A MODERN APPROACH TO CREATIVE INNOVATION.
Old keys don’t open new doors. Brands require fresh, innovative ideas to help them survive and thrive. Design thinking provides a framework that can help businesses unlock their users’ core wants and needs in order to develop breakthrough ideas and solutions.
Design thinking is an approach that is both creative and systematic. It emulates a designer’s process of creating an elegant solution to a complex problem through needfinding, creating, thinking and doing.
Depending on your perspective, the idea of creating something out of nothing could be exhilarating or intimidating and frustrating. Design thinking addresses what is often called the “fuzzy front end” of innovation in order to help work with uncertainty, describe problems, find patterns and eventually create something meaningful. Through this process of discovering and defining, big ideas will developed and delivered. There will be a tangible product that is designed to meet a real need. To this end, design thinking can be understood as a force for creative innovation that results in value, profit and sustainability.
4 Questions with Jen Axen: DESIGN THINKING
Our Chief Qualitative Officer, Jennifer Axen, recently completed the d.School training at the Design Institute at Stanford. We asked her to explain what design design thinking is and why Hypothesis is so well-suited for it.
Q. What is DESIGN THINKING?
Jen: Design thinking is applying the mindset and process of a designer in order to develop a product, service or solution. Design thinking centers on the idea of understanding people’s core wants and needs and then designing to meet those needs. It is a creative and iterative approach that allows companies to innovate beyond what currently exists.
Q. What types of projects does it serve?
Jen: Design thinking works well when a company or organization needs to solve a complex problem or bring something new into the world. Whether it’s how to help seniors to age safely in their homes or creating the next great travel app. Design thinking does not work well when you have a defined question or prescribed answer set. In short, design thinking is a process that best serves innovation.
Q. What’s different about design thinking compared to qualitative research?
Jen: Qualitative research and design thinking are both experiential and people-centered. At the core of design thinking is user empathy. As humans, we are hard wired for empathy but our senses can get dulled in our day-to-day lives. For this reason, it’s key to immerse with consumers in a mindful way in order to empathize and understand core needs. This practice is at the heart of design thinking and qualitative research.
In my opinion, that’s not where the resemblance ends. Like design-thinking, great qualitative research should also be a highly creative process; using expressive art techniques, game play and storytelling in order to help discover and describe the most important insights.
Q. WHY HYPOTHESIS?
Jen: Design thinking is in our company’s DNA. Since the company’s inception, we’ve incorporated a design mindset across our work. Our design team, GridSpace, is immersed in every project from proposal to final deliverables. Beyond visual design, we offer clients an integrative design approach that provides fresh and unique discovery.
To learn more about how design thinking can help your business, contact Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org.