Design thinking provides the framework and methodology in which we work. It is a human-centered design approach to innovation. This means that users are involved from the beginning of the process to the solution. The first step is to comprehensively understand people through broad and deep research. With that foundation, we then brainstorm, prototype, iterate and test to refine the best solutions.
As design can be an ambiguous space, design thinking provides clarity and a way to combine concrete data with inspiration. These methods can help interdisciplinary teams come up with different solutions.
To learn more about design thinking, check out IDEO’s design thinking blog or Stanford’s d. school’s point of view.
People and their needs are at the center of all we do. By rapidly creating a product with people in mind, we swiftly develop thoughtful prototypes. This is known as a minimum viable product (MVP). The sooner we can get a well-constructed idea in front of people, the sooner we will head in the right direction. Their feedback is critical.
A cupcake represents the smallest possible cake-like confection that can be still be considered a complete cake. If we were doing waterfall development, we might be focusing on making a whole lot of bread before making any frosting, and planning to make one big cake a year from now. But instead we want to get our cupcake in front of users and see if they like it before we commit to making a huge sheet cake.
So how small should an MVP be? How quickly should it be released? Well, as someone once put it to us: “If you’re not embarrassed, you released too late.”