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Design Thinking – Part 2: The What?

Before we move forward to understand “the what behind design thinking”, it is really important to understand “the why behind design thinking

Core Ingredients of Design Thinking

Empathy – It all starts with Empathy, the interviews and/or the discovery session is one of the most important stages of design thinking. The way these sessions/interviews are run is also very important. Because if you are responsible for running a session, you bring in a little bit of bias of your own. As coordinators of these sessions, it is really important to leave your ego and come with a beginners mindset. It is important to understand, that these sessions should be about the customer NOT you. Your focus should always be on listening and asking the right questions, that will help you with a deeper understanding of what the problem could be.

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Also sometimes what people say is different from what people do, to identify these inconsistencies it is important to shadow them, as they do the task. By seeing how the task is being performed helps you better understand the situation and the information received is no more just dependent on what people say. We have conducted many of these sessions, in our process we call it the Empathy Session – feel free to check out our process.

Problem – Clear problem statement can make night and day difference in the ideation stage. The feedback that has been received from discovery session and interviews along with data that has been collected, needs to be analyzed. Using personas can help concentrate on the target audience and remove a lot of the noise/distractions which will keep the team focused. Secondly listing the pain points on a whiteboard or paper can help to visually see all the challenges together. The focus should be to keep the problem statement simple and easily understood by everyone.

Ideate – For this stage, everyone should behave like anything is possible and we have all the resources in the world to make it happen. It is really important to be open-minded in this part of the process because that will help generate a lot of great ideas. If you put the blinders of constrained resources then sometimes it becomes challenging to come up with really unique ideas. In this phase – a diverse team can have much more impact, then a team which thinks alike. Also, it is important to keep the problem statement in front of the team all the time while ideating in order to avoid moving away from the objective. Towards the end of the ideation phase, we need to shortlist some of the ideas that could be our potential solutions.

Prototype and Test – Then starts the work to make something tangible, that can be built based on the ideas that were finalized in the last stage. Again these are fairly inexpensive scaled down versions of the product. This is still an experimental stage, and there is an opportunity to try more than one ideas and see the challenges that are faced during the creation of prototypes. Also, this is a great opportunity to get feedback about the prototype from the users. Based on feedback the changes can be made to the prototype to improve it. This way product improves significantly and becomes ready to be developed using end user in mind with minimal investment.

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At end of the day, by leveraging design thinking it helps improve your chances of success. We see on regular basis, companies come to us after spending thousands of dollars on platforms and by just having an empathy session along with problem statement results into pivoting their strategy.

Different Flavours of Design Thinking

IBM

IBM created their own glossary for design thinking, to help them with their business and train their employees in the IBM design thinking framework. The company’s version of design thinking is called the “the loop”. The loop is an infinity symbol, with 4 dots – one yellow dot represents to focus on user outcomes and three green dots represents a diverse empowered team. The loop represents that the iterative process is never actually done, there is always an opportunity to improve it.

IBM is leveraging the design thinking framework to also change its corporate culture as design friendly and train all of its 380,000 employees. IBM’s newfound focus on design is an admission that a good user experience isn’t always as simple as slapping on a new user interface—it can take a total overhaul of corporate culture to get it right.

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IDEO

IDEO a Global Design Firm is known as pioneers of human-centred design, also responsible for making “design thinking” popular across the world. IDEO is known for its innovative process and has been given credit for the first usable mouse. IDEO U is an online school which offers design thinking courses, listed above are the 4 phases of its design thinking process.

As we see there are certain core ingredients in design thinking around the world. But it has been modified to suit their company or their specific need to add value. All design thinking flavours tend to keep one thing in common which is to keep their end user in mind in all stages of the process, in order to build products or services that customers need. As a UI UX design firm, our focus has always been to help our Clients put Customer First!

When the customer comes first, customer will last
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Top Articles of the Week #07 : User Experience (UX)

Top Articles of the week on user experience (UX). These articles cover the user-centred approach to mobile design, how card styles can improve user experience, how to get unbiased feedbacks on user research, importance of breadcrumb navigation and how design process drives behaviour.

A User-Centred Approach to Mobile Design and a 5 Stage Process for You to Use

A User-Centred Approach to Mobile Design and a 5 Stage Process for You to Use

As the world has adopted smartphones over the last decade – companies have come to understand the advantages of catering for the mobile web.  Many businesses start with the end-point in mind; they need a mobile app or mobile website without considering what their users will use or what they require. There are 5 advantages to delivering a mobile web experience which this article talks about.

How Card Styles can Improve User Experience

How Card Styles can Improve User Experience

Growing up we have used different forms cards in our lives, whether they are flash cards to memorize something or collecting trading cards about famous athletes. They have been part of lives forever. Digital cards were introduced few years back. Cards help designers create contextual and relevant designs. and also help in improving the UX design.

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Don’t Let Your Brain Deceive You: Avoiding Bias In Your UX Feedback

Don’t Let Your Brain Deceive You: Avoiding Bias In Your UX Feedback

User feedback is crucial for any app to be successful. This article talks about how the researchers can avoid getting unbiased feedback from the users. When soliciting and listening to user feedback, you will inevitably run into bias on both sides of the coin: Biases will influence the people providing feedback, and your own biases will influence the way you receive that feedback.This article takes a closer look at four of the most common types of cognitive biases that pop up when collecting and interpreting UX feedback.

How to Use Breadcrumb Navigation in 2017

How to Use Breadcrumb Navigation in 2017

Some breadcrumbs enhance the user experience (UX) while others complicate site navigation. This article explores the evolving role of breadcrumbs, how they impact search engine optimization (SEO) and UX design when you should avoid them.

UX Design in a Nutshell: How the Design Process Drives Behavior

UX Design in a Nutshell: How the Design Process Drives Behavior

UX design is an exciting, dynamic field that constantly challenges us to broaden our understanding and expertise. But constant innovation can come at a price: confusion among UX design professionals and stakeholders alike. This article aims to reduce this confusion.

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Top Articles of the Week #06 : User Experience (UX)

Top Articles of the week on user experience (UX). These articles are based on IoT UX Designer, the importance of UX in game development, UX lessons learned and gaining empathy for your users first over designing solutions.

What does being an IoT UX Designer mean?

Idea Theorem Top Articles of the Week #06 : User Experience (UX)

This article talks about concepts that an Internet of Things UX Designer should consider. Concepts such as –  focus on inter-usability, understanding of API Design and explore more about industrial design.

Journey Mapping is Key to Gaining Empathy

Idea Theorem Top Articles of the Week #06 : User Experience (UX)

A good customer experience will minimize problems on the business end and build trust with users. Ultimate goals as a result of journey mapping to remember: 1) Heightened awareness of user’s needs, wants, motivations goals and pain 2) Gaining empathy for your users first over designing solutions 3) Scaling product experience from your understanding to provide a clear direction and ideal experience for your users

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User experience is becoming key facet of game development

Idea Theorem Top Articles of the Week #06 : User Experience (UX)

UX’s rise as an identifiable discipline within games coincides with the growth in popularity of games that offer persistent and populated – so-called “living” – worlds in which communities request and demand changes as the game evolves, as well as free games in which players who’ve invested little or no money need a pleasant and frustration-free experience to be compelled to keep playing.

UX Lessons I Wish I Learned in School

Idea Theorem Top Articles of the Week #06 : User Experience (UX)

The road to good user experience is not about technology, but rather about people. Being a successful UX practitioner isn’t about always knowing the answers. It’s about understanding people, and helping them get to the answers.

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Part 1: Why Design Thinking ?

When you google the word “design thinking”, you will come across all kinds of color-full pictures from rocket launching to light bulb lighting up. This methodology has taken the world by storm –  from Tech companies to Manufacturing companies all are looking to incorporate it. We have come to realize that every company has a different flavor to it. From IBM Design Thinking to IDEO Design Thinking, and is applied differently.

Why Design Thinking?

One of the fundamental question that comes to everyone’s mind is “Why Design Thinking?”  Two situations, where design thinking can help immensely is – Uncertainty and Wicked Problems.

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1) Uncertainty – Whenever there are questions such as who is my customer,  is there really a market for my product, is technology changing too fast and our product will be too late in the market. When there is a lot of uncertainty and lack of clear direction, design thinking methodology can definitely help drive the noise away and provide a clear path forward.

2) Wicked Problems – Wicked problems are one of the most complex problems, business problems aside looking at problems such as “How can we reduce the mortality rate of premature babies in the third world country such as Nepal?” Now, these problems are way more complex than our day to day business problems.  One of the interesting aspects that was noticed while understanding this problem was that the incubators were sitting empty in hospitals of Nepal. They realized that less expensive incubators would not actually solve the problem, since most premature babies were born far from hospitals, in rural areas, without access to incubators regardless of their cost.

embrace
Embrace Nest (Photo Credits: Embrace Innovation)

The design which was eventually chosen was for an infant warmer, which looks like a mini sleeping bag. It is made of a material which holds in heat, so it can be thrown into a pot of boiling water to get hot and will retain the heat for a few hours. Embrace is the company that launched this product and has programs in 11 different countries which has helped over 50,000 premature and low birth weight infants. And it all started with the design thinking process.

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Why is it such a big deal today?

Businesses are seeing success using it around the world, companies are definitely looking at design thinking to assist in growth. As PepsiCo CEO says “I visit a market every week to see what we look like on the shelves. I always ask myself—not as a CEO but as a mom—“What products really speak to me?” The shelves just seem more and more cluttered” – so it becomes more and more important to stand out from the crowd and to connect with your customer. Companies are also leveraging design thinking to expand their digital footprint, where there is definitely a lot of uncertainty and complexity.

 

Value of Design

To be able to sell the idea of design to a seasoned executive is challenging, when evaluating an idea executives mainly care about 2 criteria  – 1) Is it going to help with growth and make more money or/and 2)Is it going to cut costs. It becomes really challenging to provide hard proof of the value of design and show that it can add to business results. This is where Design Management Institute’s study helps. The Design Management Institute’s 2013 Design Value Index (DVI), based on a portfolio of 15 publicly traded stocks from companies considered to be “design-centric” contingent on a set of criteria that reflects best practices in design management, shows a 228% return over the S&P 500. A similar study was done in 2014 and 2015, each year the results have been in excess of 200% over the S&P.

What Next

Idea Theorem is Toronto based UI UX Agency. We create simple and usable products for web and mobile. Our human-centered design approach lets us understand your customers, identify their pain points & deliver solutions that enhance their experience with your brand. Contact Us if you have any questions and we will be happy to help you.

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Top Articles of the Week #05 : User Experience (UX)

Top Articles of the week on user experience (UX).These articles are based on interaction flows, focus on UX before UI, mastering remote presentation, frugal or jugaad UX.

How to Have Better UX Before UI Begins

Idea Theorem - Top Articles of the Week #05 : User Experience (UX)

This article talks about how important UX is before UI. The real meaning of UX gets lost in the shuffle of website design. While UX and UI have a significant relationship, business owners should not confuse the two. Letting UX fall to the wayside because UI is the more exciting aspect of the business will not bode well in the long run.

Frugal UX: A Jugaad Approach to Research and Design

Top Articles of the Week #05 : User Experience (UX)

Frugal or Jugaad innovation provides the UX designer with the opportunity to innovate. There are six key principles of frugal innovation which this article talks about. They are 1. Engage and iterate, 2. Flex your assets, 3. Create sustainable solutions, 4. Shape customer behavior, 5.Co-create value with prosumers, 6.Make innovative friends.

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An Introduction to Interaction Flows

Top Articles of the Week #05 : User Experience (UX)

Every interaction is planted with a specific purpose for the user. UX Designers have to explain the behavior of the every interface to developers but there is always miscommunication.  That is where Interaction Flows help.

5 Strategies for Presenting UX Remotely

Top Articles of the Week #05 : User Experience (UX)

Remote presentations are convenient and enable you to communicate to many globally. Master remote presentations by creating the right environment, being human, reducing distractions, taking control, and telling a story.

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Top Articles of the Week #04 : User Experience (UX)

Top Articles of the week on user experience (UX).These articles are based on mobile onboarding, voice interactions, UI/UX strategies your users hate and framing in UX.

5 mobile UI and UX strategies your users hate

5 mobile UI and UX strategies your users hate

Hate is a strong word, but it’s more than appropriate when it comes to these mobile UI and UX strategies.

The Importance of Framing in the User Experience

The Importance of Framing in the User Experience

If a user researcher asks the same question in a different way, he will get very different answer each time from the participants. This article talks about how a question needs to framed and ask the participants and how essential it is to the sound user research practices.

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Mobile User Onboarding: Examples From Three Awesome Apps

Mobile User Onboarding: Examples From Three Awesome Apps

This article lists handpicked three mobile apps that truly shine when it comes to effective mobile user onboarding. It will also offer you some solid takeaways where it comes to building your onboarding process.

How to Engage Users with Voice Interactions: 5 Useful Tips

How to Engage Users with Voice Interactions: 5 Useful Tips

Voice technology is advancing quickly, and it’s changing the way we interact with our devices. What does this mean for UX professionals? If you’re about to embark on your first voice user interface design project, here are five essential tips to help you along the way.

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User Research

No User Research is like hitting a target without bulls-eye

With ever-increase in the products and services, the competition has become fierce. Understanding the customer and their requirements have become a key to a business success. Many think that research is a waste of time and without any understanding creating a product is easy and cheap. But people don’t understand that without user research it is like hitting a target without a bulls-eye. It affects the entire strategy of the product from its conception to delivery.

What is User Research?

User Research is done to give a better understanding of what will happen when a product is released to the public. It will help designers and product owners to learn about the target audience, find a solution to their problem and create something which they will use and love. It removes any doubts and assumptions. The informed decisions are made using the information we get from the research. The team can fix any usability issues it has or will have in the future. The main focus of any product team is to deliver a product (whether digital or physical) which is:

  1. Easy to use
  2. Customer first
  3. Features which the users will be able to use

Role of User Researcher

The role of the User Researchers is to take notes, learn about the audiences, understand their problem, what they prefer and iteratively test it throughout the design process. There are many way user research methods can be used to gather information. The user research methods are divided into 3 categories based on the 3-dimensional framework. Those are:

  1. Attitudinal and Behavioral
  2. Qualitative and Quantitative
  3. Generative and Evaluative (or Context of use)

1. Attitudinal and Behavioral

a quote that says what people say is different from what people do

This kind of research is related to how a user feels towards a product or service. What is their attitude/emotion when interacting with it. The opinion of the user when creating a product or service matters. The main purpose of the attitudinal research is to understand the participant’s thinking. This kind of research is done using focus groups, surveys.

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Behavioral research is more focused on what users do with the product or service. It is about providing the data about how the user interacts with the product or service. It answers questions like where the user clicks first when he goes to a website or what choices do they take when using a product. A/B testing, eye-tracking are few of the methods that researchers can use to determine this type of research.

2. Quantitative and Qualitative

Quantitative research is any research related to numbers (that is which can be measured). Any research which can be counted like “how many users”, “how much the users spend their time”, etc. It hence, quantifies how the user thinks, behaves, his opinions and any other variables. Based on the quantitative results, designers formulate facts and uncover patterns. The research can be done using surveys (online, paper, digital), user interviews, analytics, polls etc. It answers “how many”, “how much”

Whereas Qualitative research is to understand “why” and “how to”. They answer questions like “why the user clicked here”, “why they did not spend time here”. It helps designers understand why people do things like they do instead of what they say. It involves engaging users and understanding their behavior, attitudes, feelings, and emotions. This type of research can be done using focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and observations.

3. Context of Use

This research depends whether the user is actually using the product or not. It is further divided into 4 categories which are:

Natural: This study is done to understand user’s natural behavior towards a product.

Scripted: Participants are given certain parameters to focus on a specific feature or a redesign. Depending on the type of study, the script can differ.

Not using the product: Study is done when the product is not used by the user to understand how they will react when using it for the first time.

Hybrid: It is a combination different context of product use. Like, participants can interact with the product’s design elements and maybe propose a solution or a new feature which will benefit them.

Basic User Research Methods

Interviews: Talking to participants and asking the right questions is very important. It helps designers understand the user their problems, thoughts, and feelings towards a product.

Surveys: It is a great way to gain insights into what users prefer, their opinions, behavior or realistic information depending on the purpose the research. Tools such as Survey MonkeyGoogle Forms, Typeform.

Focus Groups: It is a popular method to better understand the motivations of users and their perception of the product with a demographically diverse group of 3-10 people. It is done through interviews in which a group of people are asked about their opinions, beliefs, and attitudes towards a product. better understand the motivations of users and their perception of the product.

Eye tracking: This method is used to measure where the participants are looking while using a product using point of gaze or the motion of an eye.

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Heat Mapping: It is a visual mapping of the data to show how the user has clicked or scrolled. Heatmaps are often used to show what percentage of people interacted with different parts of the product. The most-used parts of the page are often displayed with dark red, the less viewed part is usually displayed in green.

Participatory Design: In this method participants are usually all stakeholders (like Product Owners, Partners, customers) who actively take part in the design process to help ensure the result meets their needs. They are given design elements to create their own experience and are asked to explain why and how.

A/B Testing: It is also called bucket tests or split-run testing. Different designs (usually 2 options) are randomly tested with equal number participants to determine which one performs better. Tools such as OptimizelyVisual Website Optimizer

Usability Testing: This method involves testing of design by giving the user set of tasks and performing them in front of the researcher. It focuses on measuring a product’s capacity to meet its intended purpose. Tools like WhatUsersDo, Usabilla

Ethnographic Studies: This research is done to study the participants in their natural environment where they will be using the product the most.

Analytics: Data is gathered from the website and mobile app. This helps researchers and designers understand the user, number of page views, demographics before they drop-off. Tools like Google Analytics, HotJar, Kissmetrics

When is User Research applied?

User research can be done at any phase of the project. Depending on what phase of the project you are in, different type user research can be used.

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Top Articles of the Week #03 : User Experience ( UX )

Top Articles of the week on user experience ( UX ). These articles are based on iPhone X’s ARKit in iOS11, chatbots, mobile UX and myth around scrolling.

What does the iPhone X’s AR engine mean for UX Designers?

How Does The iPhone X’s AR Engine Affect UX Designers?

With the introduction of ARKit in iOS11, the App Store will soon have a boom in Augment Reality based apps. The UX designers will have to focus on designing experiences that are delightful and functional for consumers. They will also have a major burden in educating the user what Augment reality is as most users don’t have the understanding of it.

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List of the best chatbot user experience

List of the best chatbot user experience

Creating a user experience is different for Chatbots than for mobile and web applications where UI combined with perfect functionality is a great formula for its success. Chatbots are a conversational interface which helps users interact with the service. Here’s a list of popular chatbots currently in the market.

How Scrolling Can Make (Or Break) Your User Experience

How Scrolling Can Make (Or Break) Your User Experience

This article talks about the reason why scrolling in the website is a good idea. It busts myth around scrolling and importance of it.

Mobile UX: Five New Ways To Offer A Better User Experience

Mobile UX: Five New Ways To Offer A Better User Experience
Image created by Blue Fountain Media

As mobile experience has advanced in the past couple of years more digital companies have come into existence bringing in better user experience. This article talks about 5 different ways mobile experience can be improved while keeping in mind high user demands.

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Top Articles of the Week #02 : User Experience ( UX )

Top Articles of the week on user experience ( UX ). These articles are based on UX vs CX, mobile app usability testing, organization of UI elements to create a successful UX.

User Experience and Customer Experience what’s the Difference?

User Experience and Customer Experience what’s the Difference?

People sometimes confuse User Experience ( UX ) and Customer Experience ( CX ) to be the same thing. This article focuses on identifying the differences between UX and CX. UX is a subset of CX, UX is the experience that a user has when they interact with that product. CX is a larger concept, it is the experience that a user (or customer) has whenever they interact with your company.

How to improve UX using gestalt principles

How to improve UX using gestalt principles

Gestalt is a German word that means shape or form. There are six cognitive principles at work when it comes to visual elements in a group – Closure, Continuity, Similarity, Common fate, Figure and ground and Proximity. By understanding these principles, you can organize UI elements in your web design to create a pleasurable and successful user experience.

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Touch Heatmaps: The Future Of Mobile App Usability Testing

Touch Heatmaps: The Future Of Mobile App Usability Testing

Usability testing continues to be a key factor when creating a well-built, successful mobile app. Monitoring unresponsive gestures should be a fundamental practice for all product managers and developers. Tracking and eliminating unresponsive gestures, tracing patterns of user behavior on various screen sizes, or highlighting user distraction are all great use cases for touch heatmaps.

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Top 5 Design Thinking Articles of August 2017

Top Design Thinking Articles for the Month of August. These articles are based on Design Value Index, design thinking in action case studies (SAP, Toyota, and Airbnb), principles to shape a great product, improving patient experiences and digital success by focusing on humans.

The Design Value Index Shows What “Design Thinking” Is Worth

In recent years, Design Value Index has become a popular tool to win over skeptic stakeholders that integrating DT into corporate strategy can outpace industry peers. It talks about the methodology behind the index and why it was developed. The Design Value Index shows that companies that embrace design understand their customers better than those who don’t. As a result, they grow faster and with higher margins and recover faster during economic downturns.

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Health Care Providers Can Use Design Thinking to Improve Patient Experiences

Each year approximately 3.6 million people miss or put off medical appointments due to transportation issues, leading to annual costs for health care providers in billions of dollars. It’s every health care leader’s mission to improve patient experiences. Design thinking is a useful process for doing so, as it requires decision makers to empathize with patients, think creatively, prototype, and continually test solutions to these problems.

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How Design Thinking Speeds Up Tech Solutions Development

“What does the customer really want?”  To address this question, enterprises need to embrace design thinking as it is an empathetic cognitive process that strives to thrive in intuition, inspiration, and emotion while still focusing on the practical considerations of technological feasibility and business viability. Design Thinking in Action Case Study – 1) SAP leveraging DT for product development 2) Toyota solves the customer satisfaction issue with Call Center support for brands Lexus, Toyota and Scion (More Details in Book: Solving Problems with Design Thinking: Ten Stories of What Works). 3) AirBnB transformed from failing startup to a billion dollar business with help of DT.

Three Design Thinking principles to shape a great product

A great product has to be Desirable, Viable and Feasible. Design is user-centric and starts with people. Desirable – To understand how to create value that will resonate with your target audience, you have to understand your users. Viable – Measuring success and demonstrating ROI is key to proving to the business that it’s worth investing into your product. Defining clear metrics to validate your Unique Value Proposition is a good start and will help you focus your effort.  Feasible – Producing rock solid solutions that are operationally and technically sound isn’t a small task and can often be under estimated.

Design Thinking: One Key To Digital Success Is Focusing On Humans

 

 

Best-in-Class organizations focus their digital engagements on addressing the customer experience and customer satisfaction first. DT fosters an iterative approach in which collaboration with the customer or user leads to a superior brand experience, one that has optimized the customer experience (CX) and the user experience (UX) in their end-to-end journeys throughout the value chain. Digital leaders will continue pouring more resources into their CX and UX.

 

Follow our Design Thinking Series:

 

Design Thinking – Part 1: The Why?

 

Design Thinking – Part 2: The What?