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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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        1 26 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life 2 How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve Success 3 How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day 4 The Importance of Time Management: 8 Ways It Matters 5 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life

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        Last Updated on August 20, 2019

        26 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life

        26 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life

        If you pay attention to your everyday life careful enough, you’ll know that you can learn from everything and everyone you come across. Our life is basically full of useful lessons that we should learn.

        Here are 26 useful things to learn that Abhishek A. Singh shared on Quora. Let’s see how these life theories would lead you to live a different life.

        1. Primacy and recency: People mostly remember the first and last things that occurred, barely the middle.

        When scheduling an interview, ask the employer the time slots they do interviews and try to be the first or the last.

        2. If you work in a bar or in customer service of any kind, put a mirror behind you at the counter.

        In this way, angry customers who approach you will have to see themselves in the mirror behind you and the chance of them behaving irrationally will be lowered significantly.

        3. Once you make a sales pitch, don’t say anything else.

        This works in sales, but it can also be applied in other ways.

        My previous boss was training me and just gave me pointers. I was working at a gym trying to sell memberships. He told me that once I got all the small talk out of the way and presented the prices, the first person to talk would lose.

        It didn’t seem like a big deal but it actually worked. Often there were long periods of awkward silence as the person tried to come up with some excuses, but usually they bought.

        4. If you ask someone a question and they only partially answer, just wait.

        If you stay silent and keep eye contact, they will usually continue to talk.

        5. Chew gum when you’re approaching a situation that would make you nervous, like public speaking or bungee jumping.

        When we eat, our brain tell ourselves, “I would not be eating if I were danger. So I’m not in danger.” This has helped me to stay calm.

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        6. People will always remember how you made them feel, not what you said.

        Also, most people like talking about themselves; so ask lots of questions about them.

        7. When you’re learning something new, teach it to a friend. Let them ask you questions about it.

        If you’re able to teach something well, you will be sure that you’ve understood it very well.

        8. If you get yourself to be really happy and excited to see other people, they will react the same to you.

        It doesn’t always happen the first time, but it will definitely happen the next time.

        9. The physical effects of stress — breathing rate and heart rate — are almost identical to the physical effects of courage.

        When you’re feeling stressed in any situations, immediately reframe it : Your body is getting ready to be courageous, you are NOT stressed.

        10. Pay attention to people’s feet.

        If you approach two people in the middle of a conversation, and they only turn their torsos and not their feet, they don’t want you to join in the conversation.

        Similarly, if you are in a conversation with a coworker who you think is paying attention to you and their torso is turned towards you but their feet are facing in another direction, they want the conversation to end.

        11. Confidence is more important than knowledge.

        Don’t be intimidated by anyone, everyone is playing a role and wearing a mask.

        12. If you pretend to be something for long enough, you will eventually become it.

        Fake it till you make it. Period.

        13. Not to be creepy, but if you want to stare at someone unashamedly, look directly past them and wait for them to try and meet your eyes.

        When they fail to do that, they’ll look around (usually nervously for a second) they won’t look at you again for some time. This is your chance to straight up stare at this person for at least 45 seconds.

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        And as suggested by Brian Stutzman:

        If you’re staring at someone and get caught, DON’T turn your head or your body to look away, because that just confirms that you were staring.

        Just move your EYEBALLS off the person. Unlike turning your head, it’s instantaneous. And the person will think you were just looking at something behind them and that they were mistaken for thinking you were staring. Do it confidently, and ignore any reaction from the person, and you can sell it every single time.

        After a second, you can even look back at them with a “Why are you staring at me?” look on your face to really cement the deal!

        14. Build a network.

        Become the information source, and let the information be yours. Even grabbing a beer with a former colleague once a year will keep you in the loop at the old office.

        Former coworkers might have gotten a new position in that office you always wanted to work in, great! Go to them for a beer, and ask about the office. It’s all about connections and information.

        15. If you are angry at the person in front of you driving like a grandmother…

        Pretend it is your grandmother, it will significantly reduce your road rage.

        main-qimg-17c6060ba5491ad5af817faf5046a13b

          16. Stand up straight.

          No slouching, hands out of pockets, and head held up high. It’s not just a cliche — you literally feel better and people around you feel more confident in you.

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          17. Avoid saying “I think,” and “I believe” unless absolutely necessary.

          These are phrases that do not evoke confidence, and will literally do you no good.

          18. When feeling anxious, clean up your home or work space.

          You will feel happier and more accomplished than before.

          main-qimg-a0187fc57b3d874f251bd06c388991dd

            19. Always buy the first pitcher or round of drinks.

            You’d be surprised how long you could drink on the phrase “I bought the first one.”

            20. Going into an interview… be interested in your interviewers.

            If you focus on learning about them, you’ll seem to be more interesting and dynamic. (Again, people love to talk about themselves.)

            21. Pay attention parents! Always give your kid a choice that makes them think they are in control.

            For instance, when I want my son to put his shoes on I will say ,”do you want to put your star wars shoes on or your shark shoes on?”

            Pro-tip: In some cases, this works on adults.

            main-qimg-0dc201c56efe2beb49b842205f253dfb

              22. Your action affects your attitude more than your attitude affects your action.

              As my former teacher said “You can jump and dance FOR joy, but you can also jump and dance yourself joyful.”

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              23. When a group of people laugh, people will instinctively look at the person they feel closest to in that group.

              Notice who you look at and who look at you when you laugh with a group of people!

              24. If you want to build rapport or gain someone’s trust quickly, match their body posture and position.

              If someone is sitting with her legs crossed, cross your legs. If they’re leaning away from you, lean away from them. If they’re leaning towards you, lean towards them.

              Mirroring and matching body position is a subconscious way to tell if someone trusts you or is comfortable with you. If you’re sitting with your arms crossed and you notice someone else is sitting with her arms crossed, that is a good indicator that you have/are successfully built/building rapport with that person.

              25. The Benjamin Franklin Effect (suggested by Matt Miller)

              I find the basis of the Benjamin Franklin effect is very useful and extends far beyond pencil borrowing. This knowledge is useful in the world of flirting too.

              Asking a girl in your class if you can borrow a pencil or her notes or to explain the homework will make her more likely to like you than if you let her borrow your stuff or are the one to help her. Even just asking a girl to buy you drinks (facetiously) leaves a much bigger impression than offering to or actually buying a girl a drink.

              The best part is it kills 3 birds with one stone: you get the advantages of the favor itself, the person subconsciously likes you more, and it makes them more open to future favors and conversation.

              26. Handle panic and anxiety behaviors by tapping fingers (Suggested by Jade Barbee)

              When you’re feeling stressed, worried or angry, tap each finger tip while thinking (or speaking quietly) a few specific words about what is bothering you. Repeat the same words while tapping each of your 10 fingers, including thumbs.

              For example, tap while saying, “I’m so angry with her…” Doing so will likely take the charge out of the feeling and return you to a more resourceful (better feeling) state of being. It’s called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or “tapping,” and it is useful in many life situations – emotional sadness, physical pain, food cravings, traumatic memories…

              Featured photo credit: Nicole Wolf via unsplash.com

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