Design thinking is a non-linear, iterative process that we use to understand users, challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions to prototype and test.
At Matchinglink we use 4 design thinking principles:
1. Iterate, iterate, iterate: to avoid errors and risk make sure to keep on iterating your designs to build stronger design solutions
2. Put people first: your people (or users) should be at the forefront of your designs, understand their needs, strengths and aspirations.
3. Collaborate and co-create: learn and work with others, be inspired by what others are doing.
4. Communicate: get people involved, help them understand the problems you’re trying to solve and use them to generate more ideas.
We implement this through a simple 4-step approach:
Each step is clarified below
The first step is discovery, learning about the problem and starting the initial research into the challenges and problems that need to be solved. Discovery can produce lots of different outcomes. Sometimes technology is the answer, other times just changing processes or even changing strategy.
Empathy is crucial because it allows you to set aside your own assumptions about the world and gain real insight into users and their needs. We ask lots of questions — some challenging — and put ourselves in your shoes. We try to look at your world in a fresh way, noticing new things and gathering insights.
Discovery adds value in itself because more often than not the problem will be reframed.
At the end of discovery, you will have a tonne of insights. The definition stage takes all of these insights and elaborates on it. The purpose of the definition is to refine initial assumption based on the learnings from the discovery.
The point of doing this research is to challenge your initial assumption so if you find in the discovery that the problem is different to what you expected then you can change the following phases.
The definition stage is where our creative solutions, ideas and concepts are created, played around with and tested. This iterative process of trial and error helps us improve and refine our ideas.
As part of the definition stage, it is very important that we work closely with users, product managers, audit and compliance experts and senior management to make sure we are all on the same page and create solutions down the line that make a difference.
In this stage we create the first Minimal Viable Product (MVP) based on all ideas gathered in the former stages. Working with the end in mind this MVP is flexible enough to facilitate all future releases of the solution.
The MVP is put to the test as early as possible to the check whether we are still on track. Needles to say that we co-create with all stakeholders iteratively and in an agile way.
Delivery is all about dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s to make sure the solution is stable to use in your production environment. Embedded in your organization, technically, commercially and socially.
Delivery is also about continous improvement. What is needed for the future? What can we do better? Do we see new opportunities with this new way of working? Again, the discovery stage is set in motion.
Divergent and convergent thinking
What you’ll see when using this approach is that you’ll be using 2 types of thinking, which are:
1. Divergent thinking – where you consider anything and you’re open to new ideas. This will be in the discovery and development phases.
2. Convergent thinking – when you’re trying to define and deliver your solution, you’ll then be thinking narrowly, focusing on a few ideas to try and solve your problem through solutions.