There’s long been a misconception that design is a “nice to have” or an afterthought that can help make a feature more attractive — but this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s also the opposite of how user experience (UX) practitioners approach a problem. When you lead with design thinking, you pave the path to seamless navigation and an overall positive experience for the people using your services and products.
Why does this matter?
According to a PWC report, one in three consumers will walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience. Read those numbers again; that’s 33% of consumers — and 54% of them already feel that most companies need improvement.
The research goes on to state that 82% of U.S. consumers and 74% of non-U.S. consumers want digital experiences that emphasize human interaction in the future. However, as the report notes, “the technology supporting human interaction must be seamless and unobtrusive across platforms.” In other words, in order for these factors to make any difference to your users, they must be part of a process which has been thoughtfully designed from start to finish. With this in mind, it’s critical for organizations to place design thinking at the forefront of the customer experience (CX).
So, how do you get to a place where you’re consistently aligned with customer expectations? Let’s take a look at three ways design thinking can help.
Design thinking provides immediate solutions to a problem
Design thinking looks at a problem through a different lens. Instead of drumming up the most obvious solutions, it takes a user-centric approach to uncover new and innovative solutions. Design thinking also tends to operate in sprints to achieve a minimum viable product (MVP), path, or service so that improvements and iterations can take place in near real-time.
Design thinking leads with empathy
How is it possible to create efficient and effective solutions right out of the gate? Empathy. Design thinking doesn’t work without this crucial component — which brings us right back to the human-centric research mentioned earlier. Only by placing yourself in the user’s shoes are you able to see gaps and areas for improvement.
Design thinking is flexible
Unlike many traditional methods of problem-solving, design thinking is fluid and leaves room for experimentation. If something isn’t working, you can reassess the data and analytics, along with user testing, and make strategic shifts throughout the journey.
No matter how great the product or service, customers have no shortage of options in today’s market. There are so many factors at play when it comes to creating the ideal journey for your end-user, and the most effective ones lead with design.