• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

How to Do Design Thinking Better

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
11,365
Points
1,160
No surprise: Brainstorming feels good, but doesn't always work....


How to Do Design Thinking Better

Experts from Kellogg and IDEO explain the psychology behind this creative approach to problem solving.


Design thinking has become tremendously popular. Businesses in every industry talk about ideating and iterating, a linguistic nod to the creative process made famous by design and consulting firm IDEO.

The design-thinking approach loosely follows a four-step process that involves observing a problem, reframing it, designing solutions, and testing them—all with the end goal of improving how humans experience a product or service.

But being familiar with this process and actually putting it into practice are very different things. “Sometimes people think they’re doing design thinking, but it’s really not,” says Leigh Thompson, a professor of management and organizations at Kellogg. “When you get it right, it’s really powerful.”

Rather than blindly following the approach, she says, it can be helpful to understand the psychology behind it. And critically, social psychology also offers insight into specific ways to get more out of each step in the process.

“The science is what explains the magic,” says David Schonthal, a clinical professor of strategy at Kellogg and director of the Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice. He and Thompson recently published a paper on this topic and teach a course together on using creativity as a business tool.

So why does design thinking work? And how can businesses effectively apply these principles themselves? Thompson and Schonthal explain.

How to Do Design Thinking Better
 

SupersonicMax

Army.ca Veteran
Mentor
Reaction score
1,308
Points
1,110
Design thinking doesn’t work. The few times I used it resulted in many “good” ideas but no clear path to achieve them…
 

Brad Sallows

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
3,195
Points
1,010
observing a problem, reframing it, designing solutions, and testing them

Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.

Design thinking doesn’t work.

Sometimes I suppose it does. Some of my best work came from looking ahead, prototyping, and refining.
 

SupersonicMax

Army.ca Veteran
Mentor
Reaction score
1,308
Points
1,110
Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.



Sometimes I suppose it does. Some of my best work came from looking ahead, prototyping, and refining.
That’s not necessarily design thinking. Design thinking is a methodology that supposedly embraces their version of the OODA loop (but there is much more to it). Saying you’re looking ahead and prototyping doesn’t mean you’re doing design thinking.

I have never seen design thinking’s output to be something meaningful and actionable, nevermind a timely positive outcome.
 

Brad Sallows

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
3,195
Points
1,010
"At a high level, the steps involved in the design thinking process are simple: first, fully understand the problem; second, explore a wide range of possible solutions; third, iterate extensively through prototyping and testing; and finally, implement through the customary deployment mechanisms. "

Basically what I did. (I do software development.)
 

SupersonicMax

Army.ca Veteran
Mentor
Reaction score
1,308
Points
1,110
"At a high level, the steps involved in the design thinking process are simple: first, fully understand the problem; second, explore a wide range of possible solutions; third, iterate extensively through prototyping and testing; and finally, implement through the customary deployment mechanisms. "

Basically what I did. (I do software development.)
That’s at a “high level.” Design thinking, as applied by the design thinking experts in the field is nothing like prototyping like you would know. For complex and even sometimes complicated problems, people get stuck in the “fully understand the problem” part. When prototyping/iterating solutions, you learn about the problem as you go. You don’t attempt to fully understand the problem but rather, you understand at a level that is “good enough” to create a first solution and then work iteratively to refine that solution.
 

Brad Sallows

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
3,195
Points
1,010
It all sounds like a rehash of stuff I've been reading about (and using) for years. For example, "Agile" is a framework for dealing with "learning about the problem as we go". There aren't really a lot of new ideas, just the same basic ones repackaged for different audiences.

Of course, software development has had an advantage for some time now - the modern IDE - which supports rapid prototyping, testing, and refactoring.
 

Booter

Full Member
Reaction score
686
Points
810
That’s not necessarily design thinking. Design thinking is a methodology that supposedly embraces their version of the OODA loop (but there is much more to it). Saying you’re looking ahead and prototyping doesn’t mean you’re doing design thinking.

I have never seen design thinking’s output to be something meaningful and actionable, nevermind a timely positive outcome.
Were you doing systems that are things like software of people?

I find that “business” likes to bastardize these concepts that work well in places with a definable area, and take them and apply them to human process,

But the ecosystem of human processes are so interconnected that it’s hard to test anything and really only be changing a variable you “know” and only that one.

You guys are smarter than me- I just find this interesting
 

Brad Sallows

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
3,195
Points
1,010
Design thinking doesn’t work. The few times I used it resulted in many “good” ideas but no clear path to achieve them…

Back to this, highly adaptive methodologies have trouble answering "I want this; how much will it cost?" up front and, sometimes, delivering on it. People who anticipate freedom to solve oversights later are less diligent about trying to get as much as possible correct in early phases.

Still no foolproof way of breaking new ground.

[Add: at the height of cynicism, there is only one effective methodology - which people keep repackaging to monetize it and/or get academic credit - and it is "Start somewhere, and react to changes in relevant factors."]
 
Top