When I first heard of the Design Thinking process I thought it was all about building fancy looking user interfaces and modern looking mobile apps. But I soon learned that it is a user-centered design process. The Design Thinking process at SAP started in 2004 when Hasso Plattner thought that Design Thinking was needed in software development and business. He agreed to fund the first D-School at Stanford University. Four years later he brought 35 Design Thinkers into SAP to collaborate with the corporate strategy group and make Design Thinking a strategic priority at SAP. After 4 years of internal use of the Design Thinking process SAP scaled Design Thinking as a way to help customers drive business outcomes by reframing their problems.
In 2012 I had my first hands-on experience with the Design Thinking process with SAP. In this blog I would like to share the steps of the Design Thinking process. For this blog I used the theory described in the d.school bootcamp bootleg document of the Stanford Institute of Design.
To get into empathize mode you need to
• Observe View users and their behavior in the context of their lives
• Engage Interact and interview users
• Immerse Experience what your user experiences
In order to come up with a good design you need to
• Uncover the needs that people have
• Guide innovation efforts
• Identify the right users to design for
• Discover the emotions that guide behaviors
The define mode is critical to the design process because it explicitly expresses the problem you are striving to address through your efforts.
A good point of view is one that
• Provides focus and frames the problem
• Inspires your team
• Provides a reference for evaluating competing ideas
• Empowers your team to make decisions independently in parallel
• Fuels brainstorms by suggesting “how might we” statements
• Captures the hearts and minds of people you meet
• Saves you from the impossible task of developing concepts that are all things to all people
• Is something you revisit and reformulate as you learn by doing
• Guides your innovation efforts
Prototypes are most successful when people (the design team, the user, and others) can experience and interact with them. What you learn from those interactions can help drive deeper empathy, as well as shape successful solutions.
Prototyping is used for many reasons, including
• Empathy gaining Prototyping is a tool to deepen your understanding of the design space and your user, even at a pre-solution phase of your project.
• Exploration Build to think. Develop multiple solution options.
• Testing Create prototypes (and develop the context) to test and refine solutions with users.
• Inspiration Inspire others (teammates, clients, customers, investors) by showing your vision.
This is why you should test
To refine our prototypes and solutions. Testing informs the next iterations of prototypes. Sometimes this means going back to the drawing board.
To learn more about our user. Testing is another opportunity to build empathy through observation and engagement—it often yields unexpected insights.
To test and refine our POV. Sometimes testing reveals that not only did we not get the solution right, but also that we have failed to frame the problem correctly.
Curious about the Design Thinking process? Have a look at Design Thinking with SAP