- What is Design Thinking in The Software Industry?
- Significant Steps in Design Thinking
- Three Major Benefits of Design Thinking for Software Product Development
- Five Ways to Integrate Design Thinking in Product Development
- Think Outside The Box
- Productivity Boost and Our Innovation with Design Thinking
In the domain of software product development, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. However, production steps and strategies apply to almost every type of software project. Every product development idea will have varying needs and demands specific to the workflows and techniques involved. Intellinez brings the difference with its specialized team of experts covering many functions and professional strengths to innovate and evade technological hiccups.
What is Design Thinking in The Software Industry?
Design thinking, at its core, is a problem-solving strategy that, at priority, emphasizes the user’s actual need rather than focusing only on product specifications. It’s a process that seeks to understand the product user, gather data on the challenges faced, and redefine the problems with intelligent strategies. Furthermore, design thinking brings a solution-driven approach to solving product development encumbrances. It’s a new way of thinking and understanding the market needs with a cluster of hands-on techniques.
Product development often demands design thinking, especially for medium-scale businesses, where there are limited roles for UX/UI Designers and Business Analysts. The product development team introduces Design Thinking steps to innovate on particular and suitable designs. They understand the user’s product expectations and work solely on designing adequate deliverables. In other words, design thinking allows developers to foresee the final product from a user’s perspective.
Significant Steps in Design Thinking
Incorporating the design thinking approach into your product development process will get you through five significant steps:
- Empathize: This step entails gathering insights about the end-users and understanding their needs, desires and objectives.
- Define: This step is about recognizing the challenges faced by users. It includes identifying the biggest user problem and actual user requirements.
- Ideate: This step entails thinking about the solution to the problem by using the product. The product development team, designers and other software engineers brainstorm and form innovative ideas.
- Prototype: The fourth step in design thinking is turning ideas into reality. By developing prototypes, we test the idea-fitness.
- Testing: We understand how the product works in real-world scenarios and gain valuable insights. This phase doesn’t come as the last stop of the design thinking process. Once we get the product testing done and gain user feedback, it’s time to implement the required changes and adjust the product functionality.
Three Major Benefits of Design Thinking for Software Product Development
Design thinking lets you test the feasibility of the upcoming product and its functionality at an early age. The critical element of design thinking is to keep in mind, ‘the requirements of an end-user.’ It mentions all requirements and transforms them into product features.
No surprises and no alarms
Keeping user feedback in mind, when the product development team tests an MVP, it can bring the optimum confidence to proceed with the project. It provides transparency in the project vision, ensuring no variation between the approved concept and the final product version.
Regular improvement with design thinking
When an MVP version of the product releases in the market, it’s required to go through modifications basis user feedback. With user feedback in hand, you are crystal clear about what feature is needed and what isn’t.
Five Ways to Integrate Design Thinking in Product Development
Software development companies are increasingly careful about bringing an ‘out of the world’ user experience. The user defines ‘customer satisfaction,’ so the topmost design priority is understanding how to deliver an effortless experience.
Here are the five ways that can allow developers and designers to be on the right track of product development:
Get everyone involved
There’s a general understanding that design comes before the development stage, which is accurate; however, one cannot keep the developers away from initial design processes. Developers can bring valuable insights to your design ideas, while designers can better understand user requirements.
To avoid any unjust investment of time, effort and money, it’s always better to identify a product feature’s feasibility sooner than later. Developers and designers, when working together, can quickly spot and address these issues early with the design thinking approach.
Define the UX process
It would be difficult for someone unaware of the UX/UI design processes to comprehend the need for regular design revisions, even for minor details. There’s one common reason for every step in the UX/UI design process: bring the best user experience. Establishing the grounds behind the design approach at the beginning of the product development project is vital.
Establish design standards
Product development involves multiple teams working on varying technological platforms, and their collective efforts bring you the final product. When discussing design thinking processes, there are chances of designers working tools unfamiliar to the developers, or vice-versa. It is both counterproductive and brings real trouble to the DevOps experts.
Therefore, having a common platform where designers and developers can view designs becomes essential. Such plans should also be accessible in file formats, such as PDF or PNG.
Incorporating an effective mode of communication between the developers and the design team is vital to the success of the design thinking strategy. InVision comes as a tool that precisely integrates with the different design tools such as Sketch and Adobe Photoshop, letting the designers share their work online. The team of developers can easily interpret designs uploaded by the designers. It also holds robust prototyping capabilities, allowing designers to show how to interact with the design.
In other words, these components help the product development team understand how the product should work for the user. The comment feature allows developers to communicate with the designers easily.
Clearly distinguish the MVP and GA designs.
When a product development team initiates the development of a minimum viable product version, they must also understand the needs for the general availability (GA) version. It is to provide them with a vision of how the final state of the product would be, allowing a smooth transition between the MVP and GA version types.
At times, this could confuse the product development team in understanding the fundamental expectations from the project. To overcome this operational difficulty, developers should precisely label the designs for GA and MVP.
Share component libraries
Every professional designer must adhere to some style or branding guidelines. It brings the need for design component libraries, simplifying their job. By aligning these two resources in one place, one can save tremendous time and effort.
Developing designs compatible with component libraries allow developers to bring their implementation to the design thinking approach, forming a consistent look and feel throughout the product development cycle.
Think Outside The Box
Design thinking is also known as ‘outside the box thinking,’ as software designers make their best attempts to develop better ways of finding unconventional solutions to the standard method of solving problems.
At the core of design thinking, the intention is to improve the products by continuously analyzing how users interact with the product. Thinking involves the interest to ask significant questions surrounding challenging assumptions; to validate the product concept and its design idea.
Productivity Boost and Our Innovation with Design Thinking
Similar to the shift in the market from being product-centric to customer-centric, our approach to design thinking has also evolved to cater and deliver value solutions. Design thinking is both a process and an ideology involved with providing solutions to complex technology challenges without missing the user’s interests.
At Intellinez, our complete workflow goes through a design thinking approach. Regardless of their job type, every professional in our company adheres to an innovation-driven mindset. Our design steps are:
- Research: Understand the true user identity and what they expect from the product. Find out what the goal is? What challenges may occur?
- Build wireframes: It is the roughly made design to understand the key product features and functionalities. Instead of focusing on minor design details such as fonts and colors, this step involves understanding the user’s primary elements of interactions.
- Design: When we have listed the product’s main features, we now work on the minor details of the User Interface. It leads to developing design thinking prototypes with minor design elements in mind.
- Test: This comes as the most vital stage of design thinking. Testing the prototype or the MVP version with user feedback saves enormous time and effort.
- Iterate: Now that we have valuable user feedback and have done the product testing, we are ready to implement some design iterations. It enhances the overall user experience with the product.
Going by the simplest definition, design thinking is essentially an approach to solve problems associated with a product concept. It entails assessing known challenges and identifying more ambiguous factors contributing to the cause of the issues.
Design thinking allows us to understand user behavior and product requirements enormously. To create more user-centric products, developers at Intellinez keep the fundamentals of design thinking as a guiding tool for product vision and development.
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