Design Thinking is an iterative process, intensely human-centric and solution-oriented in nature. The rationale is to understand the user, his pain points and requirements, challenge assumptions that have so far failed to deliver, and redefine or reformulate the problem on hand in an attempt to explore, find out and leverage alternative strategies and solutions that one might have missed to notice initially. Design Thinking provides a solution-based approach to problems which fail to resolve with conventional approaches. It is an approach that relies on hands-on methods. If we have to name a few core elements of design thinking then the first few words that come to our mind are – innovative, creative, and imaginative, unconventional and out- of- the- box thinking.
It bridges the mythical gap between innovators and venture-owners because it starts with empathy. Those seeking solution to an existing challenge should in the very first place have the capacity to see themselves in the shoes of the person they are trying to help or design the solution for. Empathy that is the starting point of the process is the stepping stone. Design thinkers are known to have strong empathy and deep understanding of their target segment or people who they are designing the products or services. Design Thinking has a mind of typical teenager. It questions the assumptions till it sees them really working out towards solution. Design Thinking is best when used for problems that are ill defined. It brainstorms, unassembled and reformulates them in human-centric ways. And as it moves on or tries to move on towards solutions it prototypes and tests the suggested solutions and ideas. If we have to put design thinking into three processes or phases it would appear somewhat like this:
An interesting example of design thinking
We humans usually act on the dotted lines as the repeated acts get etched in our habits and the instinct to follow them is natural and easy. We see everyone else doing the same and we ourselves have been told to do follow. Breaking the set pattern of thought process goes against the grain of human functioning.
Here I share an instance of out of box thinking. It had been there out on the net on the sites of a design school. It talks of a truck that got stuck under a low bridge. And the driver could not budge further nor reverse. In the result chaos and jam, seasoned professionals offered solutions as per their expertise to free the truck without any damage to the vehicle or the bridge. None really worked. And then comes a boy who curiously looks at the crowd and the trapped truck. Coolly he suggested that why not deflate the tires.
Amazingly it worked. It is a very simple yet very brilliant example of out of box thinking. Sometimes the answer lies in simple yet unthought-of way of doing things which don’t occur initially because of our self-imposed constraints.
At Desh Bhagat University in top universities in India and best BBA college in Punjab, students get the golden opportunity to work on such case studies that exemplify the need for originality and eccentricity as opposed the tried and tested paths in problem solving.