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Five industries where design thinking is changing everything

Design thinking is a problem-solving strategy crystallized in design, combining a user-centred perspective with rational and analytical research to produce unique solutions.

Many people assume that the method is only applicable to the design industry. Yet, research reveals that design thinking is a relevant and beneficial approach for innovation across all sectors. Many businesses have had considerable success due to implementing the design thinking method.

The origins of the tech industry

Because technological goods and systems are so linked with our modern lifestyles, the values of Design Thinking can alter our entire experience of existence. Since IBM’s Thomas John Watson Jr. stated that “good design is good business,” design has become a cornerstone concept for successful digital organizations all over the world.

Design Thinking in Finance and Banking

The financial industry isn’t often associated with innovative problem-solving, but the world’s largest banks have recognized the value of integrating design thinking in recent years. Following in the footsteps of Bank of America – which gained thousands of new customers with their “Keep the Change” promotion – other large players recognized the method’s disruptive power.

Capital One recruited design companies Adaptive Path and Monsoon to build innovative digital features, including an emoji-enabled chatbot and GPS-tracked transaction histories, emphasizing empathy and user-centricity. The corporation opened a 42,000 square-foot Innovation Center two years ago. They desired to build an experience that began with emotion and thrived on humanizing the user experience.

Design Thinking in Hospitality and Entertainment

In 2009, Airbnb was on the edge of bankruptcy. Desperate for ideas, one of the founders remembered a basic, human-centred design method from design school to find novel solutions. The entrepreneur created an innovative method to assist clients in posting appealing adverts to rent their private houses and flats in New York City by applying the design thinking approach.

At the same time, Netflix and Amazon Prime have achieved new heights. Their viewers watch their favourite episodes whenever and wherever convenient for them. Sales, subscriptions and income increased as these businesses focused more on the customer experience and gave all product data to help customers make an informed purchasing decision.

Education, Healthcare and the Public Sector

Design thinking has the potential to shift an organization from traditional to progressive. Small modifications to product and service displays can increase client experiences and sales.

Empathy is at the heart of human-centred design, and professionals build it by listening to their patients and students. In schools, teachers start to feel that learning should be tailored to the learner’s needs rather than to pedantic or regulatory requirements. However, because the design cannot survive in isolation, doctors and professors need to share their experiences to motivate others to try and profit from the concept.

Can design thinking work in retail?

Design thinking is also becoming significant when it comes to fashion retail. Nike, for example, has a staff of over 1,000 designers that aim for creativity and experimentation, as we highlighted in our previous blog article.

Also, the approach is critical to Starbucks’ success. Following the economic crisis and a change in top leadership in 2008, they were forced to shut more than 600 stores. After performing customer research, they decided that their businesses needed to represent their local settings better. This was a challenge because its designers were all situated at their Seattle headquarters. Now, the firm employs designers from all over the world and has established several amazing design studios.

The desire to enhance goods by evaluating how consumers engage with them is at the heart of Design Thinking. It allows us to delve a little further to discover methods to improve user experiences.

The design thinking method may build or improve company service, whether in healthcare, manufacturing, digital technology, engineering, or education.

Like these companies, organizations and people in various sectors may empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test to enable innovation, focus on servicing consumers, and bring value to goods and services.

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