Today design is mostly about objects or brands and making them more appealing and aesthetically beautiful, so they’re more sellable. Although the result is physical, there’s a lot of thinking involved before the final output. Tim Brown, CEO and president of IDEO, suggests going back to use that sort of thinking and applying its approaches and procedures to a huge range of issues in both business and society.
Why would you be interested in design thinking? Primarily because it enables us with a tool to deal with problems in an entirely new way. Instead of using the conventional problem-solving approach (where you first identify a problem and only then select from a number of given options that is most appropriate to resolve that issue) you look further. Meaning you look for new ideas, territories, answers – alternatives that weren’t available earlier.
Doing it for the sake of doing it can be a fun practice. However, in the real world, you’ll have to identify a problem (or a question) you’re going to answer. And even then it can be irrelevant thus reflecting and staying in tune might help to understand the importance of the question: how much weight does it have and how much value one can add by solving it.
Of course, there are many ways of asking a question. When it comes to normal social conversations, there are both open (when a respondent comes up with its own answer) and closed (mainly “yes” or “no” answers given). So the same applies to asking a design question. Whatever the structure of that ‘design’ question is always include a WHY. If someone asks you to create something, ask why. And when they answer it ask why again. To thoroughly solve a problem you need to have an in-depth knowledge and asking “why” is a pretty good way to find out. Designing for people requires human’s input. Paul Pangoro, CTO of cyberneticlifestyles.com asks: “Does the problem as stated represent the problem that we should observe?” Hence it seems that the problem can’t be created because it’s already out there. You need to identify and locate it. It’s the way you’re going to answer it you should be designing. So it requires both creativity and structured approaches, and possibly that’s the value in design thinking.
Design Thinking is pretty new in terms that people only recently started talking about it – design thinking is an exciting and innovative way of solving problems. But it can’t be applied to everything and it shouldn’t be forced on. There’s no need to re-invent the wheel if it still works. However, an issue might be that many organisations may be pretending that wheel isn’t broken. So if you’re a business that decided to fix things you might google the formula of design thinking. But there isn’t one. It’s a framework that needs applying to a particular situation individually by asking various questions and including the “why” and only then figuring out the “how”.
Actually, it might be worth going from adulthood to childhood so that you could start asking questions about everything again. However, it’s essential that this time you are getting the answers not from your parents, not taking over the answers from them, but finding the answers yourself that both work for you and reflect what you stand for. But are you ready to start asking?