Would like to share a post about almost any organization’s current interest, written on Forbes by Jesse Himsworth, who is Senior Vice President of Strategy & Integrated Solutions, overseeing growth and innovation initiatives for Clearlink.
“It is clear that digital transformation is reinventing business practices. In today’s world, technological capabilities are constantly improving and in order to keep up, organizations must be agile and innovative as they integrate these digital technologies into their business practices. To stay competitive in any market, having a digital transformation strategy is a necessity.
The transition from business as usual to digital first is no easy feat — our digital world shifts rapidly and unpredictably. Keeping up can present a challenge and leave many unsure of how to proceed. This is where design thinking comes in.
Design thinking is a five-step, user-centric design methodology that does not present a solution upfront but examines both present and future details of a problem and explores alternate solutions.
Design thinking is made up of five steps: empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test.
Step 1: Empathize
Instead, observe as they interact with your product or service. Take note of what they search for on Google or on the site, study click-stream data to see how they are engaging with your site or app, mine chat logs to see what they are asking your customer service agents, or even take it one step further and interview your customers to ask them questions about what they want the digital experience to be.
Truly gaining a deep understanding of where the customer’s friction points are along the digital journey will get you the information you need to successfully solve their issues.
Step 2: Define The Problems
The define stage brings clarity to the problems you are trying to solve. The insight gained from the empathize stage will help you pinpoint where to focus your time and energy.
After analyzing this information, it’s time to formulate a problem statement. For example, if users are consistently calling from step 13 in the problem-solving wizard, the problem statement could read: “To increase customer satisfaction on our site, we need to fix step 13 in the problem-solving wizard.” The problem statement should be focused on a specific issue and geared toward the user. We are trying to help our customers because we truly want them to have a good experience.
The define stage can be a little overwhelming — you will discover a multitude of problems that need attention. However, the aim of this phase is not to overwhelm, but to make these problems digestible by prioritizing them into individual, manageable opportunities.
Step 3: Ideate
Now that we have a definitive problem, it’s time to generate some ideas on how to fix it. In this phase, it is important to brainstorm by using the collective minds of a group in order to develop a variety of creative ideas. Don’t just use your team, but work cross-functionally in a highly collaborative setting. You shouldn’t be overthinking things in this phase or coming up with just one solution. The ideate phase is quick, creative and, most importantly, collaborative.
Step 4: Prototype
Here, the team will experiment with a variety of simple and inexpensive models aimed to quickly test and validate your solution ideas. Prototypes should be tested on a small set of users — either with usability testing or on a narrow selection of your site visitors.
Observe the way people interact with the prototype, then collect feedback and use this information to adjust and optimize the next model. This phase should be very fast-paced, with quick and efficient improvements. Create a safe environment where it is OK to fail and learn from those failures to continually progress.
At the end of this phase, you should have a good idea of what works and doesn’t work and how real customers will think and feel when interacting with your service.
Step 5: Test
Continuously testing your various prototypes is an opportunity to constantly improve. Every interaction with a customer is a learning opportunity to enhance the customer experience. In the testing phase, you capture the information needed to revisit previous stages in the design thinking process.
In today’s world, adopting digital transformation for all business practices is a must, and design thinking methodology is an effective way to tackle the problems this transition presents. Whether you follow the proposed stages above or discover your own design thinking process, adopting this user-centric method will help as you incorporate digital technologies into your organization”.