• Thato Mathebula

Design Thinking

“ It’s not me it’s you” If you have been on the bad side of a breakup or watched a fair amount of modern day rom coms you’ve probably become familiar with this lazy excuse that has been normalized to break off relationships without an excessive amount of effort.

In the unprecedented times that we’re currently living in this phrase has been used time and time again without contest or confusion although it might not be in the type of relationship you think I’m referring to.

In this case the relationship I’m referring to is a business relationship. So, your start- up has finally gotten Its foot through the door of the market, business is going well and you’re finally building a client base that you hope can become brand loyal based on providing a quality product or service. “The honeymoon phase” everything is sunshine and rainbows, you have butterflies in your stomach and you’re doing all you possibly can to maintain and grow what you have because you don’t want this feeling to go away.

BOOM!!! In the blink of an eye all you worked for and the amazing feelings you had are at risk due to a situation none of us have any control over. Business is awfully quiet, clients are not picking up the phone, they cannot afford to spend money on your product or service , day’s go by and all you do is panic and eat a tub of ice cream hoping it will heal the pain.

(Ice cream is amazing don’t get it twisted) the challenges are evident but there is another solution hope is not lost. ‘WHAT COULD I POSSIBLY DO THERE IS NO HOPE” you may say, however to every problem there is a solution no matter the circumstance.

There are many solutions out there for you to solve your problem however this article is going to highlight one, “DESIGN THINKING”. For every business out there struggling due to this pandemic there is a business flourishing and dominating the market and there are many more on the way. This is not due to luck or favoritism but flexibility and the ability to adapt.

Design thinking is a creative method of tackling business-related problems where empathy for human beings is the main foundation. It encourages organizations to pay attention to people they are providing products and services to, with improved internal structures and processes in mind.The ideology is based on five steps that are easy to follow and understand.

Empathize, regardless of the circumstances presented, all research and development, innovation and other forms of design action are integrated with the view of bringing us back to human centric values i.e. (I have been affected financially, but so have my consumers how can I still give them value).

Define, sit back relax and thoroughly assess and define what the pressing issues are based on what you discovered in the empathetic stage. You and your team should seek to develop a detailed problem statement from a human centric perspective.

Ideate, you have empathized with your users by understanding what their challenges are what their needs and wants are leading to a human centric problem statement. Now you and your team can utilize multiple ideation tools and techniques to brainstorm and come up with the best possible ideas and solutions to solve the problems you have identified.

Prototype develop affordable and testable versions in order to observe and improve on features that may have been considered as very important to the core of the product or service in previous stages of its development

Test, thorough testing is then completed with the most effective solutions that were identified in previous stages. This does not mean a solution has been found. It simply means the product or service is being fine-tuned in order to avoid coming to conclusions with problematic solutions. This will require patience and perseverance. The right solution may require going through this process multiple times. Paying attention to detail and taking time to think is the best possible way to develop effective solutions.

All is not lost, there are multiple resources online that provide detailed information on how to navigate design thinking.Now get up put your ice cream back in the freezerand start thinking about how you can use this ideology to mitigate the challenges you currently face

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