What is design thinking? For a long time it has been generating quite a buzz but few know what the concept really means. Businesses all over the world and in different industries have been using it for some time and it has helped them improve their services and enabled them to generate huge revenues.
So, how do companies benefit from design thinking? Let us take a closer look.
Strategy for innovation
How has three people living in San Francisco and renting mattresses start and maintain a billion dollar company? Today, you will recognise the company as AirBnB. In the start, the business was barely noticed by people. So, in order to figure out what they were doing wrong, they spent time on their sites. They then realized that the problem was their sites had poor images.
Understandably, nobody would like to book a room, which they have a hard time picturing. After identifying the problem, they replaced their amateur photos with high-resolution photos taken by professionals and they were able to double their weekly revenue. Many people might see it as just a little change but it sure did a lot to improve the business.
If you were selling a medical device or a medicine, what you would do is to go out and talk to the people who are involved, whether directly or indirectly, with your product. You need to speak to stakeholders, patients and people in the medical community. You will need to have the device applied on yourself and act as if you were the patient. This way you will be able to tell if the device is comfortable or not and if there was a better way to do it, you will certainly make sure it happens.
A great idea is no longer enough. You have test your idea or your product to see if there are further improvements which can be done. Shopwell is another company, which has identified new opportunities through this method and it has helped them succeed. They originally designed their website to help customers in the purchase of healthy food. Soon after the release of the website, they received some feedback from customers. They assumed that their major users were vegetarians or people who are on a diet. It turned out that their main market were people who have been diagnosed with diseases such as high cholesterol and anaemia. This discovery led to the change in features, as well as the improvement of current features. The users’ needs might not have been discovered if the creators of the app did not understand their end users better.
This is why design thinking should be at the core of all your services. You need to understand your customers’ needs in order to develop an excellent business or app. Customers do not spend their money on your services or products to do you a favor. They spend their money because they need it and it improves their lives.
Revolutionising customer experience
The main takeaway from the two businesses featured above is that you need to have empathy for your customers’ experience. Design thinking can be applied by meeting your users. Observe how they behave, see what their problems are and look for patterns.
Talk to your customers. Find out more about them. Observe them as they use your app. Ask them questions but ask them the right questions. Never make assumptions, as doing so will not help your business at all.
Analytics can be of great help but they will not be able to tell you why people do the things they do. Knowing where to start your app will help you accomplish your goals.