I remember a few years ago, every conference I went to featured a talk about Design Thinking. The term, which refers to how companies tackle problem solving in co-creative and multidisciplinary teams using a fast-paced and iterative approach, possibly got a bit over-used. Then, user experience and digital innovation started grabbing the headlines, and Design Thinking started to fall by the side.
But in a connected world, I'd argue that Design Thinking is more important than ever. Think about it. Some of the most awe-inspiring products and solutions on the market right now are hooked up to the internet. They use data streams to enhance the experience of the user, and evolve and grow over time. To create these increasingly complex innovations means we have to work fast, by capturing multiple insights and translating them into viable solutions even faster.
To do that, we need a healthy mix of people to get involved in the innovation process. No single designer, or even team of designers, can ever hope to understand all the facets of a particular subject. Instead, we need insights from engineers, researchers and marketeers from inside the company, to name just a few, not to mention external partners and end users. Our role as designers is to orchestrate this process and connect the dots by empathizing with our customers and each person in the innovation team. One of our established design tools we use is the Experience Flow, which helps us to keep the practical and emotional needs of end-users at the center of innovation.