Design Thinking V1.2

What does it mean to be a Design Thinker?

Written by:
Written by:

Hugo Gatsby

Co-Written by:
Co-Written by:

Alex Mrkalj

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Accessible Web Design

Design thinking; what does it even mean?

Design thinking is a way to understand the problem surrounding your field and coming up with different ways to tackle the issue. The beauty of it is that anyone can be a design thinker. We all solve problems on a daily basis, but what separates good design thinkers from great design thinkers is their ability to be creative. How far outside of the box can you think?

What is The Design Thinking Model?

The design thinking model is a cycle consisting of inspiration, ideation, and implementation. All successful ideas go through this model in some shape or form. To solve problems in health, business, and any other field, one must turn to this model as a basic footprint as it outlines the problem and helps the design thinker understand it better. We are very familiar with this model at Stradea as we apply it with every approach we take within the company. To best understand how we apply this model, one must understand the three I’s. What do each of the three I’s stand for and why are they important you might ask? Allow me to be your guide.

What is the Inspiration?

The inspiration of an idea always has a different story, and in fact that’s the best way to describe the inspiration. It’s the story of how your idea came to mind. What did you notice that the world needed right now? Harvard Business Review wrote that research shows that “inspiration can be activated captured, and manipulated, and it has a major effect on important [business] outcomes”. Inspiration comes from being in tune with problems the external world faces and developing a design mindset. Essentially, being able to think about the problem in different ways. You don’t yet begin to brainstorm solutions, as that comes later, but you familiarize yourself with the problem so much that you feel the urge to change something. That’s why we like to think of ourselves as a think lab at Stradea. To give you an example, our goal at Stradea is to take our clients’ inspiration and turn it into something great. We deal with their branding and website design, and when a customer knows that their website isn’t getting the engagement they want or they aren’t marketing to the right group, they come to us to help them. By this point, they have familiarized themselves with the problem their company is facing, and we meet with them so, we too, can understand their problem and help them move forward. This is where the ideation process beings.

What is the Ideation?

Ideation is the phase of coming up with ideas and designing potential solutions. Now that we (Stradea) are familiarized with the problem at hand, we begin a gigantic brainstorming session. This involves learning about the market our client is in, asking many questions, and writing down every single idea; even the most extravagant ones. Remember, the ideation phase is not final, so no idea is a bad idea. Sometimes, you have to let go of a few decent ideas you have to hone in on the great ones you might come up with later. Also, an idea that doesn’t seem so great but that is vocalized can be built on by you or a team member. At Stradea, this is now being done through video conferences with our clients. Our CEO chooses Zoom, mostly because it has something to do with a superhero/super villain paradigm. He seems to really engage with the idea, so we roll with it.

 

We have discovery sessions with our clients to ask them about their vision for their company, what ideas they may have come up with, and then we also pitch our own. It is important to keep this as an open discussion as many good ideas can be made through simple and low-pressure conversation. In our discovery sessions with clients, it is exciting to see them pitch their ideas and workshopping those ideas with them. As Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos famously said: “Don’t invite more people than could be fed by two pizzas”. We’re talking roughly 8-10 people here. One thing our company has always done during meetings, is sat down with just that number during our sessions. Usually 3-4 from our side and 5-6 from our clients. This allows for a freer flowing conversation and the ability for everyone to be heard. Thus, when the idea your client wants to go forward with is clear, we can move to the final stage of implementation.

What is the Implementation?

Said in the simplest terms, implementation is bringing your idea to life. After the long process of brainstorming and eliminating certain ideas in the ideation phase, there is one main idea that comes out of it. In our company, we experience this after sharing our designed website templates with the client and having them choose which one they would like to move forward with. We then use this template to build the rest of the website, keeping the client informed all the way through, and at the very end, they are left with a beautiful website that was sprung from a problem they thought of a few months prior. If our work sounds exciting to you and something from the three I’s resonated with you, be sure to check out our website and see how we can help you!

Why apply The Design Thinking Model?

As you can see, we (Stradea) are design thinkers by nature because we employ this model. To be a design thinker, your ideas must run through this model one way or another. Design Thinking is simple, but at the same time, it’s very difficult. The idea is very simple: you think of a problem and a solution or many solutions to tackle that problem. The real difficulty lies in all the steps in between. Thinking of a problem can be extremely difficult and thinking of solutions to aid this problem even more so. However, that’s the role of the design thinker: they want to be a problem solver. Thus, through strong collaboration and the application of The Design Thinking Model, it has lead Stradea to design thinking solutions that are key to solving many problems.