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How does Design Thinking help organize creative chaos?

Imagine a system that combines creativity, empathy and experimentation to solve problems and develop pragmatic solutions. Well, this is what Design Thinking (DT) is all about.

Although the idea of innovation is on the minds of many experts, getting the concept off the paper and into reality is a long process, full of many steps. That is why in this article you will learn what DT is and how it helps to structure the chaotic creative process.

If you are a designer or in charge of your company’s marketing department and need help guiding your projects, keep reading!

What is design thinking?

Design thinking is an approach that organizes creative processes. It involves empathy, collaboration and innovation. DT is a way of thinking and acting, and its intention is to stimulate thinking in a structured way for various applications – in this text we will focus on marketing projects, more specifically design and branding.

DT involves the application of methods and tools, but it is not a method or a tool in itself. It is a flexible concept adapted to different contexts, i.e. it does not work as a silver bullet, OK? This means that it alone will not solve problems, it is merely a guide.

How Design Thinking Helps Organize Creative Chaos

Creative processes are neither linear nor fixed, and you probably know that all too well! The path from the emergence of an idea to its conception can be quite messy, it can go back and forth, new information can emerge along the way, and so on.

It turns out that some principles of design thinking help to guide this process and make it more structured. This is what is schematized in the double diamond model. The system establishes an order for the DT process and is composed of two main stages, divided into two phases each.

Take a look at the image:

 The Double Diamond is a process for structuring the Design Thinking process.

Now, let’s understand what each phase actually means.

1. Immersion

The first phase, immersion, happens when those involved seek to understand the problem. Here, a very important pillar of DT comes into play, which is empathy, the moment to know and understand the needs of the target audience for which a solution is being designed.

In practice, immersion is synonymous with delving into relevant information. This involves research, interviews, feedback analysis and whatever else is relevant and useful to understand the challenge and generate the first insights.

Immersion is important to establish a clear vision of the challenge and provide direction for the whole process.

2. Ideation 

From the immersion, ideas begin to emerge and that is precisely what we want at this moment: to give freedom to the most diverse types of solutions. It is essential to have a leader to manage this brainstorming, someone who brings objectivity to the exercise.

3. Prototyping

In this phase, the most promising ideas are selected and transformed into tangible prototypes, whether digital or physical.

The main goal of prototyping is to create something that can be tested. After that, it’s time for analysis, adjustments, and further testing… and the cycle continues until we have a good solution.

4. Implementation

Once the solutions are validated, the team can proceed with the implementation, which takes place according to the optimizations identified in the testing phase.

Well, so far you have a sense of the structure involved in design thinking. Now we need to know how this can be put into practice. Here are three tools that can be very useful in this process.

3 tools for design thinking

You remember that design thinking is a process, not a method, right? Well, below you will learn about some of the most used tools to help make it more practical, visual and effective.

1. Empathy map

The empathy map is a tool that helps to better understand the needs, desires, motivations and frustrations of a persona. The map is a visual representation and is divided into sections:

  • What the user thinks and feels;
  • What the user sees;
  • What the user hears;
  • What are their pains;
  • What are their goals.

This would be an empathy map:

The Empathy Map is a tool that helps to better understand the needs, desires, motivations and frustrations of the target audience.

To draw up an empathy map, you can use platforms such as SDT and Miro.

2. Brainstorm

Brainstorming is a group activity in which people are encouraged to share their ideas freely, without criticism or judgment. After all, human exchange is one of the most important parts of a creative process, don’t you agree? Without it, tools and concepts become vague and robotic.

The goal of this exercise is to gather as many suggestions as possible so that the team can explore different perspectives. The brainstorm is part of the phase ideation, which is the second stage of design thinking.

3. Big data

Finally, we need to remember the importance of data and the analytical perspective on it. A data-driven culture is extremely useful for DT, as decisions should be made based on concrete information.

This is why branding works with research, so there is no room for assumptions in developing a brand.

Big data tools make it possible to identify trends, preferences and behavioral patterns, which guides decision-making.

How does design thinking help structure creative chaos?

After reading the text, it is evident that DT helps to structure the creative process. This happens even if the steps are not identical, the important thing is to understand how to apply the system case by case.

The key idea is that, when dealing with complex problems and ill-defined challenges, it is usual to have a high degree of uncertainty and a multitude of ideas and possibilities, often disorganized.

In such cases, design thinking provides a set of clear guidelines and steps to guide the creative process, helping to organize and direct creative thinking more effectively.

This ensures that everyone involved in the project has a more objective view of the solutions and ideas that emerge. In addition, they will be able to know how viable the ideas are, what the next step is and what needs to be improved before launching the solution on the market.

All in all, it’s the perfect way to promote collaboration, creativity and innovation by sorting out the creative chaos.

Oh, and you know what else is related to design thinking? User experience! Read our content on the subject:
>> Optimize the user experience on your website with Fastdezine

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