DT Blog

DT Blog

Nigeria

Do Start-ups need Design Thinking?

Most startups came into being because of the thirst to convert problems to opportunities. Some of these problems are novel therefore making proposed solutions/offerings by start-ups hypothetical.  Startups ideas are built on theory, the actual testing ground is usually when the customers have a feel of the solution when it addresses customer’s pain points. A solution that fails to resonate with customers could be fatal for the startup. The uncertainties and complexities in the hyper-competitive environment are major reasons why 90% of startups fail within their first five years of existence. How could human-centred design help startups to navigate the ambiguity, understand customers’ pain points, develop solutions that alleviate the problem and build a culture that delights both the employees and the customers?

Continue Reading

STILL IN DOUBT WITH THE POWER OF DESIGN THINKING? YOU NEED

 

Design thinking is useful when we need a paradigm shift, for instance, when something is fundamentally broken about a service” – Thomas Fisher.

With Design Thinking, you can generate incredible solutions to complex problems. It is a methodology that creates tangible results by placing users at the centre of value creation. There are different schools of thought regarding the Design Thinking methodology. The opponents see it as absolute rubbish while the proponent and DT practitioners believe in its power to solve complex problems and facilitate innovation. However, there are people whose position is neither here nor there. Whichever School you lean towards, I believe that the success of Design Thinking is consequent on the willingness to embrace a radical change of mindset. Without the desire to change, the benefits of this proven methodology will remain an illusion.

Continue Reading

BECOMING AN INNOVATIVE ENTREPRENEUR WITH A DESIGN THINKING MINDSET

We know from popular literature that innovation is the successful exploitation of new ideas and that design is a problem-solving activity. We also say that the practice of entrepreneurship is like an innovative act and in our ever growing, constantly-changing, demographic shifting, and competitive world, design is an important skill set for entrepreneurs to morph and hone their entrepreneurship skills. Authors like Joseph Schumpeter see entrepreneurship as a form of creative destruction while others like William Baumol see it as discovering market opportunities that generate new knowledge or new ideas. This is very similar to what design stands for.

Continue Reading

DO START-UPS NEED DESIGN THINKING?

Most startups came into being because of the thirst to convert problems to opportunities. Some of these problems are novel therefore making proposed solutions/offerings by start-ups hypothetical.  Startups ideas are built on theory, the actual testing ground is usually when the customers have a feel of the solution when it addresses customer’s pain points. A solution that fails to resonate with customers could be fatal for the startup. The uncertainties and complexities in the hyper-competitive environment are major reasons why 90% of startups fail within their first five years of existence. How could human-centred design help startups to navigate the ambiguity, understand customers’ pain points, develop solutions that alleviate the problem and build a culture that delights both the employees and the customers?

Continue Reading

DESIGN THINKING; HOW TO TRANSFORM A VALUABLE IDEA INTO A TANGIBLE BUSINESS CONCEPT

Every startup or product department in an organization is in a series of hypothesis about who is a customer, what will move the market, and what makes the product/service attractive to customers. The process of building on an idea starts from a problem, a need and/or gap in the market. Identifying a need or a problem worth solving and up to the point where users are willing to pay for it is quite a task to take on. Many times we have seen startups with brilliant ideas; many have even scaled beyond the startup phase but not yet profitable or tangible. Most startup ideas begin by identifying a need through their own experience. This becomes a valid single case but still lacking evidence for scale. So, if you have already identified the user needs through your own journey or pain points- That is only the beginning and a starting point. But how would you discover the need?

Continue Reading

LESSONS FROM OUR DESIGN THINKING WORKSHOP IN NIGERIA

It is not every day that you get to do design thinking in the most populous city in Africa. So, when you do get the chance, you better document it.

We had a wonderful, fun and productive time at our Design Thinking workshop in Lagos. With professionals drawn mainly from the banking sector. The design challenge was to “Design an Inclusive Financial System”.

Participants were formed into two teams A/B from Day 1, introduced to the challenge and paced up over four days with short presentations and introduction to design thinking, principles, fundamentals, case studies and stories. The sessions were conversational, creative and practical. Each presentation for a new tool and method was followed up with practice and application to the challenge. We used the Double Diamond Method as the framework for our workshop and challenge.

Continue Reading

DESIGN THINKING: LET’S MOVE FROM THINKING TO DOING

“ A living business needs to be able to shift its weight when the ground moves beneath it. – Mark Curtis

The rapid changes in our world today trumps up significant concerns to our existence and survival. How can we maintain our relevance in the face of threats from technological solutions such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning? What should our disposition be to attitudes – which should we imbibe and which must be eliminated? In the avalanche of information and learning all around, how do we know the most important skills to learn? Moreover, beyond learning, how can we systematically move from knowing to doing?

Continue Reading

STEER AHEAD PROFIT FROM UNCERTAINTIES

Critical insights that COVID-19 has established and brought to our fore in this pandemic season are the realities of uncertainties, ambiguity and vagueness in our operating environment. How best should we respond to the realities of the moment? Standing still is not an option; when we help stand still, we stagnate, deteriorate and get run over.

To survive in the current safe distance era, a forward-thinking approach to uncertainties requires innovative ideas that eliminate gaps and explore needs that inadvertently helps organisations to invest in new ways of thinking.

The looming question is how do we intensely engage in innovative activities, accelerate crawling businesses, reposition funnel of companies to pivot and appropriately achieve creative confidence that enables the development of innovative solutions to the myriad of problems that confronts them.

Continue Reading

HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR DESIGN THINKING WORKSHOP WITH PWC PARTNERS

We conducted a design thinking workshop for some leaders of PwC Nigeria, in partnership with PwC, a global network of firms delivering world-class assurance, tax, and consulting services for businesses.

The purpose of the workshop was to design a unique customer experience solution despite the new challenges that covid19 present. We achieved that, with two great concepts and had fun in the process while doing it. We saved some of the highlights to share with you.

Working with Online Tools

This workshop was unique because it was virtual and also the first time most of the participants will collaboratively work on the Miro Board. The participants learnt how to navigate the Miro board, use post-it notes to layout ideas, add pictures and external files into the boards, lock frames, prototypes, vote on preferred ideas and create new elements on Miro.

On Zoom, participants learnt how to use the zoom breakout session, as well as other zoom features that allowed them to converse effectively. It was fun watching people who had little knowledge of these tools use it efficiently to work together.

Continue Reading

CAN WE TRULY THINK LIKE USERS AND WALK IN THEIR SHOES?

The ability to put their feet in the shoes of others is a virtue that too many people ascribe to themselves without careful consideration. When the situation actually calls for it – they find that it is not so easy.  As men, how would we really fare in the shoes of women? As women, how would we cope? We found the practical answer to these questions at one of our Design Thinking workshops during the Empathy session. After pairing the participants, we asked them to exchange their shoes and walk in them for the next ten minutes. It was everything from uncomfortable to practically impossible and the reasons were obvious – the shoes varied in size, shapes and perceived cleanliness.

At the end of that short exercise, everyone understood better what it meant to walk in the shoes of others. The men who had to wear ladies’ shoes developed a better appreciation for the ladies. They felt first-hand what they had to endure with those sleek high shoes. One of the male participants sighed that he now understood why his wife needed his shoulder to lean on each time she was putting on or adjusting her shoes. Ladies who wore men’s shoes did not find it easy as well. They built instant empathy for the men who had to wear such big, heavy and worst of all, smelly shoes. The little exercise helped build a sense of understanding of pains, discomforts and struggles of the users wearing those shoes.

Continue Reading