The Design Approach to Building a Business

One of the hottest approaches to creativity and innovation in business right now is the design approach. In the United States, D-schools (design schools) such as the Stanford Design School are springing up in competion with (or complementing) traditional B-schools (business schools).

The basic idea of the design approach is to

(i) understand the client and the “design problem” – to thoroughly understand the context in and the constraints under which a design solution must be produced
(ii) use a variety of creative design techniques (everything from brainstorming through to visualisation through to exploring scenarios) to develop ideas for good designs
(iii) build and refine prototypes with a series of quick iterations, to test the ideas against the customer ina real world context
(iv) implement the concept in commercial context

These steps are detailed further in pages 6-7 of the excellent book “The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm” by IDEO design guru Tom Kelley.

There are many layers to the design approach, but some of the factors that appeal are:

  • The design approach is not just analytical, it recongises the creative element that goes into good design without taking away from the value of good research and analysis
  • The design approach is client centric – it locates design in the reality of the markets and customers the business operates with
  • The design approach is experimental – it deliberately generates a number of design hypotheses and tries out the prototypes
  • The design approach is iterative – it gets client input on an ongoing basis from an early stage

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The Design Approach to Building a Business

One of the hottest approaches to creativity and innovation in business right now is the design approach. In the United States, D-schools (design schools) such as the Stanford Design School are springing up in competion with (or complementing) traditional B-schools (business schools).

The basic idea of the design approach is to

(i) understand the client and the “design problem” – to thoroughly understand the context in and the constraints under which a design solution must be produced
(ii) use a variety of creative design techniques (everything from brainstorming through to visualisation through to exploring scenarios) to develop ideas for good designs
(iii) build and refine prototypes with a series of quick iterations, to test the ideas against the customer ina real world context
(iv) implement the concept in commercial context

These steps are detailed further in pages 6-7 of the excellent book “The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm” by IDEO design guru Tom Kelley.

There are many layers to the design approach, but some of the factors that appeal are:

  • The design approach is not just analytical, it recongises the creative element that goes into good design without taking away from the value of good research and analysis
  • The design approach is client centric – it locates design in the reality of the markets and customers the business operates with
  • The design approach is experimental – it deliberately generates a number of design hypotheses and tries out the prototypes
  • The design approach is iterative – it gets client input on an ongoing basis from an early stage

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.