design thinking in software development

Why is Software Design Thinking important for Business Growth?

According to Harvard Business Review, adopting new ways to organize your work can lead to remarkable advancements in your company’s performance. In the 1980s, people combined some set of tools like quality circles, kanban cards, etc with the insight that people could do much higher standard work than they were asked to do. The blend of these two applied to the work process in manufacturing was given the name ‘Total Quality Management.’ Today, another social technology has emerged – Design Thinking. It is believed that design thinking in software development has the potential to do for innovation exactly what TQM did for manufacturing.

Businesses have slowly realized that design can be used as a distinguishing feature to respond to alternating trends and behavior of people. Renowned companies like Apple, Microsoft, Disney, and IBM have demonstrated how design thinking impacts the bottom line and contributes to business growth.

In this article, we will explore what design thinking is, the five stages it involves, how and why it contributes to business growth, and the top companies across the globe utilizing this tool to add value to their businesses.

What is Design Thinking in software development?

An approach used to solve practical and creative problems which is wholly based on methods that designers use is called design thinking. This idea has evolved from a range of different fields which include architecture, engineering, and business.

Design thinking has a user-centric core and emphasizes understanding people’s needs and finding effective solutions to meet them. This in return leads to better products, services, and internal processes. The design strategy does wonders for complex problems that are ill-defined or unknown.

The Five Stages of Design Thinking

Developing an understanding of the five stages of design thinking in software development will help empower anyone trying to solve complicated problems. Now, let’s explore how design thinking works by using the design thinking process proposed by Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. The stages are as follows:

Empathize

The very first stage is to earn an empathic understanding of the matter you’re trying to resolve. To better comprehend the issue at hand, you need to engage yourself with people to know about their experiences and incentives. For a human-centric design approach like design thinking, empathy plays a very crucial role since this helps them in gaining insights by setting aside their assumptions about the world.

A considerable amount of information is gathered during the first phase which is used in the next one to establish the best possible understanding of the target end-user, their requirements, and the problems that might occur during the development of that particular product.

Define

In this stage, you define the core problems you and your team have identified through analyzing the information gathered during the Empathise stage. The defined problems are labeled as a problem-statement. The Define stage helps your team to develop features that will allow the users to resolve issues themselves with minimum difficulty. This stage will help you progress into the third one where you will look for ideas to resolve these issues.

Ideate

During the third stage, the designers are ready to start originating ideas. In the empathize stage you have identified your user’s needs and have further analyzed them in the Define stage, and finally ended up with a problem statement. Since you have established a solid background, you and your team can start to think innovatively using techniques like Brainstorming and Brainwrite to identify new solutions to the problem. By the end of this phase, you should be able to pick out some Ideation techniques to help you investigate and test your ideas thus intending to resolve these challenges.

Prototype

To help investigate the problem solutions derived in the third stage, the design team now introduces scaled-down versions of the product. Prototypes are shared and tested between the team itself, different departments, and even with a group of people outside the team to find the best possible solution for each problem identified in the first three stages.

The prototypes are implemented one at a time to see if they are to be either accepted, improved, re-examined, or rejected. Ultimately by the end of this stage, the design team will have an idea about the limitations inherent to the product and have a clearer view of how the real users would behave.

Test

Making use of the best solutions presented in the prototyping phase, designers now meticulously test the finished product. This is the final stage of the 5 stage-model but if viewed as an iterative process, it can be used to empathize and redefine the problems identified in the previous stages. Even during this final stage alterations can be made in the previous stages to rule out problem solutions.

The Benefits of Design Thinking in Software Development

Integrating Design thinking into your process can help add a tremendous amount of value to your business. You, however, need to ensure that the business strategy you employ produces a product that is not only desirable for customers but also achievable in terms of company budget and available resources.

Now, let’s explore some of the design thinking benefits for businesses to help attain maximum profit from your product.

Substantially reduces time-to-market

Through emphasizing troubleshooting and finding economical solutions, this approach can significantly reduce the duration spent on design and development – primarily in amalgamation with lean and agile.

Cost reduction and a huge ROI

By marketing your product at a faster pace, you can save up the business money to a great extent. Also, developing software using design thinking has been proven to yield a significant return on investment. Teams utilizing IBM’s Design Thinking techniques have computed a 300% ROI.

More loyal customer-base

The design thinking process revolves around a user-centric approach hence helps in boosting user engagement and customer retention for a longer period.

Promotes innovation

The idea behind this approach is all about challenging assumptions that encourage the stakeholders to think out of the ordinary. Hence, there’s room for lots of innovation that extends well beyond the design team.

Can be implemented across the company

The biggest advantage of using design thinking for business strategy is that it is not limited to the design team only. It encourages cross-team collaborations and can be applied to any team in any industry.

Design Thinking: A game-changer for many businesses

A process that integrates critical thinking and cross-team collaboration to deliver innovative solutions for a design thinking software solutions industry is now leveraging many companies to grow their businesses.

Some of the top companies using design thinking are:

Airbnb

The company at one point earned just US$ 200 in a week. They soon realized that the rental options on their website had poor-quality pictures. So, their team members flew to New York and captured their high-quality pictures to be posted on their website. By adopting the design thinking technique they achieved a 100% increase in revenue.

Burberry

A globally known fashion company, Burberry, was growing at a very slower pace in 2006 with a mere 2% per year. To alter the dynamics of their company the CEO, Angela Arhendts, realized that through digital demographics they can help attract their target end-users. Design thinking keeping the final consumers in mind along with empathy can unleash new potential for the company. By the end of 2012, revenues had grown to US$ 3 million with Burberry winning the title of being one of the most innovative brands in the world.

Ericsson’s Innova

A Swedish telecom company built its innovation center called Innova which emphasizes rapid prototyping to create an MVP product. Innova formulates cross-functional teams that help connect the teams with the company partners and customers. Since the creation of Innova, 4000 ideas have been submitted, around 450 acquiring first-round funding, and 5 ideas successfully becoming the company’s products.

Conclusion

Tools like design thinking have always existed to accelerate the business processes of this efficiency-based changing world. To help accomplish maximum benefits from design thinking, it is evident that we understand and master this technique before applying it practically to our organization.

If you are looking for a team of experts to help you build design thinking processes for your software company, then get in touch and our team will contact you.

product development outsourcing

A 2021 guide to product development outsourcing

The consumer-centric digital era of today has completely revolutionized the way businesses work. Enterprises are heading towards business expansions in diverse fields by collaborating with outsourced professional teams.

This shift towards outsourcing digital app development has been swift. Often, companies start with a project in-house – until reality hits them: things go wrong somewhere, and even with their well-intended business strategies, the idea heads towards failure. In such scenarios, enterprises require someone to fill in the void left behind.

Hurdles on the road to success can happen due to any number of reasons. What matters is how you pick up the fallen pieces. Handing over the reins of your product’s development outside the comfort of your organization might seem daunting at first but, the right digital product development company might be exactly what you need.

Therefore, in this article, we have put together a comprehensive guide for you to understand what outsourcing is and how it can be a valuable addition to your organization.

What is product development outsourcing in the tech world?

The idea of outsourcing might not seem to be your go-to ray of hope at first because of a myriad of reasons – most of them bottling down to this single fact: bad experience. One can, but, learn from past mistakes and vow never to repeat them.

In the digital app development outsourcing world today, effective communication is key. With better planning and interaction, this can turn the tables for your organization – and I mean that in a good way!

According to Statistica, in 2019, the global outsourcing market size reached 92.5 billion U.S. dollars, and it continues to grow at a megarate. Many tech giants have outsourced their work in the past like BaseCamp, GitHub and even Google!

So, what is product development outsourcing?

When businesses delegate the company’s non-core activities to a third-party, they are said to have outsourced a business process.

Non-core business activities for an organization are the ones in which the company does not have expertise.

So, let’s say that you are running a healthcare business, and you need a digital app made for enhanced collaboration among your employees and the patients. This app is the non-core feature of your business model, so you can outsource it to a competent digital product agency and let them take care of the task for you.

Perks of choosing a digital product development agency

Outsourcing the development of a digital product might be the smartest of moves for enterprises looking to build one to supplement their mainstream business process strategies. There are several advantages that businesses can enjoy by choosing to outsource their projects.

Focusing on the core business strategies

The prime reason for businesses that decide to outsource projects is so that they can focus on the critical, revenue-generating pursuits. According to Statistica, 35% of the enterprises outsource their IT side to free up resources for more critical projects.

Avoiding a heavy-investment venture

Getting in-house expertise to create a digital product might be very expensive. If, instead, you outsource the project to a digital product agency, it will be economically more feasible for your business.

Building a product that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the world

Outsourcing product development to a team of experts in the field can help you deliver on the latest tech standards in the industry without any compromise on quality.

After all, it’s more than just writing code for us!

What can you outsource to a digital product development company?

The best outsourcing strategy would be for you to go with a full-service digital product agency. This will get you everything from strategizing to the designing and the development stages, further into marketing your product along with consistent support and beyond.

In this section, let’s see what modules of the product development lifecycle you can consider outsourcing.

Discovery Workshop

If you are starting with the idea of developing a digital product app, we can get you through a 2-week long discovery workshop phase.

During this step, we can help you figure out:

  • The modules and features best suiting your application.
  • The required business flow.
  • Sketching wireframes for your product.
  • The best tech stack available according to the latest technology trends.
  • An estimated product launching cost.
  • Guidelines which can help you in training your staff.
  • Finally, elaborate upon the best growth strategy to adapt to market your business product.

The purpose of the discovery workshop is to help clarify the product requirements and define a roadmap for the development cycle.

Design Prototyping

An important step to effective digital product development is to design prototypes to understand how we want the final version of the app to be. This phase focuses on the key deliverables once the requirements have been gathered.

An important outcome from this phase is a functional mockup. With a team of expert developers, this is great as this will give them a point of reference to begin the development phase.

In case you reach out to us at a later stage, we can still use your mockups and rigorously test them for enhanced results.

Staff augmentation

If you are developing a digital product in-house with the perfect team already in place but you have rigid deadlines to follow, we can supplement your workforce by functioning alongside your expert team to help you in meeting your deadlines.

Project Management

You might be equipped with all the right tools to begin the development of your digital product, but lack the right expertise to manage your project. To make this work effectively, we can provide you with an entire team of experts along with an experienced manager who will manage the tasks among the team to enhance productivity. After all, organization and planning are critical to the success of any project.

Mob Inspire can augment your product development journey

Amid this on-going global pandemic, when the very definition of normal has been altered, supplementing your organization with a digital app might be just what your business requires.

You might not want to consult a digital product design and development studio when you first start out on a digital product but, rest assured that if on this development journey, things begin going astray, we are here to fix them for you.

Mob Inspire is one of the best companies for outsourcing software product development. If you are stuck in the process, reach out to us and let our experts help you out!