Design thinking for entrepreneurs and small businesses (PDF Book)
Text of Design thinking for entrepreneurs and small businesses (PDF Book)
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Contents Foreword ix About the Author xi Acknowledgments xiii Preface xv Chapter 1: Introduction to Design Thinking 1 Chapter 2: The Role of Research in Design Thinking 17 Chapter 3: Designing a Business Strategy 31 Chapter 4: Designing Live Customer Experiences 39 Chapter 5: Designing Digital Customer Experiences 53 Chapter 6: Designing Services and Service Delivery 67 Chapter 7: Designing Marketing 77 Chapter 8: Designing for Change 93 Chapter 9: Designing for Growth 103 Appendix A: Case Studies 117 Appendix B: Metrics for Design Thinking 127 Appendix C: Glossary of Design Thinking Jargon 133 Appendix D: Resources 137 Index 149
CHAPTER 1 Introduction to Design Thinking Combining Creativity and Analysis in Business In the past couple of years, the term design has been thrown around quite a bit in various business contexts. Weve heard of user design, experience design, social design, integrated design, service design, and place-based design, in addition to the term with which we are most familiar: graphic design. Although design was once the sole domain of graphic designersthose professionals with the artistic skill to create logos, advertisements, signage, and printed materials of all sortsyou can now find a plethora of professionals in other industries describing themselves as designers. Depending on how they approach their work, the term designer might be quite applicable, and here is why: Design in its current use in business vernacular describes a datadriven, purposeful intent behind an action, and that intent occurs to affect a specific, measurable business outcome. If you approach your business with this kind of intent, regardless of its industry, size, age, niche within the marketplace, or geographic location (or lack thereof for online-only enterprises), then you, too, are a designer.
2 Chapter 1 | Introduction to Design Thinking If you can begin to think like a designer and learn some of the tools designers use regularly to drive growth and success, then myriad doors of possibility will open. Note No matter what kind of business youre in, and no matter the size, it will be of benefit when you and your fellow employees consider yourself designers. Its a usefuland profitable way to plan and execute your initiatives. What Is Design Thinking? Do an Internet search of design thinking through your favorite search tool, and youll turn up an absurd number of results (several hundred thousand at the time of this writing). In the simplest of terms, design thinking is an exploratory approach to problem solving that includes and balances both analytical and creative thought processes. Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, a renowned design and innovation firm, and arguably the first champion of design thinking in business, wrote this of design thinking in Change By Design: Insofar as it is open-ended, openminded and iterative, a process fed by design thinking will feel chaotic to those experiencing it for the first time.1 No truer words have been written about design thinking. It will feel chaotic the first time, and probably the second and third times, and maybe even the fourth time you put it to use. Design thinking is not a typical skill set learned in business school, but a valuable skill that should be embraced by all business professionals, not just those in a creative industry or for whom design is front-and-center in their job description. Design thinking is an egalitarian skill set that can be learned, practiced, and championed by professionals across industries and job titles. Design thinking is largely nonlinear and fluid, as most explorations areor at least should be. A true exploration is not a forced march between Point A and Point B, but a meandering trail that ends at the defined destination of Point B yetallows for the flexibility to observe the landscape along the way and, perhaps, discover something new or previously overlooked. The circuitous nature of design thinking does not derive from a designers lack of the discipline needed to be organized and deliberate. Much to the contrary, design thinking is purposefully intended to be circuitous and fluid as a challenge to the conventional means of problem solving. Tim Brown, Change By Design (New York: HarperCollins, 2009), p. 17. 1
Design Thinking for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses We are experienced in (and some may argue trained in) asking, Whats next? when working toward solving a problem. (I blame algebra and its necessarily rigid adherence to a sequential order in problem solving.) In design thinking, there isnt always a specific next to which we should proceed. Each phase of design thinking could yield multiple nexts as possibilities, and it is up to usthe design thinking teamto determine which next to pursue. Admittedly, this can be a little confusing at first. Perhaps most important, design thinking is an iterative and rapid process that can be applied to even the most confounding business challenges, and it is a strategic activity that will identify clear opportunities that you can act on quickly. The Phases of Design Thinking Given design thinkings adaptable, flowing nature, no one can truly say with strong conviction, This is the way design thinking happens. There are defined phases in the approach that serve as excellent signposts indicating you are making progress. However, the work that happens within each phase can vary wildly depending on the challenge at hand. Lets begin with a high-level review of the phases of design thinking, after which well dive deeper into each to better understand what happens and how it fits into the bigger design-thinking picture. Phase I: Understand Understanding your business challenge is imperative to identifying and creating a solution, and the degree of understanding goes well beyond that of conjecture or your previous history with challenges of a similar nature. Understand Phase II: Define Once you understand the challenge at a level of detail that reveals subtle nuances you likely would have missed without taking the time to develop that understanding, you can clearly define in specific terms what the challenge is and why it needs to be addressed. Define 3
4 Chapter 1 | Introduction to Design Thinking Phase III: Ideate Now that the challenge is defined and you Ideate know what problem needs to be solved, you can unleash your creativity and begin imagining solutions. Ideation is by far the phase that everyone enjoys most, and because of that, many teams get bogged down here. Teams are also tempted to jump ahead to this phase, completely forgoing Understand and Define. Avoid both tendencies at all costs, or you very likely will generate a wealth of fantastic ideas that arent relevant to the challenge or go off on fantastic tangents. Phase IV: Prototype Once you draw the ideation phase to a close, the next step is to cull through the idea inventory and select the cream of the crop. These are the ideas Prototype youll take into the prototype phase. Be judicious in your selection of ideasspecifically the quantity of thembecause you will need to create a prototype of each one. As a good rule of thumb, youll want to plan on prototyping at least two or three ideas. Prototyping will start to give your ideas depth, so you can get an impression of how they will take form in reality. Prototypes arent always tangible items. It is just as important to prototype a service, experience, process, or other intangible. Note In design thinking, you prototype not just products but also services, experiences, processes, and other things most would consider intangible. Phase V: Test Testing will help you save money during development and avoid potential disaster. This sounds dramatic, but its true. Testing will keep you from committing resources to a project only to find out that you were on the wrong path. The Test upside is that testing doesnt have to be complicated or expensive.
Design Thinking for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses There you have it: design thinking, a process of only five phases. What is critically important to understand about design thinking is that the process does not always consist of a direct line from Point A to Point B through the phases. As you work through the process, you may find you need to back up and repeat a phase. For example, you could find that in the Define phase, you dont have quite enough data to help you clearly articulate the challenge youre facing, and therefore you need to go back to the Understand phase and do a bit more research. Or you could discover in the Prototype phase that one (or more) of your ideas cant be constructed as you had hoped, and you need to Ideate some more. You could even discover in the Test phase that your prototypes all bombed, and you need to start over with the Understand phase. How you move through the design-thinking process is determined largely by the quality of your work in each phase. Stay focused on each phase as youre in it, without taking a look at the horizon for the next one. If you look too far ahead, you might miss something critical. A Deeper Dive Now that youve waded into the water and have a better understanding of design thinking, it is time to take off the floaties and dive in to get a more in-depth grasp of each phase of the process. Understand Creating