UNS Edutech

Design Thinking

Design Thinking- a Creative and Future-ready Generation is in Making

The education segment has been revolutionized with robust technology tools, ideas, and theories. Usually, it is seen that making students learn any innovative yet studied approach makes them future-ready and helps them step into the future of work. A fine blend of try and test methods, innovative ideas, technology tools, etc. helps students imbibe creative problem-solving skills. This approach is called Design Thinking, which is a human-centered cognitive problem-solving approach that not only helps students in their academics but also encourages them in their future work lives to rise as smart creative problem solvers. 2008 Harvard Business Review Article brought this social technology into the limelight and it is ruling over industries for over a decade now. Hence it is immensely important that students understand and absorb this skill in their academics in order to get matured in it by the time they start their careers.

What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking comprises innovative and strategic ideas that help a child develop skills like creative thinking, innovation, decision-making, problem-solving, etc. It has three major steps, starting with understating the problem, then brainstorming over possible practical solutions, trying and testing these solutions through prototyping, and finally deploying the mechanism.

Why is Design Thinking Important in Life?

Although these steps look simple, they help students emerge as creative problem solvers. Design thinking is relevant when the problem is complex and needs a thorough understanding and creative solution. The success of creative design thinking is based on how successfully students execute and carry all these steps. Design thinking typically helps solve problems in personal and professional life regardless of the socio-economic background, likes and dislikes, and persona of the child.

Imagine a Science lab or physics class, where students design objects, solutions, or models to solve existing user-related problems. It could be a technology, a service, or a physical product. Here, the goal of design thinking is to shape up students’ imagination, creative thinking, and cognitive skills to become fully-realized problem solvers.

What are the Three Important Elements of Design Thinking?

1.       Inspiration/Empathy

Diving deep into the problem: Design thinking starts with thoroughly understanding the problem. In personal and educational life, many students look for solutions without understanding the problem and its root causes. They may end up deploying or implementing the wrong solutions. Getting students familiar with design thinking does not let that happen.

End users can take you to the right path: End-users hold immense importance in the design thinking process. Students are future innovators. So, imagine that they are coming up with a product for differently-abled or senior citizens that they have never used, nor have a need to. Unless students empathize with this strata, they are not able to understand their needs. Design thinking is a human-centered design that guides students to take user interviews, observe their behavior, analyze their needs, have group discussions with them, take surveys, etc.

2.       Ideation/Expansive Thinking

Go wild on ideas: Once students fully realize the problem the next step for them is brainstorming. Here, they need to leave biases and personal opinions behind and try to be as neutral as possible. This step guides them to have a look at the problem from all directions and jot down all the useful ideas that they feel can be helpful to create an effective solution for the identified problem. 

Prototyping is helpful: Next, students need to boil down their ideas with their team to settle on one and try to create a prototype of the solution and test it with actual users to find out its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Here, students need to make notes or create a solid record of these test findings to better their product or solution.

Teamwork and Collaboration: A diverse multidisciplinary team can certainly ideate creatively. This step makes students realize the importance of teamwork and collaboration. Students learn to receive feedback, take it constructively, and implement it to modify or improve the solution. Additionally, students coming from various backgrounds, likes, dislikes, etc. can add value to the ideation. These can easily bring synergy in the collaboration.

3.       Implementation/Execution

Ensuring the firm base: Although the process looks linear, it calls for iterations and reworks. The success of this step depends on how strongly students ideate and reach out to the ultimate solution that is tested and validated by end-users.

Defining the niche: Identifying the niche or target audience before coming up with a solution is of utmost importance. To be future-ready, students need to understand the demographics and psychographics of the people. This step gives an ultimate vision to them to identify and evaluate end-users. It enables students to identify the niche, do the math, and come up with some USPs. Here they learn how to give the product the right direction.

Why is Design Thinking so Popular?

Design thinking is certainly enjoying popularity across businesses. It can be used for any problem that needs a creative solution. It is bridging the gap between businesses and creative thinking. The importance of design thinking is shooting up day by day, as industry giants are adopting this creative business approach on a massive scale. IBM has trained its 40000 employees on this principle. It is popular among businesses as it encourages them to revisit their communication, product offerings, market growth, branding, etc., and come up with creative yet hard-hitting solutions.

What are the Benefits of Design Thinking?

Design thinking offers numerous benefits to students and helps them develop their persona in such a way that they can withstand and fight future challenges.

1.   It helps develop creative confidence to adapt or respond to different situations

2.   It encourages students to bring out the creativity in them and come up with the most creative ideas or solutions to problems

3.   It transforms students’ persona into smart, optimistic, empathetic, and future-ready individuals

4.   With design thinking, students understand the fundamentals of problems

5.   It not only helps shape up academics but also enables students to solve personal or real-life problems creatively and effectively

6.   Students imbibe qualities like effective decision making, creative thinking, problem-solving, practical approach, etc.

7.   Students are able to prioritize things in personal life and academics understanding the fundamentals and implementing the creative-thinking approach

Conclusion

Design thinking not only enables you to develop creative thinking but it develops the overall personality that helps in various personal and professional life situations. Introducing it in the early academics helps students to be psyched to face the future full challenges that need more creative and innovative solutions.