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How Design Thinking Can Help Your Small Business

November 9, 2021

Design thinking is a designer’s work process. It helps to systematically extract, learn, teach, and apply techniques to solve problems in a creative and innovative way. Many of the world’s largest brands like Apple, Google, and Samsung use design thinking in their organisations. 

Design thinking is a process that iterates on itself to understand users. It challenges preconceived notions or biases you have about these users and redefines problems to come up with different strategies and solutions that might not be apparent from the onset of the process.

Design thinking centres around the user, or the person you are designing for. Their needs and points of view become significantly more important when design thinking comes into the equation.

The 5 phases of Design Thinking according to d.school are: 

  • Empathise
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test
Thinking outside the box

1. Design Thinking Helps You Truly Think Outside The Box

When you think about a problem from someone else’s perspective you can only then truly think outside the box.  “The box” is your own set of beliefs and lived experiences. You then make every decision and action based on this perspective. Typically, if you don’t take the time to sit and empathise with the end user using design thinking, you can come up with a solution based on what you think works best, and not what you customer wants or needs. 

Brainstorming and collaborating is a crucial part of design thinking that we at Gray’s regularly use. As a team we collaborate on everything, and this is imperative to our success. We take the time to brainstorm, ideate, and not just go with the first idea that comes. 

This kind of collaboration is important to the success of your small business because it prevents you from creating messaging and campaigns in an echo chamber. If you don’t have this collaboration, chances are the communications may not hit home with your client. 

Personalize Experiences

2. Helps You Personalise Experiences

This is a crucial element of thinking creatively and can help you even more when thinking of fresh products and offers for your clients. They must be the main focus of all you do. When we work with businesses at Gray’s we undertake extensive research into your clients and end users. This helps us come up with campaigns and design ideas and solve problems that you present us with creatively.

Everyone wants to feel like they are more than just a number. Therefore, taking the time to personalise experiences for customers is so important – it establishes loyalty.

Solve problems quicker

3. Design Thinking Solves Problems Quicker

Design thinking is essentially a problem-solving process and tool. When you define a problem sooner you can then get to the fun part of solving it. However, if you define the wrong problem to start with, you will never find the right solution. At Gray’s, we always take the time to understand and define the right problem. This means listening and taking time to understand all different perspectives. This is vital for small businesses, as it prevents time being wasted unnecessarily.

Brings innovation

4. Brings Innovation

Design thinking encourages a surge in innovation and creativity. If you have’t heard from your customers regarding a certain aspect of your business, it’s important to take their feedback and see where you can innovate. We do this at Gray’s by utilising surveys, social listening, and customer feedback forms. Knowing exactly what your customers are saying is a huge advantage to being innovative. In this day and age, innovation is vitally important because technology is changing rapidly, and if you don’t innovate you could get left behind. 

Gray’s uses aspects of design thinking in everything we do. We have unique perspectives which help with design thinking in the first instance, and our brainstorming sessions allow us to ideate further. If you think that your business is missing this thorough deep dive into the design process, don’t hesitate to get in touch to see how we can with your communication, design and marketing plans.

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