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Think Like Steve Jobs: How Design Thinking Leads to Creativity

Think Like Steve Jobs: How Design Thinking Leads to Creativity

Outstanding companies such as Apple, Nike and Tesla are all design-driven companies. These companies adopt design thinking when they are creating new products and solving business problems. Companies that utilized design thinking experienced a 41% higher market share, a 46% competitive advantage, and customers who were 50% more loyal. They outperformed the average American stock market by 219%.[1]

Take Apple as an example, it wasn’t always the mega-success that it is today. In 1997, Steve Jobs conducted a major company overhaul.[2] He cut several product lines and pushed the company toward developing a distinctly Apple experience. To this day, all of the “i” products’ look, feel, and user-friendliness set Apple apart from its competitors.

Design thinking showed us that Apple was a company with a soul and vision, and the message continues to resonate with customers. Jobs not only conveyed to people what he was selling, but he also showed them why they needed it.

Everything that any profession does—from research and development, to strategy, to content creation—can be improved through design thinking.

Design Thinking Is for Everyone to Solve Problems Creatively

Problem-solving myopia leads companies through periods of stagnation and frustration. Things are usually more complicated than they appear on the surface, and focusing solely on problems robs companies of their abilities to take what is working and use it in creative ways.

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“Design thinking can be described as a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.” – Tim Brown CEO, IDEO

Design thinking can solve complex problems across systems, procedures, protocols, and customer experiences. This creative mindset requires you to focus on solutions instead of problems. Instead of staying stuck in the problem-rut, design thinkers always have an eye on the ideal future.

Problem solving in this manner involves looking at peoples’ needs and finding creative solutions. Design thinking forces individuals to use every tool at their disposal, from their intuition and imagination to their innate sense of logic and reasoning, to unravel complex issues and explore possibilities.[3]

When a solution is discovered, it is subject to change according to the needs of the company and its customers. Design thinking, as a rule, is never stagnant. It is an iterative and reflexive commitment to innovation.

Core Stages of Design Thinking

Although this is a vastly creative process, design thinking has several identifiable stages, including:[4]

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  1. Empathize
  2. Define
  3. Ideate
  4. Prototype
  5. Test & Evaluate

    We’ll take a closer look at these steps using a case study from the oral health aisle of Watsons, a pharmacy chain.[5]

    1. Empathize

    This stage involves by collecting as much information about a field as possible. You may process raw data, consult with experts, and get as much background as possible to envision a better future.

    By collecting data, Watsons realized that many shoppers visited the oral hygiene section of their pharmacies, but they often walked away empty-handed. Watsons developed a collaborative relationship with two other companies so that they could figure out why people weren’t making purchases.

    2. Define

    After you have enough background information, define what customers need. Conducting formal and informal surveys to gather customers’ feedback. Watch how people interact with the products and listen to how they describe the products.These observations allow businesses to figure out what people need and what is holding them back from getting what they want.[6]

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    The Watsons team interviewed shoppers and listened to anecdotes about their shopping experiences. Customers gave the company a variety of reasons why it was difficult to find the oral health products that they wanted. People said things like, “The shelf looks different every time I shop here,” or “I can’t find the product I’m looking for.”

      3. Ideate

      After you understand your customers’ pain points, work to reconcile the difference between what they expect and what you produce. Look for patterns from customer feedback and brainstorm solutions based on the information that you’ve been given. Staying focused on solutions allows people to come up with alternatives that hadn’t existed before.

      The team at the pharmacy reviewed all the data from customers and determined that most of them were plagued by the same problem. Many people claimed that they were not able to find the best product to fit their needs. In response to this, the collaborators decided that they needed to devise a system to make it easier for people to track down the toothpaste that was best for them.

      4. Prototype

      Design thinking requires novel solutions. The ideas may start as quick drawings or outlines, but they eventually become full-scale models. Along the way, incorporate feedback to remix and refine the solution until it is the best that it can be.

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      To make it easier for customers to find the perfect tube of toothpaste, Watsons and its collaborators decided that customers needed a “Quick Finder” system. They started out with rudimentary drawings, and consulted with customers and workers throughout the design phase. Eventually, they devised a prototype machine in which customers could input information about the product that they wanted. Whenever the system narrowed down the best products, it lit up a box around those products.

        5. Evaluate

        No solution is complete without testing to make sure that it effectively addresses the problem. In the evaluation phase, you run tests and obtain as much feedback as you can get. End-user input continues to be an important factor in this phase, but look at quantitative data also to ascertain if the prototype really worked.

        To ensure that the prototype for the “Quick Finder” addressed customer needs, the team consulted with customers and store workers to see what they had to say about the new tool. They also had to compare oral care sales before and after the implementation of the new design in order to measure its impact.

        Design Thinking Isn’t Just for Designers

        Anyone who needs to solve problems could benefit from adopting design thinking. It enables businesses to solve problems and come up with creative solutions by looking at issues holistically and addressing the needs of the end user.

        When you put design thinking into practice, you have more space to innovate and you improve your audience’s experience with your company.

        Reference

        More by this author

        Brian Lee

        Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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        Last Updated on January 24, 2020

        10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

        10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

        Habits are behaviors and patterns that you showcase by default. They enable you to carry out crucial activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting prepared for work.

        Interestingly, you follow this routine every day without considering them. Your unconscious habits create room for your brain to perform more advanced activities like problem-solving and choosing what book to read.

        Everyone has habits, and several of those habits are activated every day. I would classify them into three groups:

        • The first category includes the habits that you hardly notice as they have become a major part of your life- such as brushing teeth or wearing clothes.
        • The second category comprises good habits to have to be more successful-like eating healthily, exercising your body and reading books.
        • The last group consists of those habits that are harmful-like procrastinating, smoking or overeating.

        Habits are fundamental to becoming successful in life — or probably ending up a failure. Yet, as significant as habits are, some lack the knowledge of their capabilities.

        Habits are default activities that you engage in without giving an afterthought. They are automatic behavioral or mental activities. They help you carry out some actions without exerting too much energy. They simplify your life.

        Several people aspire to break bad habits. For instance, some people diet to stop overeating. They exercise to reduce obesity. Habits can hinder or impact your performance and productivity.

        That’s why I would share 10 good habits to have to be more successful in life.

        1. Begin Your Day with Meditation

        I recommend mindful meditation early in the morning. This practice helps you to be in the present moment. Consequently, it enables you to be mindful of challenging situations during the day.

        Different stressors may trigger as you go through the day; meditation helps you to remain calm before taking on the challenges.

        Personally, it helps me to devise strategies and think about ideas. Meditation is a good habit to have if you want to be connected to what’s significant in your life.

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        2. Be Grateful for What You Have

        Sometimes, you waste time thinking of what’s not enough. You become immersed in those daunting challenges. However, challenges justify the presence of hope. When you have life, you have expectations. You will be free from challenges when you are six feet under. The only strategy you have to stop focusing on your problems is to focus on what you have.

        Gratitude is a time-tested pathway to success, health, and happiness. It redirects your focus to what you have from what you lack. Here’s what James Clear does every day,[1]

        “I say one thing I’m grateful for each day when I sit down to eat dinner.”

        3. Smile

        Can you pause and smile before you continue reading this?

        Now here is what just happened based on research conducted by the Association for Psychological Science; you set a pace for living a happier life when you smile. A genuine smile or what’s called a Duchenne smile is a good habit to have if you want to find spiritual, emotional and mental peace of mind.[2]

        Smiling induces the release of molecules that function towards fighting stress. The physiological state of your body determines the state of your mind. When you slouch or frown, your mind takes cues relating to unhappiness and depression. But, once you adjust yourself by putting up a smile, you begin to feel a new level of excitement and vibrancy.

        Can you smile again?

        4. Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast

        Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is a good habit to have and forms a crucial part of your life. Nevertheless, about 31 million Americans skip their breakfast each day.[3]

        If you are fed up hearing that breakfast is a crucial component of your day, you are only fighting the truth. If you want to become more successful, you need to ‘break your fast’ with healthy foods every morning.

        This habit is not difficult to form if you usually rush out the door every single morning. You can wake up earlier to fix yourself a meal so you don’t break down during the day.

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        Get inspired by these 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time.

        5. Exercise Daily

        One of the good habits to have is to exercise your body and muscles every day. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift a weight. You only need to engage in less strenuous activities that oxygenate your blood and inject endorphins in your body.

        Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, classified exercise as a good habit to maximize his already jam-packed schedule.[4] He said,

        ‘I wake up by 5, meditate for 30 minutes, seven-minute workout times three, make coffee, and check-in.’

        He said on Product Hunt that he follows this routine every day as it gives him a steady-state that empowers him to be more productive.

        6. Manage Your Time as You Manage Your Finance

        Another good habit is the act of managing your time effectively. This goes a long way to impact your achievement.

        Time management is what separates the successful from the rest of the world as we all possess the same amount of time. How you leverage time determines your potential to succeed in life.

        So how do you manage your time effectively?

        Here’s Jack Dorsey’s recommendation in one of the Techonomy events;

        “I accomplish effective time management by theming my days and practicing self-discipline. These themes help me handle distractions and interactions. If a request or task does not align with the theme for that day, I don’t do it. This sets a cadence for everyone in the company to deliver and evaluate their progress”.

        And this is Dorsey’s weekly theme:[5]

        • Monday – Management
        • Tuesdays – Product
        • Wednesday – Marketing and growth
        • Thursdays – Developers and partnerships
        • Fridays – Culture and recruiting
        • Saturdays – Taking off
        • Sundays – Reflection, feedback, strategy, and preparing for Monday

        No wonder he was able to run two companies when others were struggling with one job.

        7. Set Daily Goals with Intentions

        Everyone has goals. It may relate to business or personal life. The truth is, we’re all tending towards a particular direction or another. Nevertheless, while long-term goals can offer you direction, it’s your daily goals that you establish that help you develop short-term goals that are essential for your success.

        Long-term goals may not give you the motivation you need to keep on. But when you implement your short-term milestones daily, you become fired up, and you can overcome the challenges that come with taking on bigger tasks.

        Here’s the main truth:Successful people don’t set goals without establishing their intentions. According to Jennifer Cohen of Forbes,[6]

        “What helps you to achieve your desired expectation is ensuring intentions accompany your daily goals.”

        Be intentional about your daily goals!

        8. Seek Inspiration

        It is usually difficult to be inspired for a considerable length of time. Sometimes, you become discouraged and feel like giving up on your goals when things are not working out as intended.

        A practical approach to stay on top of the situation is to inspire yourself each day. When you wake up in the morning after meditation, watch some motivational videos, and let the story of great leaders inspire you.

        Establish what Anthony Robbins called the ‘hour of power.’ Determine how many minutes you spend but make it count. Inspiration is the fuel for achievement because when you can conceive it in your mind, you can accomplish it.

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        Michal Solowow, an investor and the founder of Mitex, a construction company puts it this way,[7]

        “The problems I encounter in everyday life motivates me to find solutions. This is a self-propelling mechanism. becoming a billionaire was never a motivating factor.”

        9. Save Steadily, Invest with All Prudence

        I can exhaust the good habits to have without talking about saving and investing. Most times, you overlook the significance of saving for the future when you are living in your present moment. According to CNBC, a $1000 emergency will propel several Americans into debt.[8]

        However, it is not enough to save, and you must invest your fund and be wise with it. If you pay attention to this now, you will set yourself for a life of success in the future. Ensure you save at least six months in your emergency account so you can be prepared for any future emergency.

        10. Budget and Track Your Spendings

        Benjamin Franklin warned of taking the precaution of little expenses. He said,

        “A small leak sinks a great ship.”

        It is easy to discard little expenses, but the truth is they always add up. This happens when you fail to budget.

        Budgeting is a good habit to have, which can impact your financial life significantly. The money you spend on extravagant lifestyles can be saved and invested in your future.

        The Bottom Line

        Endeavor to cultivate these good habits to have to become more successful as you journey through life. The quicker you cultivate them, the faster you achieve your goals.

        More About Habits

        Featured photo credit: Andrijana Bozic via unsplash.com

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        Reference

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