Posted on 07/28/2017 via BSH Home Appliances Group

The Key to Fast, Consumer-Oriented Results

The infectious appeal of Design Thinking

We’re all excited about ‘Design Thinking’, an approach to human-centered innovation, that has been helping us solve complex problems and put our customers at the centre of everything we do. Here, we explain why.

‘Design Thinking’ workshops have been making an appearance across our sites worldwide. Those who have tried it say that it is an infectious way of working and the principles and processes are helping our teams to develop some new, truly original solutions to improve the quality of life of life quality for our consumers.

What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is an approach that has been devised to help our teams better understand the user experience and any problems our consumers might be experiencing with our brands’ products. The process normally begins by bringing together a small group of 6-8 employees from different disciplines and engaging them in a team ‘Design Thinking Sprint’ of up to 3 weeks. During this time the team works without any kind of hierarchy on a creative exercise focused solely on tackling one specific design challenge.

Pushing teams to the limits of their creativity

Psychologist and User Experience Manager Henning Brau, who works in our designated User Experience Lab in Munich, is excited about the creative potential Design Thinking offers. He says it is particularly interesting because “we use in-house observations and interviews to deeply empathize with our customers. We try to really see things from our customers’ perspective and understand what they want.”

“We never know what might come out at the end of a sprint,” Henning says. “This is because Design Thinking pushes teams to the limits of their creativity, by delving into “subconscious experiences” which are full of ground-breaking innovations, which we only have to look for,” he says.

He uses the hype surrounding ‘Pokémon Go’ as an example of this, “if you had asked people before what they wanted to do with their Smartphone that they couldn’t already, hardly anyone would have said ‘I want to hunt monsters.’ Yet, despite that, it was a huge success worldwide,” he says. For some things you really have to see it and experience it before you know if people will like it. In that respect, the strength of Design Thinking is that it helps “us find things people would want if they only knew about them and pour these creative ideas into innovations, people really want” he says.

Henning Brau says that the biggest advantage of ‘Design Thinking’ is the speed but also the fun with which new ideas can be developed and turned into something tangible. He says “we are making our company more agile: Sprints can be instigated as soon as interesting topics arise and these can be explored in the shortest possible amount of time.”

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