Using Design Thinking for Better Digital Transformation

Use Design Thinking for Digital Transformation

Adapt to new challenges with empathy and understanding

Let’s say you’re tasked with implementing a new type of business software that your team will use daily. 

You’ve been told promising things like, “this will increase project efficiency,” or that it will “generate new leads through innovation.” 

However, you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed because the new system is drastically different in both form and function from the one your team currently uses. You’re worried people might struggle with such a big shift from what they already know. 

We’re all dealing with situations like this, especially in a world where outdated analog systems are digitizing.

Software is constantly updating.

Devices are re-invented and re-packaged at an ever-increasing pace. 

Digital transformation has proved to be tough for many businesses and agencies.

According to data from McKinsey and Company, “the average digital transformation stands a 45 percent chance of delivering less profit than expected.”

Why is this the case?

Problems often stem from a fragmented approach caused by poor communication or disjointed leadership. That same McKinsey and Company article lists laying out clear priorities as one solution for improving the odds of success. There’s also usually no lasting support or relationship between the those who implement the technology, you, and/or your users.

Instead of focusing on the technology, focus on your users instead. The people using the technology are the ones who are going to interact with the new piece of software. This makes them more important than the technology itself. 

Use Design Thinking To Increase the Success of Your Next Digital Transformation

Darin Eich, Ph.D. is a leader a process called Design Thinking. He defines it as a mindset that helps develop new ways to solve problems, add value, and fulfill customers’ needs. In a recent article, he outlined five steps he uses to implement design thinking.

The first step is to empathize.

In his own words, “[The] process begins with the humans (your customers, users, or stakeholders) you want to design for and help with your solution.” Darin recommends the creation of something called User Personas which is, “a fictional character that represents a type of customer or user.” 

These personas can be based off of interviews, observations, written testimonials, or any other method you can use to gain a deeper understanding of your users instead of just guessing. Using a mindset tool like design thinking increases the success of digital transformation. The personas and subsequent solutions you generate are based off their specific wants and needs.

Following the other four steps of design thinking further build this relationship with your users, helping you craft new technology around them instead of the other way around. Your final product or solution will take their experiences, mindsets, and biases into account leaving them with an almost tailor-made experience.

Let’s go back to our example of implementing the new business software.

To increase the success of this digital transformation, you won’t focus on nebulous features or benefits.

Instead, you’ll create a persona based on your team’s specific wants and needs. This will help you figure out how they think, act, and react to new situations. Once you have a grasp on how they receive this new information, you can choose the software or other new piece of technology that aligns with this goal. This leads to better engagement, which will empower your team to provide better feedback on how they’re using the technology and adapting to the new change.

So, when the time inevitably comes to implement another new software, system, or device, you and your team will be better equipped to adopt it… whatever it may be!

This is just one type of situation you might find yourself in. There are many others you might come across when facing digital transformation.

Check out this whiteboard video to see how one of our clients tackled their digital transformation dilemma.