What is design thinking?

Last week we explored one of the best known innovation strategy frameworks: blue ocean strategy. This week we’re turning our attention to design thinking, another framework used for driving innovation.

Design thinking was developed by Ideo president and CEO, Tim Brown. In his words, design thinking is a “human-centred approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit.”

In essence, design thinking starts with the consumer need to develop products, services or strategies which tick three boxes:

  • Desirable to the customer
  • Financially viable for the business
  • Feasible from a technical standpoint

Ideo argue that to find ideas which are desirable, feasible and viable you need to follow a three phase approach which they term inspire, ideate, implement. So what does this involve?

  • Phase 1: Inspire Understanding consumer needs through deep ethnography
  • Phase 2: Ideate Generating ideas and creating prototypes to test with consumers and adapt based on their feedback
  • Phase 3: Implement Identifying the capabilities and resources needed to take the idea to market to determine if it’s feasible and viable

Want to find out more about design thinking? Stay tuned for our next post where we’ll be looking at brands that have harnessed design thinking to drive innovation in their businesses.

This blog post is part of series designed to equip insight professionals with the tools, frameworks and terminology to make their mark on the innovation process. Want to know more? Download our whitepaper on the subject here.