Design Thinking Resource Center
Kyle Maxey posted on November 19, 2012 |

Product Concept Design has undergone some major transformations since the beginning of the 20th century.  But honestly, what didn’t change over the last 100 years? Commerce changed, Production Methods changed, the world got smaller, and ideas got bigger. Concepts like Design Thinking, which stresses that products be created to respond empathetically to a problem, are now defining what the Product Concept Design cycle means.

Over the course of the 20th century, major shifts in the history of product design have occurred. At first geniuses like Edison drove innovation and product development. While this model worked for a while it soon gave way to the consumer demand of the post-war period.

With consumers demanding more and more products, experimentation became key in the creation of product lines. No company was more successful at creating revolutionary products than Xerox.  At their PARC lab in California the GUI, Laser Printer and PC were born.

But now we live in different time. Customers want to feel close to their products and feel like they've had a say in their development, enter Design Thinking. Design Thinking consists of 4 key components. The following 4 articles and videos set out more details about Design Thinking.

Empathy is the first step in the Design Thinking methodology. In this article we explore how designers can imagine how their product will be used from the perspective of the customer, including how to consult your customers.


The second component of the Design Thinking methodology is being open to bringing in opinions from a variety of sources. In this article we detail how you can better understand and solve problems using collaboration. Consider opinions from a wide variety of sources. Outsider perspectives can lead to dramatic innovation.


Integrative Thinking
The third aspect of the Design Thinking methodology is refusing to make compromises that jeopardize the effectiveness of a product. This article shows you how taking two opposing ideas and finding their common solution can create rewarding customer experiences.


In our final article we'll discuss the last component of the Design Thinking, Experimentalism. Experimentalism means leveraging creative thinking to solve larger issues with your products rather than making incremental upgrades. A product that is dramatically better than it's predecessor will likely see wider customer adoption.

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