As in any profession or job to be performed, there is a methodology or process that must be followed to achieve the desired goal or outcome.
In the case of design, for many it may be abstract or, as some may think, it arises through work and the grace of inspiration or Moses, but I would say no, this assumption for me is wrong.
On one occasion, I commented to you that the design should not contain anything subjective, and I am sincere and firm on that, because design thinking is a creative process based on problem solving, and for this there is no room for subjectivity.
Explain them in more detail and visually, with Damien Newman taking The Design Squiggle as a reference.
I met this image through design thinking but it is, in my opinion, applicable to any design process. It illustrates the chaos and uncertainty that we face during the creative process, as well as the goal of focus and clarity we reach.
Going forward, we come to the design thinking process with the so-called “double diamond”, named after the Design Council, which is a British charity that aims to make life better by design.
It is true that every design major has different approaches or methods of work, but with this image, we can visualize those common points in the process.
As in any construction or design process, when we first encounter a problem or challenge, different ideas emerge spontaneously and with fluids, and this is known as divergent thinking.
Then, when we define, refine, and combine it until we reach the best idea, it is convergent thinking.
This is illustrated by the double diamond shape, which indicates that this happens twice during the process, one to confirm the problem definition and the other to create the solution.
It is important to say that this process of convergence and difference is iterative or iterative, i.e. to determine which ideas are best, they must be developed, tested, and refined several times so that those that cannot continue or not with the same strength have been ignored.
This trial and error is not only an essential part of the process but also very valuable.
Returning to the stages of the design thinking process, it is divided into 4 stages:
1) Find / Discover: Collect information to understand the problem in depth (spaced).
2) Definition / Definition: Interpretation and organization of (converging) comfort.
3) DEVELOP / DEVELOP: Identify and prioritize for potential (differentiated) solutions.
4) Implementation / Delivery: Form and integration for solution. Get effective (close) solutions.
1) Find out
We seek to see the world from another perspective, to observe new things, to capture the most data that allows us to understand and define:
What people think, feel, and do.
Your habits, problems, needs, motivations, and beliefs.
Repeated topics directly and indirectly related to the topic to be worked on.
The reasons and feelings behind these issues.
Analyzed existing solutions or adaptations of the case.
2) Definition / Definition
We seek to organize and analyze the information obtained in the first stage to define a new vision on the subject. We re-understand the information and request:
Repeated behaviors or thoughts.
Tensions, dilemmas or contradictions.
Cause and effect relationships.
Unexpected shells, situation analysis.
Relevant values for users/consumers in their experience.
Central problems and tensions in user/consumer experiences from their point of view.
Look for an opportunity in the market.
The technology that helps us to organize and analyze information is called POINT’S, which allows us to build conclusions and classify them into 5 groups:
With all these points in mind, we were able to develop and define a creative summary while challenging the main design.
3) Development / development
We start from the results to decide what needs to be solved, what must be achieved, and what it entails.
Concepts are defined and generated, value proposition, and alternatives for different solutions. This process is essentially a trial and error to improve and refine ideas.
Asking the question “How can we …” helps us always remember and never lose sight of the following:
Discovered visions. These are not clear findings about the consumer or user making connections from various sources. They are facts that affect our day and generate empathy, communication, emotion and connection with the consumer.
The insight is “seeing what everyone saw and thinking about what no one thought” (Albert Zint-Georgy).
An example of this would be:
4) Execution / delivery
At this point, we transfer ideas to a state of sufficient accuracy to implement them. For this, we create prototypes that allow us to:
Determine the details and develop our ideas.
Look for faults, learn, and check what is suggested
It could be tangible or roughly good for what the end result of its future release would be.
Now, it is common for our day, in many cases, not to mention that most of the time, customers emphasize the end result, i.e. in design, in the product, which can be touched, can be measured is the tangible result.
But this result does not necessarily coincide, it provides value, it distinguishes, and above all, it does not necessarily have good research rules that support it, which gives it the strength and personality it deserves to distinguish and excel in the market that we face and, above all, to cover or meet the real need of most consumers. Request, curiosity, and knowledge.
This is why starting the process is the key and is the most valuable part for several reasons:
1) We get out of the box, we get out of the traditional through shared and clear ideas, into more abstract, complex, and innovative ideas.
2) Research is the basis and foundation that enhances and strengthens all conceptual and graphical decisions. Everything must have a reason, not subjectivity.
Now, by saying that design and the creative process seek to solve problems, we cannot lose sight of the users or consumers involved, who are our center or priority. It is they who will allow us to determine what is the real need or problem to solve.
At present, the focus is not directly related to the product or service, but rather to the individuals/users who consume it and how they consume it. What is required is to keep the person/user at the center of the process.
With all the decisions made from the first moment or in our first approach to the project, we must always create value for the user and the consumer. So you always have to do immersion work, because this helps us understand the problem from the perspective of the people who live it. The experiences of all the people involved (users, customers, employees, managers, etc.) are explored.
Tips for starting the creative process
Finally, I leave you with a few tips to keep in mind at every stage:
1) Find out
Detail, analyze, and interrogate the received summary.
Explore the challenge, problem, or need – i.e. create a mind map that shows the things you think you know about the challenge.
Ask yourself, what things do we need to better understand to solve?
Do a series of interviews with users or consumers to validate your assumptions or to rethink them.
Empty all the information you collected either in a document or in Post-Its. The latter is very practical because it visually helps you categorize the information.
Collect information according to different categories, search for relationships, and find points.
Detection and identification of visions.
Build one or two people to represent and summarize the results of the analysis from a user’s perspective.
At this point in the process, you must have a renewed summary, clarifying or disagreeing with or contradicting the initial summary challenge.
From the visions, the question developed “How can we …” Through this, we can visualize a concrete answer to what needs to be done or resolved in the field of work.
When you already know what the real challenge needs to be solved, start creating, that is, generating, developing, developing, and communicating ideas with an open and flexible mind of different possibilities and options.
The quantity is better than the quality
Be visible, not just text, i.e. draw and draw a line.
Evaluate ideas and determine the best or most effective.
At this point, you must get a set of ideas for which you want to create a prototype and test it later, in order to find the best answer or solution to your initial challenge.
If you already have this set of ideas or potential solutions, evaluate those that you consider “final” and how you should implement or implement them.
Building this idea or prototype.
Try it or test it with users and analyze the results.
This stage seeks to obtain the most applicable product/model. As a result, a proposal strong enough to solve the problem or answer the initial question is required.
Finally, do not forget the importance of education and show the great value that pre-design stages or “end result” have, as I said before when designing we must achieve a goal and fill a need.
Do you have any questions regarding the methodologies in the design process that you commented on in this post? Leave me a comment below, I will be glad to reply.