Bumps, problems, mistakes, and roadblocks are an unfortunate but inevitable part of any business. In software development, those problems can become very costly and time consuming. To avoid making the wrong decisions for your software, you want to utilize the best problem solving method possible. A popular problem-solving process is called design thinking.
Design thinking is a process that utilizes creative thinking to problem solve more effectively. Design thinking puts brainstorming at the forefront in order to create original, effective, and comprehensive solutions. This style of problem solving begins with thoroughly assessing the problem at hand then coming up with multiple solutions, prototyping those solutions, and finally, executing and finalizing the solution that is the most successful or appropriate for your needs. This logical structure allows for a smooth transition from process to product.
Design thinking also allows for more original ideas and diversity by getting employees involved. Having employees be involved in decision making can increase worker satisfaction by allowing them to work towards a product that they stand behind.
The prototyping step of this process is a key reason for its success. Prototyping allows you to save time and money in the long run by preventing you from completely building out a solution that may not be successful. Conducting deeper research into possible solutions can also better prepare you for other problems that may arise in the future. A solution that doesn’t match your current problem may be perfect for the next.
Now that we have a baseline for what design thinking is, here are 4 reasons to prioritize design thinking in software development.
- Helps test product viability in the initial stage of product development — As we’ve established, the first step in design thinking is assessing the “problem” that you are looking to solve. Your problem is a lot like an iceberg, with more hidden beneath the surface. When creating a product, your problem is your purpose. In these early stages it is important to find if your product is viable or rather is there a demand for your product. If your purpose does not align with customer needs or demands, then design thinking allows you to identify that in these early stages and prevent loss of time and capital.
- Lets you focus on using all available data to make decisions — The structured approach of design thinking organizes all available data allowing you to make more informed decisions. This straightforward process alleviates some of the stress of creative problem solving and encourages innovative thinking from your team. The team-oriented and brainstorming aspect of design thinking provides alternative opinions and opportunities that ultimately leaves you better informed. With the problem thoroughly assessed and prototyping allowing for the exploration of all possible solutions, you avoid a certain level of uncertainty and risk. It makes the best decisions seem more clear with evidence to support that decision.
- Allows for continued improvement — Design thinking doesn’t only apply to initial release. You can apply that same problem-solving structure to guide changes post release. After receiving user feedback for your product, you will likely want to continue to make improvements to create the best product possible.
- Establish the scope of the project — Through the problem assessment stage and prototyping stage, you should be able to accurately establish the scope of your project. The problem assessment process will identify a focused problem, and the prototyping will show you what can actually be effective and applicable in practice. It is important to keep your scope narrow enough that you can focus on setting S.M.A.R.T goals: goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time based. Establishing these goals and a clear vision will set you up for a higher chance of success.
The Bottom Line
Effectively solving problems is key to the success of your product. Your product should solve an existing problem or need for the consumer. Beginning with a solution in search of a problem will not satisfy a need in the market or lead you to success. The structure of design thinking helps you to avoid that common pitfall.
Software development is not always an easy feat, but you don’t have to go it alone. If you are having issues with your product or are simply seeking to make it better, it can be a good idea to reach out to the professionals. At Camber Creative we utilize design thinking by focusing on the problem at hand when designing solutions. We offer an experienced team of professionals and problem solvers eager to help you make your product as successful as it can be.
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