Design Thinking: Which Problems Can it Help Solve?

Designers are always looking for ways to add value to their designs. To be able to create something valuable, one must solve certain problems to incorporate that value in their designs. Design Thinking is a process by which designers can solve problems while discovering new opportunities simultaneously through ideation and innovation. Originally, design thinking was used as a problem-solving tool to solve multi-dimensional problems such as in architecture, art, and engineering. However, in the past few years, a diverse range of fields have recognized the importance of design thinking and are beginning to use it in several different ways. For instance, design thinking is currently being used in entrepreneurial initiatives, to trigger medical breakthroughs, to achieve educational advances, to solve issues in corporate culture and new technology. No matter how different these professions are, they are equally being benefited from design thinking’s innovative human-centered approach.

We have divided some of the key problems that design thinking solve into four distinct categorize which are described as follows:


-Problems that require Insight-

Design thinking generates insight and thus helps in problems where one needs to redefine values, enhance the quality of life which first needs an understanding of the quality of life and problems that might require inspiration and motivation. One example could be the case of Burberry where this once-dominant brand was being considered a brand of the bygone era due to digital advancement. However, Burberry did not let it destroy their spirit and created a deeper understanding of generation X’s sentiments and expectations, and leveraged the digital media to generate a healthy amount of revenue.


-Problems that require Innovation-

Design thinking is known for its innovation-centered approach and thus helps solve problems that require re-invention of business models, creation of human-centered innovation. It also caters to the problems that big data cannot solve. One example could be the Unicorn start-up idea of Airbnb whereby realizing a certain set of problems in the society with the help of design thinking a unique idea was created and implemented which attracted a global audience.

-Problems that trigger change-

Design thinking is a strong advocate for change considering it challenges normal ways of thinking and traditional practices. Thus, design thinking helps solve problems that arise while shifting market behaviors, define ways to cope with these changes, and addresses rapid volatile changes in society. One example could be the success of IBM who by using design thinking changed their policy to approach customers and started investing heavily in design thinking. IBM started giving priority to user’s expectations and needs while designing and thus achieved a significant difference in their ROIs.


-Problems that require addressing diversity-

Different techniques of design thinking reflect the need to put different perspectives on the table. Design thinking thus helps in solving problems that affect diverse groups of people and involve different systems or multidisciplinary teams. It also helps drawing attention towards societal differences by considering diverse perspectives rather than focusing on a few.


One important factor to consider when evaluating the usability of Design thinking is that it generates alternative possibilities which are due to its different style of triggering one to think and assess a situation. We agree with Einstein when he said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."


If you would like to know more about design thinking, its different dimensions, and problem-solving techniques, then stay tuned because we come up with new insightful content on design thinking every week!


Check out our other Blogs: https://www.thefirstloop.com/post/driving-force-behind-design-thinking

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