First discovered in the 1950s, design thinking was first initiated by American advertiser Alex Osborn. The latter had developed a brainstorming technique to sensitize the business world to creative thinking. It was only in 2000 that this method began to be popularized and recognized as a human-oriented innovation technique. From there, many conferences and courses are given in the world’s leading universities. Today, this method is increasingly used in companies to work in an innovative way.
What is the design thinking method?
One of the objectives of this method is to use collaboration and creativity to bring out new ideas within teams. It is a method that requires collective intelligence.Tim Brown, one of the pioneers of design thinking, highlighted this collective intelligence in his book L’esprit design: “Together, we are more intelligent than any of us“. A company that puts design thinking at the heart of its business does not make its teams work in isolation. On the contrary, it establishes a logic of collaboration between departments, thus promoting collective intelligence.
With this method, meetings are then organized in such a way that they are more efficient and creative than traditional meetings. The aim is to instill a positive spirit where everyone can freely give their opinion. The meeting organizer may ask participants to express their feelings and ideas in a creative way. For example, express yourself on post-it notes or through a drawing. Brainstorming is also often used to help generate ideas. Finally, role plays can also be set up to imagine different scenarios in front of a client.
Example of a Design Thinking workshop:
Louis 21, an agency that supports organizations in their digital transformation, regularly organizes Design Thinking workshops. These workshops are designed to help managers solve problems in a creative way. Lego pieces, leaves of different colors, scotch, scissors are placed in the room. In short, an environment that at first sight would seem more like a daycare centre than a workshop dedicated to managers.
In general, the workshops start with a theatrical game in pairs. A theme being given, the participants use the “5 WHY” method to identify a problem. Once the problem has been identified, the participants imagine solutions via a drawing, followed by a prototype of the ideas. At the end, everyone must present and pit their main idea. This is followed by an exchange with all participants in order to obtain the perfect solution. The method used during the Louis 21 agency’s workshops can obviously be applied to all types of problems in companies.
A method that focuses on the human
This human-centred approach aims to focus work on the user’s needs and on improving their experience. Always with this spirit of collaborative work, the teams will be particularly interested in the uses. This requires in-depth studies. It involves observing a person’s behaviour when using a product or service in order to adapt it to its use.
Lapeyre, a furniture specialist, is an excellent example of the effectiveness of this method in creating a product. In partnership with students from d.school Paris, a school that promotes design thinking methods, teams had to rethink the experience of the senior bathroom. A reflection that lasted more than a year with surveys, immersions and meetings between nurses, doctors and residents of retirement homes.
In the end, the project resulted in the creation of a new range of products that meet the comfort and accessibility needs of seniors. The design thinking method allowed Lapeyre to find a relevant solution quickly. Florence Mathieu, in charge of the project, tells us at a conference: “Together with carers and seniors, we developed a bathroom furniture that reinvents the experience of the elderly“. A teamwork that inspired Florence Mathieu to continue this reflection and who later co-wrote a book entitled “Le design thinking par la pratique” where she recounts her experience.
The design thinking method applicable to workspaces
Design thinking is proving to be an effective method for advancing thinking on the design of workspaces. Always centred on the human, this method will help to ensure that a transition to a new working environment meets the expectations of different users. The design of a new workspace requires an interest in the needs of users. It is not by inserting modern furniture and decoration that it will necessarily correspond to the end users. A real reflection is required and this is where design thinking comes into its own. This method will simply allow the spaces to be built according to the uses of the different users. The latter are therefore placed at the centre of the reflection.
Example with the company Schneider Electric, whose objective was to design a reception hall for the group’s new headquarters. Design thinking then became obvious and this method was chosen to carry out this project. The company has given employees the choice of whether or not to participate in the project. Thus, over two days with 20 participants each time, employees went through different phases related to the design thinking methodology. From immersion to researching together the needs of users, from choosing the idea to apply to testing to gathering feedback. At the end of the two-day workshop, the company was able to better understand user expectations and then assigned the project to an interior design firm. A considerable time saving.
This method can be practiced in all types of organizations in all sectors of activity. Thus, both large groups and startups are increasingly attracted to this method, which encourages innovation and creativity. Implemented effectively, this method can allow a company to stand out from the competition. But like every new method within a company, design thinking is supported by employees to ensure its full adoption.
https://cowork.io/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/design-thinking.png320480oletrichezhttps://cowork.io/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/logo-coworkio.pngoletrichez2019-10-02 15:17:392019-12-18 15:20:12The design thinking method to rethink your workspaces