When I first think of design, I think about the mechanical drawing class I took in first year engineering. Back than it was done with white paper, pencil, a T-square and an eraser. Now design applies to everything in sight – from buildings to processes.
We have been lucky enough to work in design thinking for many years. In fact, I was personally doing design thinking before I knew what it was even called. Design Thinking is a solution based approach to thinking and methodologies. The phases involved are: empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping and testing. Design Thinking methodologies and philosophy can apply to almost any work situation or challenge.
Last summer, Spring2 Innovation applied Design Thinking to our very own business to help us figure out where we needed to go next. We observed our clients and surveyed our current clients and potential clients. We wanted to have a better idea of their environment, what they wanted and what they thought of our services.
We found clients valued our ability to work in ambiguity and help them clarify their goals and their innovation sandboxes. They valued our ability to develop, design and deliver under tight timelines and appreciated our understanding of technology and technical terminology. Also, it came out that they valued our ability to create collaborative environments where people felt free to share their ideas.
Based on the input, we than defined our space and what we wanted to deliver. We began thinking about ideas on how to deliver services clients needed and wanted before getting to the prototyping and testing.
Now, we continue to prototype and test as we go. It is always a learning and experimental experience. If it works, we look for ways of replicating it. If it doesn’t work, we change it up or analyze why it may not have worked the first time around.