The intention is straightforward for every piece of software that our company builds: Provide a solution that quickly solves problems and creates a compelling user experience. To truly achieve this intention, a Design Thinking process is embedded into all software development.
This tactic places developers in the role of the customer’s world, allowing development teams to empathize with the user before any development begins. Empathy is at its core, and although Design Thinking doesn’t require expertise in whatever the field the customer resides, it does require critical thinking.
For true effectiveness, development members must prepare to have patience for true understanding while allowing their imaginations to flow in order to grasp the customer’s intentions. The process is not linear; rather, it’s totally iterative, allowing for refinements along the way.
This experience is vital for solution-focused software, and this is where Design Thinking truly enhances development; it prompts developers to solve complex problems yet remain focused on the solution rather than the problem.
The Design Thinking process also creates a stronger relationship with the client, considering developers will work closely with the client to understand that client’s core customers. The advantages are many in this regard, and they help speed up the overall development process.
Because you’ll be directly involved with your client to model their customers’ experiences, development will be more proactive versus reactive, meaning fewer meetings, fewer calls and less change in focus — all elements that naturally build frustration.
To completely understand the benefits of Design Thinking in software development, one must first understand the process, which I lay out here. The five tactics of the Design Thinking process come from the Hassno Platner Institute of Design at Stanford and directly correlate to use in software development.