Design Thinking

I’m becoming more and more interested in the momentum that “Design Thinking” is getting in the Business and Innovation space.

To be honest, there is nothing fancy to it (at least in my mind)…. its just the usual complex problem solving we do via graphic abstraction and facilitated workshops – the bread and butter of how we at TW work.

Agile practices are one embodiment of Design Thinking Processes, IDEO’s structured innovation workshops are another.

A good diagram describing this kind of stuff is here – http://www.idiagram.com/CP/cpprocess.html

other people talking about it are :

http://www.ideo.com/news/item/article/change-by-design/?changebydesign

http://dschool.stanford.edu/

Books about this kind of thing are rising in the “Must read business books” lists – if you believe the hype of authors like – http://rogerlmartin.com/

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So why am i raising this ?

I think “Design Thinking” is a good (and recognized) name for how we do what we do in Envisioning. I have been talking up Agile+UX a lot, but i think this may be masking our ability to apply our methods and skills to a wider range of problems in the business domain.

I also think “Design Thinking” helps us break out of the “User” problem. We help businesses solve problems, and yes – a customer centered approach is the best way to do this….

My concern with the “User” problem, is that as soon as you say you do UX – or anything with the work “User” in it, then you are lumped with “Usability, Graphic Design, Interface Design” …. these are all good things – but in my experience the real value of our methods often fall beyond these boundaries.

Stuctured Workshop processes help the business get a grip on the problem space, and drive the rapid development of possible responses to this problem. Some people call this innovation – to me its just the usual “Create a new desirable product in an uncertain and fast changing competitive landscape”

So do we really do UX, or are we Design Thinkers ?

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About Jason Furnell

design thinker . experience designer . lo-fi sketcher . workshop facilitator . visual thinker . diagrammer . agile believer . multidisciplinary collaborator . build sequencer . incrementing and iterating . architecting information . presenting and pitching . master of design (its a degree, not a self assigned title) . dyslexic . misspell-er of many many many things....
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