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Author: Felix Joy | 03/01/18

The Role of Design Thinking in Driving Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the buzz word in town. If we take a look back, there has been a fast growth of disruptive technologies like AR, VR, chatbots etc., in the past 2-4 years. A change in customer behavior has also taken the IT industry much beyond its traditional limitations.

In today’s world, products and services are churned out such that their lifecycles are shrinking. Moreover, customers are demanding services and products which can be delivered in a quick and flexible manner. In order to catch-up with these never-ending demands of customers, it is very important for organizations to innovate and use disruptive technologies to retain them and build a strong customer relationship. In this blog, I will be briefing about the different processes involved in design thinking and how it is useful in the space of digital transformation.

Understanding different customers and their needs is very important for innovations to happen in this fast paced digital space. This is where design thinking comes in handy. Design thinking is a collaborative approach used to solve problems and also to discover the various opportunities which can bring delight on the faces of customers. If we look around, design has evolved to more than just making objects. Steve Jobs once said, “Most people think design thinking is about how things look, but it’s about how they work”.

Design thinking helps organizations to understand their customers and engage with them continuously to redesign their products, services or may be some processes as well. People also have a misconception that design thinking can only be used for launching new products or services. However, it can, in fact, be used to revamp an existing product or business process which needs reinvention.

Now let’s see the key elements in design thinking approach.

Define the Problem Statement:

Defining the problem statement is the first and the most important step of design thinking. It not only helps us in defining the opportunity, but also helps in revising the opportunity before you start creating a solution and its execution.

Cross functional insights and relentless questioning helps with surfacing real issues while defining a problem. The main outcome of this stage is to target the right problem to solve and to frame the problem in such a way that it is easy to come up with creative solutions.

Customer Research and Market Study:

We can either use primary or secondary research to collect various data points regarding the customer and market. This data helps you in better understanding of the customers. Once you have the insights, group them into different groups known as personas and then map their customer journey.

What we generally see is that firms making new interactions and engagement touch points without considering the customer’s end-to-end journey can lead to a bad customer experience, which in turn leads to negative brand perception. Creating a customer journey map can help organizations in these instances to have a view of customer experience across all touch points and can also help in building a future road map for customer experience.

Identifying Potential Gaps:

The next step after laying down the customer journey map is to find out the gaps in the journey where the customer is having a bad experience or where he/she is looking for a better experience. These are the points where we can influence them to stay loyal to you and also attract new set of customers.

Ideate Solutions from Different Perspectives, Sources and Disciplines:

Even if a solution seems to be obvious and straightforward, design thinking requires you to create many solutions for consideration. The benefit of having more than one is that it always gives a better result. Moreover, in some situations, we will need to combine more than one smaller solutions to form a solution that can meet the expectations of the consumers.

Develop Rapid Prototypes and Gather Feedback from Stakeholders:

Once you have narrowed down on a solution, develop a rapid prototype for it with minimum features so that the stakeholders can touch and feel the prototype. These prototypes help in gathering feedback easily from consumers and different stakeholders involved. As a result, before releasing the solution to a wide set of customers, the feedback received can be incorporated into your final product.

On a closing note, digital transformation is centered on enhancing customer experience. In order for this to happen, organizations need to understand the various needs of the customers. Design thinking is a structured, yet creative way of understanding the never-ending needs of consumers and thereby facilitating rapid innovations.

What’s your take on design thinking and its role in digital transformation? Send a mail to info@mindtree.com.

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