Design Thinking is an approach for solving problems related to designing products based on understanding the needs of a single user and finding means to fulfill these needs.
Design Thinking itself is not very revelatory; it is a way to organize and expand on what people have been talking about earlier. Design Thinking is based on the creative thinking of Bauhaus, the famous artistic and artisanal school. At the beginning of the XX century Bauhaus was known for promotion of personal growth, creativity, and product usability; the school valued them over esthetics and fulfilling technical norms.
Design Thinking is a source of a tremendous competitive edge. According to Design Thinking, you do not follow your competition but the client. Many companies, especially ones that are new on the market, startups and their investors are afraid of stealing ideas and solutions being stolen by the competition. Sometimes it does happen, sometimes it doesn’t. Design Thinking allows breaking free from these worries, betting on solutions designed for a single user. The result? Even mass production can be unique; it’s actually called ‘mass personalization’.
The correspondence between customer-centricity and Design Thinking brings value to the client. Everything starts with empathy – the understanding of client’s needs. The ability to put ourselves in his shoes and to understand his challenges makes designed products better.
Design is not about how things look or how it makes people feel. Design is about how products work. This translates into emotions is a part of a ‘user experience’ and broadly – ‘customer experience’. This is the way of thinking promoted by Steve Jobs; he was absolutely right.
Design is a mindset. The approach does client’s needs forged into a practical solution. In my work with companies I’m guided by the rule of dedicating everything to the client and the way for scaling the company to serve him primarily.