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  • Inspiring Startups

Design thinking in a nutshell

What is Design thinking?

Thinking like a designer can transform the way you develop your products, services, processes, and strategy for your startup. This approach, which IDEO calls design thinking, brings together what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable. It also allows people who aren’t trained as designers to use creative tools to address a vast range of challenges.

This short animated video provides a tangible example that captures the five key elements of design thinking. Daylight was given the challenge of getting kids in America to move more to help fight childhood obesity. The project started with an idea--provide kids with a digital music player that has a motion sensor, then give them rewards based on their activity.

But the big question was, would kids really use it? What could make the experience so compelling that they would use it long enough to see the health benefits.

In this 4 min video from Daylight you will learn the basics of design thinking and how you can apply this 5 steps process to take advantage of the power and creativity of design thinking for your venture.

  • Learn from people

  • Look for patterns

  • Define design principles

  • Make tangible

  • Iterate relentlessly

Key concepts of design thinking that you can apply to your startup?​

Design thinking shares a lot of similarities with lean startup. They are both a user/customer centered approach aimed at creating innovative design and business concepts.

The important concepts in design thinking are to take the perspective of the users, build rough prototypes first to get feedback early from users and iterate to improve the concept or product being developed.

This approach reduces the risk of wasting a lot of time and resources to build something that nobody wants. Fail early or fail fast to succeed sooner is the credo of design thinking and lean start up. The earlier you realize your idea or concept is not working, the sooner you can adjust and retest until you build a compelling product.

You can learn more about the similarities and differences between design thinking and lean startup in this paper by research gate

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