only they practice design thinking. But this is exactly a fallacy. Design Thinking is a discipline that should be applied in every product-oriented company and by everyone. You don't have to be able to design to be able to apply the different methods of Design Thinking, because it's about the mindset and not about creating mockups.

Four methods

Four different methods often come into play in the way I work. The first is the classic Design Sprint, which more or less came to prominence through Jake Knapp of Google. Here, one usually uses the five working days of a week and assigns each weekday to a specific phase of the process. In this way, one goes through a very productive process within a week, which at the end already leads to visible or even usable results.

The second is Lean UX, which is very reminiscent of Design Sprint. The difference, in my opinion, is that Design Sprints are good to use when creating something new, whereas Lean UX is more of a general iterative way of working that can also be applied permanently to improve products. But the overlap is relatively large.

Then there are Discovery processes, like Double Diamond. This process is significantly longer, but it is especially well suited for large projects where a lot of money and effort is at stake. There is a lot of tapping here before it goes into production, but again, the speed is very dependent on the team involved and how focused the team is on the process. If each team member involved, has 3 other issues, the process will naturally take a correspondingly long time.

The next Design Thinking process that I find exciting was coined by Amazon and is called "Working Backwards". I also find this process great when you stand in front of a blank canvas and first have to figure out what exactly you want to do in the first place. Here, a FAQ and a press release are written right at the beginning. The press release simulates the time when the product will be released. You travel into the future, so to speak. This breaks down certain ways of thinking extremely and leads to exciting ideas.

Individual solutions for individual companies

There are many more design thinking methods. You have to find out exactly which one is suitable for which team or project, it is simply important that you follow such processes in the first place before you start to have or even build any product ideas. Because these methods all have one thing in common. First of all, you have to find out which user problem you want to solve. So the first thing is not the solution (feature, product), but the problem.

Need help?

If you need support to establish Design Thinking in your company, I will be happy to assist you. At ImmoScout24, together with a small team, I successfully established standardized Design Thinking processes. The teams became much more efficient and the products better.

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Berlin / Brandenburg
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