Introduction to Design Thinking

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    What if the concept of Design Thinking Wasn't that clear for everyone? Many articles discuss the subject without being really clear about its definition.

    So we too wanted to discuss the subject and give our own description of Design Thinking.

    Origin of the concept

    In the 1950s and 1960s, Charles and Ray Eames designed some of the most stylish pieces of furniture ever. For the Eames, design was not so much about shaping an object as it was about solving a problem. Charles Eames said that the work of a designer is essentially like that of a good host who anticipates what his guest will want.

    “When Charles Eames designed his chair, he was not designing a chair, but a way to sit; that is, he was not designing for a function, but was designing a function,” observed Italian designer Ettore Sottsass.

    This is how the Eames started the concept of Design Thinking.

    This notion then followed its path to feed the of the technique of brainstorming. The latter was initiated by the American advertising executive Alex Osborn to raise awareness in the corporate world about the creative thinking.

    Following this, the concept continued to evolve until 1992: David Kelley and Tim Brown created the company IDEO, who is considered to be the founder of the concept as we know it today.

    In particular, IDEO designed the first Apple mouse and today continues to work on the design of innovative products in various sectors.

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    The foundations and principles of Design Thinking

    Even if design thinking is a fairly vague field of expression, it has widely identified principles:

    • Empathy

    Put yourself in the consumer's shoes and understand their needs.

    • The definition

    Summary and definition of the problems identified.

    • Ideation

    Generate ideas to respond to problems.

    • Prototyping

    Experimentation of different solutions through the creation of prototypes.

    • The test

    Test the final product.

    The approach”Test and Learn“is a way of analyzing the result, it makes it possible to progressively build an answer to a given problem through back and forth (iterations) between the first concept tested and the final solution.

    Indeed, Design Thinking (or “design thinking”) corresponds to a methodology resting on collective intelligence Who places The human, his usages and needs in the center of the reflection.

    In other words, the aim is to understand user behaviors In order toidentify solutions to offer them other alternatives.

    As a result, design thinking is becoming more and more important in businesses.

    Some are even the precursors: Apple is of course a typical example of a company that constantly uses design thinking to innovating in their product development process.

    This methodology is also well known in the startup world, the biggest Unicorns such as Airbnb and Uber have used it for their development, as have the startup incubators that train their employees in this approach (the Schoolab for example)

    You don't have to be Apple or Uber to use it, the concept is still the same reachable To all if you are aware of some fundamentals.

    “Design Thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation. It is inspired by the designer's toolbox to integrate needs, technological opportunities, and business goals.” Tim Brown, IDEO

    Pillars and fundamentals

    Design Thinking is organized around three pillars:

    • One Philosophy : the user and the core of the design thinking methodology, it is The central element, so it is relevant to have a large capacity Of empathy.
    • Of Tools : It corresponds to your skills, a group work multidisciplinary allows complete expertise on the subject, it is necessary to set up a logic of co-creation and make collective intelligence work.
    • Create Solutions : Do not stay on your laurels and work on your value in a way iterative for the result to be integrated into a sustainable economic model. this solution should be:
    • - Desirable (corresponding to the expectations of users);

      - Feasibility (functional and feasible taking into account the state of the art);

      - Viable (which are integrated into a sustainable economic model).


    After experiencing the air of marketing, we moved into the century of designer, the idea is no longer to sell a product by creating a need, but rather to support consumers in finding their real need and solving it.

    Tomorrow's businesses will be those that are ready to adapt to their future in a changing and uncertain world.

    This is what Design Thinking wants, a way of transform a problem into thoughts and then into a solution.


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