very so often, a new buzz word starts circulating through corporations and lately the term, “Design Thinking” has been everywhere. We start hearing about it on the news, perhaps someone shares an article on Facebook and suddenly your manager is encouraging you to incorporate this “design thinking” methodology into your next project. But what exactly is it? And how do you employ it in your very non-graphic designer job?
In their book, “Designing for Growth,” Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Ogilvie have this to say about design thinking: “[it] is actually a systematic approach to problem solving. It starts with customers and the ability to create a better future for them. It acknowledges that we probably won’t get that right the first time. It does not require supernatural powers. This kind of design is absolutely safe to try at home.” Design thinking is essentially a way for managers and their teams to problem solve, brainstorm and test in a more dynamic and comprehensive way. It requires empathy, invention, and iteration. And it requires that you be comfortable with some conversations that don’t always end with clear, concise outcomes but rather will lead to some messy ideas that require continual workshopping. There are four questions typically asked when employing design thinking, and a number of tools that are associated with each.
This is just the tip of the design thinking iceberg but hopefully it’s clear what a valuable tool it can be in developing and testing new ideas. If you are interested and would like to know more about it, join the Alumni Professional Development team for their Design Thinking event on Tuesday, April 18 at 6:30pm in the Driscoll Student Center Gallery. For more information and to register, click here.
Definitions taken from “Designing for Growth” by Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Ogilvie, Copyright 2011 Columbia University Press.