Design Thinking: What It Is (And How To Implement It Into Your Business)

Artist Angela Baconkidwell
Artist Angela Baconkidwell

Design thinking ultimately comes down to starting with a set of objectives and passionately exploring how to develop a solution based on those goals.

While this approach is becoming popular in the business world (particularly the startup world), it’s incredibly difficult to implement.

Unless you invest in educating your staff, getting managers on board and rallying your team around the benefits of design thinking, people will revert to previous strategies.

As children, we were in many ways much better equipped for design thinking.

Spend some time with five-year-olds, and you’ll get smacked in the face with their insatiable need to know “why,” to get to the truth and essence of something unsolved and uncategorized.

Read all: Design Thinking: What It Is (And How To Implement It Into Your Business)


McKinsey & Company: Improving the #customer #experience to achieve government-agency goals #cx

The benefits of a customer-centric strategy aren’t limited to private-sector businesses.

Government agencies at every level can gain by putting the needs and wants of citizens first.Across the business landscape, savvy executives are increasingly asking the same question: What do my customers want?

They are coming to realize that, whatever they offer, they are in the customer-experience business.

Technology has handed consumers growing power to choose how and where to buy products and services, and customer-friendly leaders such as Amazon and Apple steadily raise customer expectations for superior service ever higher.

We find that how an organization delivers for customers is beginning to be as important as what it delivers. Our research shows that companies that systematically put customers first create inroads against competitors, build cultures that benefit employees as well as customers, and improve the bottom line from both the revenue and cost sides.

The customer-experience phenomenon

This may seem far removed from the work of federal, state, and local governments, but it offers important lessons. True, agencies rarely have a direct competitor from which they are trying to capture market share. Nor do disruptive start-ups typically emerge to steal their customers. Yet the rationale for agencies to improve the citizen experience may be just as powerful.

For enhancing an agency’s ability to achieve its stated mission, outperforming in efforts to meet budget goals, and engaging employees in a superior culture of citizen service, customer-experience improvement efforts offer public agencies far-reaching lessons.

Central to any successful customer-experience program is a focus on identifying, understanding, and mastering the customer journey: the complete end-to-end experience customers have with an organization from their perspective.

In essence, improving citizen experiences requires more rigorous effort to improve citizen journeys across channels and products. Like customer-focused businesses, most agencies focused on serving citizens typically think about touchpoints: the individual transactions through which citizens interact with the agency and its offerings. But this siloed focus on individual touchpoints misses the bigger, and more important, picture: the citizen’s end-to-end experience.

Only by looking at the citizen’s experience through his or her own eyes—along the entire journey taken—can you really begin to understand how to improve performance meaningfully.

Read all: Improving the customer experience to achieve government-agency goals | McKinsey & Company

My point of view: Looking at many government agencies there is a world to win choosing such an approach. But legislation, politics, back-log technology and a resistance to change are major obstacles.

Rethinking Design Thinking |

Design Thinking has become one of the most visible and promising innovation movements in recent history, yet all design thinking is not the same, especially in practice.

The current proliferation of a one-size-fits-all approach is not only ineffective, it could ultimately doom its future.

We see this all the time: workshops filled with post-it notes and led by a “design” person who takes the audience through abstract activities that have little to do with the actual challenges facing the participants or their organization. While getting people outside of their comfort zone can create an environment that fosters creativity, design thinking must respond to the political, financial and cultural realities of the organizations it engages. Otherwise, it can become empty busywork that frustrates more than it empowers.

This lack of rigor around design thinking has led many organizations to 1) bring in design consultants on the back end of projects after problems and even solutions have been defined; and 2) seek short-term deliverables in the form of a “quick” technical fix that rarely drives the systemic transformation that makes design thinking so valuable.

Five Common Design-Thinking Mistakes

From our experience embedding design thinking within large organizations, we have repeatedly observed shortcomings in the practice of design thinking and have outlined five ways in which organizations err when engaging design thinkers or developing their own capacity for design thinking. We hope that this list not only helps organizations avoid these costly and time-consuming mistakes, but also preserves the long-term viability of design thinking practice.

Read all: Rethinking Design Thinking | The Huffington Post

GDS design notes: Building an international group of government designers

The UK was recently named as the world’s leading digital government.

But it is far from the only digital government.The D5 member countries – Estonia, Israel, New Zealand and South Korea, alongside the UK – all have well-developed digital organisations in government. The US has two government digital organisations, while Australia’s Digital Transformation Office was explicitly modelled on GDS.

At GDS we work closely with these organisations.

We have an international team that co-ordinates all this work – from collaborating on global standards to welcoming international visitors to Aviation House.

Now is the time for us to extend our international work to design.

There are big design challenges facing governments today, and ones that could and should be tackled at a global scale.We want to set up an international government design group to bring together government designers from around the world. Working across all areas of design, user research, accessibility and content design.

Going global

We think there are some common issues that affect all designers working in government, whichever country they might be working in. Issues like:growing service designscaling co-authored patterns recruitment and training of design, user research and content roles embedding a culture of accessibility learning from all our challenges and successes.We want to bring a group of international government designers together to talk about these issues, and more.

Building a community

We have lots of experience in the UK government of building a design community.There are currently more than 500 designers working in the UK government. We communicate regularly through Slack and a Google Group. We also get together to talk about our work, share best practice and discuss some of the common issues we face.We want to use a similar model to build a global government design community. We’ll work with the GDS international team to make this happen.We’re currently planning how to do this. If you’re a government designer outside the UK and you’d be interested in finding out more, please let us know by filling out this form and we’ll keep you updated.Follow Louise on Twitter and don’t forget to sign up for email alerts.

Source: Building an international group of government designers | GDS design notes

Cute: Kuudes’ Finnish study The Informed #Consumer #customerservice

Understanding the customer is a crucial part of the work at Kuudes. We accordingly decided to conduct a thorough study of the motives and most recent trends underlying consumer choices and tour the whole of Finland to interview people.

Read akk Finnish study – The Informed Consumer