Good thoughtful design creates a competitive advantage: both out in the market and within your business. Indeed, several studies claim that the investment in companies that focus on design and on users provides a rate of return 228% larger than investments in S&P 500 (one of the most important stock market indexes in the United States).

In this technological context, Design Thinking and innovation as the goal for companies, entrepreneurs and organizations emerges as a significant force.

We understand Design Thinking as the process of strategically implementing a set of design principles to solve an issue by focusing on empathizing with users, understanding their problems, and rapidly prototyping and iterating solutions.  The aim is to reduce risks and to create organized, flexible and responsive cultures.  The way to do this is by immersing oneself in the problem itself, and then defining a starting point to begin creating.  Creativity, mental models and teamwork gain importance: sharing views and building collaboratively by coming up with as many ideas as possible.

What Types of Organizations Find It Useful?

Over the past few years, Design Thinking has been widely used in businesses and organizations to innovate and even to create new business models.  At Celerative, we work with creative and media agencies, large organizations, companies and entrepreneurs.  We always look for opportunities to improve, by creating amazing experiences for users and  transferring knowledge to other teams, which helps them think “outside the box.”  

Basically, we believe that a strategic vision focused on the user, along with the ability to think innovatively are two of the key capabilities to combine within an organization.  This means being able to adapt to dynamic environments or break into new markets. Design Thinking is the point of departure for solving these challenges.

Design Thinking and Innovation

We can talk about two major stages in Design Thinking.  The first is linked to empathizing with real users of the products or services, by using methods such as observation or first-hand interviews.

The second stage is focused on creating a future full of ideas and then prototyping and experimenting with them.  Starting with different techniques of brainstorming and conception, our team creates an idea which is brought to life by materializing it as a prototype: a minimum expression of our product that will be used to validate, learn and iterate quickly.

Finally, it’s time to take the product to the arena.  With the prototype in hand, we’ll be able to do specific research in order to adjust the product and bring it closer to the market’s needs.  For this, we’ll analyze issues regarding the market, such as positioning or pricing, apart from production, supplies, distribution and sales.

Innovation comes into play with Design Thinking when we look at different mental models in order to find alternative solutions to challenges and friction.

When we imagine the future, we unleash creativity and put ourselves in the user’s shoes.  During the conception process we do not rule out any of the options that arise, even if they seem far from reality. This work philosophy helps us find different resolution alternatives.

In the stages of testing and research, we can innovate in the way we ask for information from our users; at Celerative we tend to use a variety of techniques - from one-on-one surveys to neuroscience applied to UX (Eye tracking, electroencephalograms, face reading and galvanic skin response) – in order to diagnose the experience of the user.

Design Thinking sessions can be very different according to what we are looking for. For sessions with startups, for example, we can work in teams of 6 people on average using Lean methodologies. This allows us to share different views, exchange ideas and be able to build on them collaboratively. Having people who come from different fields or disciplines helps enrich the session.

What Can We Conclude?

We start from the premise that Design Thinking is not equally applied to startups as it is to large companies or agencies. The cost of failure is much higher in the latter, so we must be cautious about each application.

Working with Design Thinking sessions has allowed us to unlock new markets and to identify new opportunities and strategies.

Developing or producing applications and solutions after Design Thinking sessions has resulted in great benefits – with regard to time and effort – for our customers.

If you find this topic interesting, Celerative would like to hear about your case and have the opportunity to make a positive impact on your business.