Design Thinking for New Product and Service Development
Design thinking is literally just “thinking like a designer.” It is a method for innovation and creative problem solving, and refers to the processes, methods and tools for creating people-centred products, services, solutions and experiences.
The fundamental ethos of design thinking is to establish a strong connection with the people (“users”) who will benefit from the solution. It’s about working to get a deep understanding of users’ conditions, situations and needs and seeing the world through the customer’s eyes.
The benefits of the design thinking approach in innovation are that, done well, it can bring:
- Strong focus on the customer
- Differentiation and competitive edge
- Reduction in bias and negative behaviours that can prevent successful innovation
- Natural progression from understanding the customer and opportunities, through to product or service development
- Structure, process and progression
Design thinking can be highly effective, but needs professional, skilled facilitation due to the challenges involved. Some of these challenges are:
- It can feel subjective and personal, rather than analytical
- It relies on exploration and discovery, instead of racing to a solution
- It is necessary to work with ambiguity and trust that the overall process will achieve the desired result
- Because it is an organic process, with multiple views, innovation can go in unpredictable directions
- Design thinking is, by its nature, an Iterative, non-linear process
Expert facilitation keeps the process on track without compromising the quality and usefulness of divergent, creative thinking and different perspectives.
We will be delighted to bring our design thinking facilitation expertise to support you with your new product and service development.
Design thinking events can take between 1 and 10 days, although usually last for 1, 2 ,3 or 5 in practice. They also include the end user of your products and services, including paying customers. We actually worked with over 200 Northumbrian Water customers to successfully co-create the business’ Unrivalled Customer Experience and Customer Inclusivity strategies.
‘Jo has helped us create long lasting and leading strategies through her extensive business capability and the dynamic use of creative tools and techniques. These strategies have helped Northumbrian Water to achieve leading status and have helped us stand out from the crowd!’Richard Seales, Northumbrian Water