What is the role of Design Thinking in Product development?

Businesses across industries use design thinking to develop new products or services, creatively solve business problems, identify customer needs and requirements, etc. But it is mainly used by product managers in product development and design to develop a product that meets the user’s expectations.

In this article, we will look at the role of design thinking in product development.

Role of design thinking in product development

Here are some points that highlight the role of design thinking in product development:

  • Puts the customers first

It is important for businesses to understand what their customers want, and design thinking helps them identify their target audience’s preferences and dislikes. Design thinking uses customer journey maps (a tool that helps understand user requirements) to understand what the customers want and implement the results in their product.

  • Improves user experience (UX)

User experience or UX is the process of creating products that providerelevant experiences to users. Design thinking tools and methodologies help the product development team understand the audience’s emotions when using their product or service. As a result, it helps in creating a product that offers a higher user experience.

Enhancing user experience has two benefits for businesses: one, it helps them stand out in a competitive market, and second, it helps increase customer loyalty.

  • Helps adapt to new product development changes

Design thinking helps businesses adapt to changes in product development and management methodologies like agile and DevOps. In addition, it helps the product development team adapt to new-age development by making them capable of analysing, experimenting, and remaining flexible during dynamic business changes.

It also allows themtosolve complex business problems and suggest different solutions.

What is design thinking?

Design thinking is an innovative problem-solving process that has been around for decades. It is a human-centric approach that helps businesses understand their audience’s likes, dislikesand requirements. It helps them realise that customers are real people with real problems.

Here are the main characteristics of design thinking:

  • Focuses on end-users or customers
  • Helps companies identify the root cause of a problem
  • Creates actionable solutions

There are five phases of design thinking. The first and most crucialdesign thinking step is empathising with users. This step helps companies develop a product that meets the requirements of the audiences and aligns with their brand image and business purpose.

Here are the five stages of design thinking:

  • Empathise: In this phase, you must identify the target audience’s likes, dislikes, preferences, and requirements. There are many tools and frameworksthat can help you understand users better.
  • Define: After empathising with the users, the next step is to determine the problem you will be solving.
  • Ideate: The next step after identifying the problem statement is finding creative solutions. You can brainstorm or take up different tools and methodologies to generate solutions.
  • Prototype: After you have defined the problem and solution, the next step is to explore the solution through modelling and prototyping.
  • Test: In the last stage of design thinking, you need to test the prototype in a real-life scenario, which helps tounderstand if the solution will work with real customers.

Applying design thinking tools and techniques to product development and management can help businesses offer a product that meets their customer’s demands. Planning to make a career in design thinking? Take design thinking certificate courses to increase your chances of getting exciting career opportunities. These certificate courses equip you with advanced skills and knowledge that give you an edge over others.


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