Designers rise to top jobs as companies rethink how to inspire the consumer

Design and “Design Thinkers” are more important than ever. Via CNBC

With technological innovation comes constantly changing expectations, so it is getting harder than ever to provide consumers with new and improved experiences. 

The upshot: Executives with design backgrounds are rising to the top and, in some cases, delivering billions in new revenue.

Source: ShutterStock

Source: ShutterStock

Building a Design Thinking Culture

The concepts are great, but without an environment for it to thrive, Design Thinking is just a bunch of text.

“Everybody’s talking about innovation these days. While many organizations focus on innovation and Design Thinking as a way to innovate, the most successful organizations focus on creating a culture in which innovation thrives.

Great article via: The Change Designers

How Intuit Used Design Thinking To Boost Sales By $10M In A Year

Good insights on using Design Thinking to be more innovative.

"To test their idea, the team suggested changes to the script used in the call center. They then ran some quick tests right then, on the fly, with call center staff, customers, and prospects.

In a very short period of time they learned that many more people were interested in buying just one seat, or three seats. As a result, after further testing, they changed their policy to sell individual and smaller numbers of seats. What was the result of this small customer-centric, quick prototype test? A $10 million increase in sales in the first year."

Source: FastCoDesign.com

Execution First and Strategy Second

Great read from Rosabeth Moss Kanter about execution and strategy.

“For all the faddish talk about audacious goals and moonshots, the bigger an unproven promise, the harder the fall when execution doesn’t match the hype. It is important to avoid the temptation to declare victory at an announcement of a strategy — the photo op of merger partners’ handshakes, the external award for product design, or the big donation for work not undertaken — only to find that the merger dissolves, customers ignore the product, and the new work never gains traction.

In short, encourage innovation, begin with execution, and name the strategy later.”

Source: Harvard Business Review

 

The Link Between Design Thinking And Resilience

Great stuff from Forbes on Design Thinking and  Resilience :

"One of the most important aspects of resilience involves developing a flexible way of thinking about challenge and adversity and being able to solve problems in an accurate way.  

Design thinking is a type of innovation methodology – a problem solving process to help you generate options, test strategies, and get feedback so that you can develop something (often applied to facilitate the creation of new products or processes). As I discovered, design thinking is also a great tool to help you get unstuck and problem solve life’s biggest challenges." 

Paper Prototypes: The Darling of Design Thinking

Important points about low-fidelity tests leveraged in Design Thinking via Forbes.

“Low fidelity tests are the darling of design thinking, and you have to constantly try out and toss new ideas that don’t work for customers. It takes discipline to say, “Okay, engineers. We’re not going to start building this yet because we’ve got to draw pictures first and show it to more people.” Getting this right is more important than just pushing out a product. Invest time early on in the iterative process so that once you are ready to develop a product, it is full speed ahead.”

Design Value Index Shows What “Design Thinking” Is Worth

DVI used to quantify Design Thinking efforts via Fortune:

Finally, design thinking and co-creation isn’t a fad, but rather a new way for all problem solvers to put the user at the center of a problem to develop solutions from the outside in rather than the inside out.

As a result, we see design not as a pure factor that makes our DVI companies’ stocks perform better on the stock market, but rather as a highly integrated and influential force that enables the organization to achieve outsized results.”

Why You Need to Wireframe

Good piece from Webflow blog on importance of using a wireframe to build a website. 

Why you need to wireframe

"If a sitemap provides the blueprint for your whole website, a wireframe represents the blueprint for a single page (or group of pages). It’s what you’d see if you could take your sitemap, then zoom in on and enhance a single page in that high-level map. 

Like the sitemap, a wireframe captures hierarchy. But this time, that hierarchy is limited to a single page, and thus defines the relative importance of content as it flows down the page. 

Similar to prototypes, wireframes can come in a variety of levels of fidelity. Some wireframes basically are the final design, complete with the final fonts and sizing, sample photos, and even production-ready copy. Others are much more schematic, sticking with a collection of monochrome boxes and blobs where content will one day appear. 

Because of that wide range of fidelities, it’s important to clearly explain to your stakeholders just how final-final your wireframe is."

Image Source: Derek Clark created this wireframe, which shows only the basic elements of a page layout, but still communicates so much of how the final design will look and function.

599dde98b8464a0001c15498_blue-wireframe-by-derek-clark.jpg

Design Thinking In The News

Good mention of the benefits of Design Thinking in creating new products and services by Christina Wodtke. 

"over time I’ve discovered that the oft-parodied approach to Design Thinking — a lot of post-its and a lot of prototyping — works better than nearly any other approach to product and service innovation."

"Design is the art of the making the complex clear, the disordered ordered, the unusable usable. So when companies run into a truly intractable challenge such as a complex tool menu that needs sorting out, or integrating an algorithm that doesn’t make sense to users, or finding a market application for a crazy bit of new technology… the first they’ll want to do is a hire a good designer."