Design thinking is not just about graphic design or industrial design. Whether you are a designer or not, it is possible or even necessary to have design thinking in many areas, from music to literature, science to trade. Processes planned like a designer pave the way for innovative and creative ideas planned as a designer by using the power of design. Design thinking opens a new door of system of thinking no matter what you are doing or what problem you are solving.

Used by all of the world’s leading corporations and adopted by the world’s greatest universities, the design thinking can be expresses as a focus on solution and looking for different ways in the search for a solution.  You can solve the problems with innovative approaches, and you can design new methods while searching for solutions.

Reality behind First Image

Design thinking envisages not being convinced with the initial image when perceiving a subject. It requires searching for dimensions that cannot be seen at first, looking for alternative strategies and calculating all assumptions. You should not expect ready-made prescriptions from the design thinking method. It’s a way of thinking and working. Using this system, an innovative way of thinking can be designed in almost every subject and in almost every field.

For the product or the people in question, first of all, the effort should be made to understand it. Empathy can be one of the keywords here. Questioning the problem in a multi-dimensional way, questioning possibilities and questioning possible results. With a method that is based on people, the door of many ideas should be opened by brainstorming or workshop. The special methods used make it easy to find the ideal method from among different variations.

5 Stages of Design Thinking

Although there are different approaches to the design thinking method, the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University, also known as the, presents a 5-stage design thinking model. This stands out as the most common, most well-known design thinking model. It should not be forgotten that the stages in this thinking model may not always be sequential.

The first stage is empathizing. You empathize with users.

The second stage is defining. Needs, problems and insights are asked to be defined.

The third stage is designing. Assumptions are introduced for ideas that will create innovative solutions in a way to challenge them.

The fourth stage is prototyping. To get to the stage of starting developing solutions, the problems are prototyped.

The fifth stage is testing. The solutions found are tested and questioned.

Creativity and Design in Innovation Age

Our age is the era of innovation. Creativity and design are essential for innovation. Design thinking has been transformed into a reality that transcends this model which is summarized in 5 stages. The world’s leading innovative companies such as Apple, Google, General Electric and Samsung have been using this methodological approach for a long time. The dizzying speed of technological development stands out concepts such as innovation, R&D, design and makes multidimensional thinking inevitable. While companies that develop digital and smart technologies adopt design thinking method, universities which are the pioneer of progress in our age, such as MIT, Harvard and Stanford, are among the institutions that have not been late in embracing this model in their curriculums.

A Thinking beyond Stereotypes

Design thinking, which stands out with its increasing popularity, sets the stage for the emergence of creative ideas as a methodological approach based on people, and enables these ideas to be further developed with workshops where they are prototyped. All these efforts and the system of innovative thinking have an effect that shakes the stereotypes of people. It is not easy to shake and change the patterns of thinking that have been settled over the years and solidified by experiences. Design thinking prevents these stereotypes from finding new ways and the possibility of preventing creation of new solutions. This is how one can achieve thinking outside of the box, which helps creative problem-solving.

There are many ready-made stereotype solutions in our minds that are fixed or learned by experience. Thinking outside of the box leads to a new way for innovative solutions, leaving aside these stereotypes. This process requires a constant challenge with our own mind and environmental factors in order to get rid of such stereotypes.

Design Thinking as the Job of All Departments

Design thinking cannot be seen only as the job of designers nor can it be seen only as the job of innovation or R&D teams. On the contrary, design thinking presents a model that covers all stages and all problem-solving mechanisms. The design thinking model should be integrated into the activities of many departments such as marketing, human resources, technology, corporate communication and strategy. This will thus result in creative solution ideas and trigger competencies such as creativity, pattern capturing, image thinking, and different thinking. Such activities aim to reveal insights based on the principle of triggering right brain competencies.

How to Rescue a Lodged Truck?

In the article published by Interaction Design Foundation with the title ofWhat is Design Thinking and Why Is It So Popular?”, this issue is reviewed in detail by using a simplifying anecdote. In the incident told in the article, there is a truck that was lodged under the bridge while trying to pass. The driver was unable to continue driving through or reverse out as it was lodged. As a result, engineers, firefighters, truck drivers and emergency personnel created different solutions with their own customary, stereotyped ideas. Some suggested dismantling parts of the truck, while others proposed chipping away the parts of the bridge. A boy walking by and witnessing the debate coincidentally looked at the truck suggested “Why not just let the air out of the tires?”. Everyone was amazed. The boy’s suggestion was tested, the air was let out of the tires, the truck’s height was reduced and it was easily rescued. The simplest solution came from the most unexpected person. The success of thinking outside the box paved the way for an innovative solution.

Creative Universe of Storytelling

As in the truck story, storytelling can be used as a creative method, a developing method of thinking. Storytelling, which can open new ideas, new solutions, and call for inspiration, gives the real data to imagine for solving the real problems. There are problems and extraordinary solutions in the stories we listen to and even tell since our childhood and they warn us about the things we may encounter later.

As in storytelling, design thinking pushes people to ask questions and look for new answers. This creates a wide design power, including challenging assumptions. Most of the time, the stories have surprising and even unexpected endings, not the first to come to mind. This is what design thinking requires. New questions, new nodes and new solutions by thinking outside the box… The previous assumptions are re-tested, original aspects of the problem in question are featured and new ideas are revealed with more depth. Thus, a prototype is concluded for the product, human or subject matter in question is concluded.

A Beginning for Design Thinking

Building a story allows everyone involved in the design process to come around and think together on the main subject. Starting with empathy, design thinking process makes it possible to learn and find new ways with inspiring stories. Whether it is design intelligence that sets up an international company or creative intelligence that designed Hamlet or the questioning method which was adopted by Socrates or symbolism of Walt Disney that describes today, they are all part of the same design thinking model. The stories they tell are like rabbits guiding Alice and you can reach the wonderland by passing through that hole.

Design thinking requires a total change in today’s business. Bürotime’s design philosophy which starts with empathy and reaches functionality, gives the opportunity to rethink the offices in its entirety. It might be a good start to visit Bürotime Elements, what do you say?