Creative approaches to problem solving
While we live in and increasingly complex and dynamic world, we are set with immense opportunities and challenges. Design Thinking gives us the ability to render that intent, requiring a particular way of thinking about the future state of a service, product or system and then putting fourth the right activities to make that outcome become realised. This process also requires an inquisitive, curious and creative approach that allows teams or individuals to navigate complex problem areas and come to innovative solutions that address real human needs.
Design Thinking is an approach to learning, collaborating and problem solving. In practice, the design process can take a more structured approach. This approach can require a teacher, facilitator or coach to play an important role in nurturing a design led way of thinking, communicating the logic of the Design Thinking, while focusing on flow and team building.
Touch points are the interaction points between the end user and the companies services or products it offers. While customer or user research is about being inquisitive, asking questions and following a Design Research process to find answers and insights. User Experience (UX) is about translating, designing and testing that research with the aim to develop desirable features and interfaces for new or existing Information applications.
What Product Design and Service Design have in common is that they both involve building new value propositions and are able to materialise these with a full feature company offering. These roles require more of a lean start up approach. While desirability is a core focus, knowing the brand and evaluating the feasible and viable business challenges that come up within the new product or service ecosystem are also imperative to the success of the solution.
The front end of any design process requires flows between research, ideation and prototyping with the aim create a desirable solution. A solution can come in the form of an improved service, new product or intervention that allows the user to overcome their challenges. In essence, we start with empathy and when we have discovered a need we begin to ask How Might We, framed by the need, insight and context. We then have something to work with before going into ideation.
If you are interested in all things Design Thinking, be sure to follow on Medium.
Service Blueprints are great tools for communicating the design of services in a practical manner. Both for understanding the user experience and the operational guidelines of an existing or new service. In a recent project we went into the detail of a Service Blueprint and how to build empathy into the framework.
*Subscribe to the Ideaflow newsletter and receive great resources on Design Thinking
Ideaflow Studio grew out of a passion for Design Thinking. This passion grew while Design Thinking started to be widely known as an effective methodology and for its ability to be applied to any challenge. This means that Design Thinking is not set to any discipline and can used effectively throughout society.
Creativity comes in many forms and focus areas. Ideaflow Studio is grounded by key principles of Design Thinking. Some of these are to be empathetic to discover critical user needs, to embrace ambiguity as way to foster change, to redesign and learn from whats been done before and to make things tangible and visually communicate in order to gain a common understanding between stakeholders.
The studio is a place to showcase our thinking with the intention to connect and collaborate. All the projects are different based on the context and industries of those clients. Encouraging multi-disciplinary teamwork is vital. We also believe a mix of facilitators, researchers and engineers can bring an interesting fusion of perspectives that can lead to innovative concepts.
Design Thinking lead
I’m a Cape Town lead Design Thinker who helps companies and early-stage startups shape their products and services through methodology, visualisation, ethnographic-based user research, usability design, UX architecture and various design strategies. While working as Design thinking lead and consultant for non-profits, startups and innovation agencies.
My career has also given me the opportunity to lecture and practice as a Design Thinking coach at the UCT Hasso Plattner dschool, while also teaching ideation at Inscape Design College. This journey all started when I decided to focus on Design Thinking during my Masters Degree, building onto what I learnt in Industrial Design to focus more towards design methodology, strategy and user experience. Since, I’ve also worked as Design Thinking lead and consultant at marketing agencies and management consultancies .
Follow us and keep posted on all things Design Thinking