Every once in a while you come across a book that completely changes the way you see a specific subject. This was the case for me with Change by Design.

One of the biggest takeaways from this book for me as a graphic designer is that design, as a broad concept, is not necessarily related to products, nor something you can see or feel. In particular, design thinking is an interdisciplinary practice, that can combine strategy and tactics, approaching problems from an economic point of view all the way to the emotional.

I first learned about this approach in UX Design. For instance, one of the key considerations as part of the UXD process is to gather information from the relevant participants in every phase, whether that be company stakeholders, legal advisors or end users. The UXD process cannot be carried out in isolation, lest it result in something nobody but the creator wants to use.

In the same way, design thinking really needs to occur “outside the box”, and be synergistic, if the end goal is to create solutions and not simply appealing objects.

What is Design Thinking?

In abstract terms, design thinking is a set of principles that can be applied by diverse people to solve a wide range of problems. It can involve thinking about strategy, tactics, ergonomics or even business viability, in order to create products that solve problems in more than one way, making them more valuable overall and resilient. This will make more sense as you read the following key takeaways.

Key takeaways

1. To be a design thinker, taking an integrative approach to projects is crucial.

2. Revolutionary design solutions stem from observation and letting consumers take the lead.

3. Think with your hands, not just with your head – a prototype will get your idea out there faster.

4. Design thinking uses storytelling to make ideas and products more relatable to consumers

5. Smart teams and an inspiring work environment are the basis of successful innovations.

4. A good design thinker always asks, ¨why¨ and is willing to take her ideas to the masses.

5. Design thinking promotes change by encouraging customers to adopt more sustainable behaviours.

Closing thoughts

Hopefully these key points have demonstrated the wide scope of design thinking. To think in terms of design is not equivalent to think like a designer. A designer might think only in terms of appearance and a design thinker might not know anything about aesthetics or usability. So, to think in terms of design is a skill set that can be learned and adopted by anyone who wishes to innovate in a holistic way, in almost any context.

Where to find the book

You may find the hardcover book in most popular book stores, but it is also available as an ebook for kindle.

Change by Design - Tim Brown

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