FRAMEWORK : Data Products Design
Let Purpose Guide Your Design Thinking to Digital Success
What is the secret to digital success?
Clint Boulton’s CIO.com article “What is design thinking? The secret to digital success,” makes a strong case for “design thinking.”
Also, known as “human-centered design,” design thinking “involves tapping into human experience when creating new products and services.”
Over the years, our work in data analytics and product development has included “design thinking”—without ever having called our process “design thinking.”
First we ask: What problem(s) are we solving?
How exactly will our solutions enable business transformation through increased customer engagement?
Accordingly, any solution must have a purpose: that purpose becomes the frame. This is exactly the first of five steps that Chris Pacione, CEO of LUMA Institute, recommends to the author for “design thinking in practice.”
Problem framing—it begins with people framing the problems: asking simple questions about what it is they are trying to do and who they’re doing it for.
Empathy—understand the people involved, both the users and the stakeholders who must install, service and maintain the solutions.
Iteration—at the core of this mindset is the iterative process that allows you to build, test and improve. And allow for “natural small failures.”
Project failure points—identify the bugs and fix them, and today it’s possible to automate many types of fixes with innovative new tools.
Collaboration—implementing anything in business is by nature cross-functional, and today this involves business stakeholders, clients and end users.
In the “Digital Dark Ages, user friendliness was often an afterthought.” Today, product designers are asking what they need to do to make their products “human, useful and desirable.”
To embrace design thinking, the author says you can “develop a design culture,” set up innovation labs, and create digital accelerators.
That’s all good advice—if you know your purpose and create a framework to direct your solution.
As American designer and architect Charles Eames reminds us:
“Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.”
Whether creating a lounge chair, a skyscraper, or a data analytics product, don’t let the simplicity of knowing your purpose fool you. Simplicity in purpose will better guide you through the complexity of execution.