Brown, T. Design Thinking. Harvard Business Review, June 2008.

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The article defines design thinking as ‘a methodology that imbues the full spectrum of innovation activities with a human-centered design ethos’. Human-centered is further defined as understanding (through observations) what people want, need, like and dislike about particular products. In addition to human-centered ethos, design thinking is claimed to be a team-based approach. Thomas Edison is appraised to be one of the first practitioners of design thinking.

The article praises the power of iterative human-centered approach for its power to create and further develop innovative product and service ideas. The article’s description of design thinking in different projects is very near of basic principles of user-centered design.

Interestingly the article also lists most important characteristics of ‘design thinkers’: empathy, integrative thinking, optimism, experimentalism, and collaboration; and ways to include design thinking in innovation projects and processes: begin at the beginning, take a human-centered approach, try early and often, seek outside help, blend big and small projects, budget to the pace of innovation, find talent any way you can, and design for the cycle. It would be very interesting to see these characteristics and tactics developed further.

Posted by Petri

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