Review of Design Thinking article by Tim Brown, Founder of IDEO, Published HBR June 2008

Leaders now look to innovation as a principal source of differentiation and competitive advantage; incorporate design thinking into all phases of the process

Design Thinking

3 stages of Design Thinking

Design Thinking is a methodology that involves a range of innovation activities with a human centered approach.

  1. Inspiration – the problem or opportunity. Framing, Defining, World View, Technology, Empathy with Users
  2. Ideation – The search for solutions. Iterative cycles of Brainstorming, Prototyping, Testing and Refinement
  3. Implementation – Execution, Marketing & Communications, Business Case

Prototype of a service innovation will not be physical but it must be tangible. Pictures and videotaping performance helps in understanding behaviours. The goal of prototyping isn’t to finish but to learn about the strength and weaknesses of the idea and to identify the new directions that further prototypes might take.

Prototyping doesn’t have to be complex and expensive. Rudimentary prototype is useful. The more finished a prototype seems, the less likely its creators will be to pay attention to and profit from feedback.

The future

Search for meaning and emotional experiences. These experiences are not just products but complex combinations of products, services, spaces and information. Design Thinking is a tool for imagining these experiences as well as giving them a desirable form.

Transformation is needed

There are an abundance of problems to be solves and opportunities to be exploited, health, poverty, sustainability etc. These problems all have people at their heart. They require a human-centered, creative, iterative, and practical approach to finding the best ideas and ultimate solutions. Design Thinking is just such an approach to innovation.