It would not be incorrect to say that slowly, but surely robots are taking over the world. They are taking over our jobs, our time, and with artificial intelligence, they are also somewhat taking over our brains. However, if there is one thing that they can’t do better than us yet is strategic planning. While the process of planning a project can be aided by robots and machinery, the final decisions have to be made by humans. This is where design thinking comes in.
Design thinking is a method of taking on a particular project with the mindset of solving problems. Through design thinking, we start by understanding the user, challenging assumptions, then redefining the difficulties we face. This helps us you come up with alternative strategies to counter the issue at hand. It is a solution-based method of dealing with problems.
All-in-all, there are five essential phases of the design thinking process. The first of which tells us to empathize with our users. This can include understanding where the user/customer is coming from and to try and fully put yourself in their shoes to comprehend their point of view. Following that, we define all the information that we have gathered in the first step. We recognize what the users’ needs are, what their problems are, and the sentiments they have towards us. The third step in the design thinking process is ideation. This includes putting your all into understanding the problems you face and then start thinking about possible solutions to them. This is essentially brain-storming; coming up with ideas to counter existing problems.
Once you’ve put down all the possible solutions to the problem, the next task is to shortlist the ones that you think might work best and to start developing solutions. This step is called developing a prototype. Like a new product recently developed, a prototype puts the solutions in your head into practice. This makes way for the final step, which is to test the prototype. Testing is perhaps the most critical step as it has the power to make or break the entire process. It is important to note that not all the steps mentioned in the process have to be followed in this particular order. They are not to be looked as a step-by-step guide to success but rather as an overview of the different phases that contribute to the innovation.
Once you’ve understood the process of design thinking, there are a few things that you need to pay special attention to. One of the most important tips that you need to follow is to identify the difference between a problem and a circumstance. A circumstance is essentially a certain condition that we have no control over. These can include natural factors like the climate, level of risk organization is willing to take, or the financial situation. More often than not, people tend to worry about these factors which they actually have no control over. All this does is put extra pressure on you, mentally and physically. A problem, on the other hand, is a situation that can be handled and has a solution. One of the most basic and helpful things you can do as a design thinker is to not worry about the things you can’t change. This will bring you great peace of mind, and you will have more free time on your hands that can be used to solve other problems.
Another major favor you can do yourself is always to have backup plans. Many people come up with one long-term plan and focus on it for the rest of their lives. What you need to understand is there are so many things that can go wrong when you execute a particular plan. Shit happens. Stressing over things that you have no control over, no matter how much preparation you have done, will get you nowhere. Therefore, it is essential to prepare yourself mentally and physically to embrace a pivot or plan B in case the initial plan fails to bring about the desired results. There are always multiple roads to success; make sure you do not restrict yourself to just one of them.
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