Design Thinking is a design methodology that provides a solution-based approach to solving problems by understanding the human needs involved, by re-framing the problem in human-centric ways, by creating many ideas in brainstorming sessions, and by adopting a hands-on approach in prototyping and testing. There are typically 5 stages:
1. gain an empathic understanding of the problem you are trying to solve.
2. analyse your observations and synthesise them in order to define the core problems. These should be defined as a problem statement in a human-centred manner.
3. start generating ideas, 'think outside the box' to identify new solutions to the problem statement, and you can start to look for alternative ways of viewing the problem.
4. produce a Prototype and share/test within the team, in other departments, or on a small group of people outside the design team. This is an experimental phase, and the aim is to identify the best possible solution for each of the problems identified during the first three stages.
5. test the product using the best solutions identified during the prototyping phase. This is an iterative process, the results generated during the testing phase are often used to redefine one or more problems and inform the understanding of the users.
Creating a new music service solution for PURE utilized a design thinking methodology to find new ways to help solve the problem around new music discovery. This involved conducting user research activities to gain understanding of the problem with music discovery, and synthesize these into problem statements. Customer journey mapping was also used as an aid to explore the problems, touch-points, insights, and needs of different type of user. I facilitated workshops utilising brainstorming and gamestorming techniques to allow participants to come at the problem from different perspectives. This included techniques such as elevator pitch, 3-12-3 brainstorm, context map, cover story, and rapid sketching. This lead to the creation of prototypes and testing the ideas/concepts with key internal stakeholders and selected potential target users. This was to both get stakeholder buy in to the new concepts and to test the ideas with prospective users to gauge which elements prove useful, liked, and seen as different. This resulted in a concept design of a physical device; Flow Button combined with a mobile App; Flow Music to enable users, with simple press of a button, to capture music they like wherever they are. This concept was further refined as part of iterative process.