What is design thinking?

Learn UX Design

Mario Maruffi

Good Monday! 😷
It’s Mario from Maruffi.co 😊

And this is the free weekly email that makes learning UX design and innovation enjoyable.

In this week’s edition…

  • What is design thinking?

  • How to improve the user experience by identifying critical UX issues

  • 3 ways you can persuade stakeholders to buy into your product roadmap

  • What is digital transformation?

  • Design challenge? There’s never a good reason to skip user research


What is design thinking?

Design thinking is a way of creatively approaching problem-solving challenges.

Why do you need design thinking?

  • It helps you to approach problems that are highly complex or misunderstood because it lets you understand the human needs that underpin the issues. 

  • It helps you reduce the risk associated with innovation and launching new products and services.

  • It accelerates learning within organizations through the promotion of increased practical involvement in testing and prototypes.

The 5 stages of design thinking [1]

The Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford proposed the following five-stage model of design thinking:

  1. Empathize: get to know your users and their mindset so that you can develop product ideas that better meet the user’s needs.

  2. Define: assess your observations and combine your findings to discover the central pain-points and problems.

  3. Ideate: generate a substantial body of ideas through brainstorming and other techniques.

  4. Prototype: produce a selection of low-cost, low-technology versions of your product, or its essential features to help you decide the most effective solution.

  5. Test: test your solution with the users; this may offer insights through which you can better visualize the problem.

These five iterative stages can frequently coincide and should be repeated as necessary.

Take Away

  • Design thinking is an iterative, focused, and flexible process that involves designers and users working together.

  • Capture the mindsets and needs of your users.

  • Create an image of opportunities centered on user needs.

  • Employ rapidly produced low-tech experimentation that will help you to learn.

  • Introduce gradual refinements until you have a truly innovative, user-centered solution.


How to improve the user experience by identifying critical UX issues

What are UX issues? ☢️

UX issues are aspects of the user journey that undermine the user experience. Improving the user task, interaction, or usability that causes these issues can enhance user satisfaction and increase the overall business value of a digital product.

Usability issues can be vast; as such, it isn’t feasible to identify and eliminate all UX issues at once. When you embark on a UX audit, you should start by developing a comprehensive understanding of the holistic picture before honing in on the specifics and pinpointing the UX problems that need your immediate consideration.

Prioritization of UX issues 🔎

First, address the UX issues that have the potential to have a significant impact on your bottom line. Prioritization involves addressing the UX issues that impact 80% of your users first. These are the issues that cause a negative experience for the majority of your users; for example, eCommerce product pages and checkout processes, daily tasks and activities on business software, and mobile app onboarding.

Some problems may only impact a small group of users, while others may be relatively minor at present but could escalate into more significant issues that affect a larger group of users. Start by concentrating on the concerns that have the most substantial consequences.


3 ways you can persuade stakeholders to buy into your product roadmap

Don’t even contemplate presenting your roadmap to stakeholders until you have acquired the customer data and insights required to support the strategies and vision it offers. Jim Semick from ProductPlan presented an overview of three ways you can bring stakeholders on board [2]

  1. Use customer evidence in support of your roadmap
    Stakeholders don’t want to hear about your opinions; they want to see proof. As such, you have to provide them with evidence that your strategy is the optimal one. Examples of such evidence could be direct quotes from customers, user analytics, videos of the product in use, etc.

  2. Detail your vision as it relates to customer value
    You must be ready to answer the following question about every item on the roadmap: “What benefit does it offer consumers?” Stakeholders want to look at holistic solutions that address problems in a manner that translates into sales, revenue, and other strategic outcomes.

  3. Define how the roadmap meets targets and KPIs
    When stakeholders evaluate a roadmap, they are typically interested in how it relates to the bigger picture of a business. By aligning the roadmap with your company’s targets and KPIs, you demonstrate to stakeholders how you will achieve your organization’s targets.


What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation isn’t simply about technology; it is an evolving process that changes how your business operates. Digital transformation needs investment in infrastructure, projects, skills, and culture change. In some cases, it may mean completely overhauling your IT system. It involves a combination of strategy, technology, processes, and organizational structure, and this can become complex.

Digital transformation should be continually monitored, and appropriate actions should be taken to ensure both digital and non-digital team members make the right decisions about how the process can be implemented.

This excellent article from HBR.org [3] details the reasons why some major digital transformations have failed.


Design challenge? There’s never a good reason to skip user research

User research can be achieved with any budget and timeline.

Low-fidelity prototypes and user testing with just 5 users are cost-effective and quick options. And quick, inexpensive research is better than no research. If you are completing just a small redesign, you will still have time to develop potentially valuable insights through a fast, unmoderated remote usability test.

Successful ideas rely on UX research.

Without user research, your ideas may be off-target and you will lack effective evaluation criteria when it comes to deciding on the best idea to drive business growth.

*This post originally appeared on Dribbble


Today’s quote

The best way to cultivate empathy toward your users is by spending more time with them and see their products in use 🤗

— Mario Maruffi