How design thinking can be utilised in your industry

Posted by Brendan Coram on Feb 10, 2016 5:06:17 PM
Brendan Coram

A_Design_Thinking_approach_to_Process_Improvement.jpgDesign Thinking means many things to many people, but is at heart a deeply human approach that makes room for emotion, feeling and intuition as we seek to learn more about the people we serve.

So how can industries like yours, mining, oil and gas, or even manufacturing benefit from an emotionally rich approach like Design Thinking?

Think back to the last time you bought a car... Did emotion come into it? Of course it did. Whether your car was 'the power of dreams’ or ‘the ultimate driving machine’, the buying decision is essentially driven by emotion.

We already know that people don’t always do what they say they are going to do. Design Thinkers know this, and prefer to find out for themselves rather than simply taking someone’s word for it. This is where emotion and empathy come into it.  It’s all very well going into the field to observe people in action, but until you can share their stories and connect with them at an emotional level it can be hard to make sense of what they are doing. Design Thinking helps us to bridge that emotional gap, developing deep insight into human needs and motivation so that we might better understand what people really want.

The beauty of Design Thinking is its ability to focus on human needs, not just those of your customers. After all, workers are people too.  For industries like mining, oil and gas, or manufacturing, having an effective workforce can make all the difference. Imagine a mine site where work practices were designed around what people actually did, rather than what they were supposed to do. Or a manufacturing plant where production lines took into account our need to socialise or feel part of a team. Do you think that this approach may produce a better result longer term? Maybe the next time someone asks you to take their word for it, take a breath and ask yourself … what if there's more to it? 

Design Thinking does more than help you understand people. It helps you create innovative solutions that meet the needs of the business, whilst taking into account what is possible, no matter which indsutry you're in.

Topics: Design Thinking and Customer Experience