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What is in Store for Design Thinking in Future

You may ask why is design thinking interesting? Over the past few years, design thinking prevailed in almost every mainstream field in the world. A few years back it was used by few experts and was considered a secret practice that has not been introduced to the masses yet. The 2000s however saw an increase in the companies, organizations, and fields using, admiring, and promoting design thinking. Now you see yourself going back towards design thinking whether you want to apply design strategy, use agile method, create a human-centered experience or lead a design-focused team. At the core of design thinking, we talk about empathy and user experience which can be seen as a built-in concept in many of the practices mentioned above.

Now, why is it interesting? It’s interesting because it is simple, plain, fun and IT WORKS! It is interesting because in the modern age the most happening milestone every company is trying to achieve is innovation. Design thinking not only helps in that but also provides a framework to improve, re-design, and adjust according to feedback which are essential aspects to consider while creating a better user experience of any product. Design thinking comes up with novel ways and tools to address the desires, requirements, problems, feedback, and expectations of customers. It works because it is cheap, effective, and caters to complex problems.

But is design thinking here to stay? It is because it works in loops and is designed to cater to the problems which require going back and forth to adjust according to customer feedback mostly to enhance user experience. Many visionary entrepreneurs and businessmen like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs like to learn from their mistakes and go beyond normal thinking method to generate crazy off the edge ideas which require design thinking tools and strategies. Design thinking is also used as systems thinking, resilience thinking, human-centered design, and inclusive design which makes it even more attractive practice to learn and practice. What is important in the modern age is to practice these approaches after learning about them. It is very interesting to see people knowing and learning about design thinking but not using it in their practices which might limit the scope of design thinking for the future. To generate further insight on this aspect will just leave this quote here for you to reflect on!

From Ashish Goel, founder of Playbook Design:

“For me, it isn’t about what’s next, but what’s already there and has gotten lost in all the din about design thinking. Design thinking has been around the block a bit: It’s been celebrated, maligned, modified, dissed, sold, packaged, and whatnot. Everyone’s heard about it, maybe even done a workshop or two, or even spent years studying it (like me) but then you forget about using it. So instead of wondering what’s next, I wish people really dwelt in the basics a bit more. They’re superpowers!”

Now you may ask that I learned about design thinking, practice it but would it be still relevant in the future? Let me give you an example of a company that was struggling and achieved a great result by implementing design thinking. I am talking about the Ford Motor Company. The problem with Ford Motor Company was simple, they were focusing on innovation but only innovation and that lead them to overlook many important questions and problems faced by customers.

We call this a “Design Gap” where there might be innovation but the gap between the technology and design keeps increasing thus decreasing the overall capabilities. This design gap is here to stay and will be a problem for many companies in the future and thus will require design thinking to bridge the gap between requirements and design. This is just one of many reasons why design thinking will still be relevant in the future!

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