2023 Vision

Charlie: You know, there's sort of, this new trend, which is where design thinking is really faced on. It's user-centered design or customer-centered design. The whole goal is focusing on the user. And there's a sort of an evolution in that too where we have others to consider. There are the people who work at the company, there's the environment, community that the company works in, and also the shareholders. The shareholders are an important part of this equation. So, there are these movements too within design thinking to not just say, user-centered design. It could be more stakeholder-centered design. So, like any process, it is ever-changing and it's changing based on how a lot of companies in the market are trying to employ design thinking as a process and seeing successes and failures in adapting their approach.

This Year’s Trend

Last year, we were talking about what some would consider a buzzword, design-thinking and design thinking is a practice within organizations and within consulting firms. And what's happened over the year, over this last year isn't necessarily mass adoption of design thinking as a practice, but it's started to play a stronger role within organizations. What's interesting about it though there's been a lot of pushback on design thinking part of it is, that consulting firms are less likely to sell or offer practices around design thinking or services around design thinking. A lot of that's because the a lot of the design thinking processes have already been, sort of, incorporated into best practices within companies already. So whether or not they're calling it design thinking or not, they're starting to do this idea of understanding, creating personas, understanding the user, looking at creating ideas and testing and whatnot. Also, there was a bit of push-back there, as companies were disillusioned with the promise of design thinking. I think part of this is on a number of factors. One is this idea that either consulting firms, or others would say… here are some very prescriptive steps, if you follow these steps and you got to follow them for your product or service to be successful and so what would end up happening is not everything in business can be broken down into prescriptive steps and there may have been a lack of success in certain areas. So a bit of disillusionment and then also I think the branding around it. So design thinking was, sort of, presented as a designer-led exercise and this sort of goes against, you know, what we feel about the role of design and product development and that is this collaboration, this equal collaboration with development and the business teams and framing it as a design-led exercise, I think, that may have rubbed people the wrong way. But in general, design thinking practices have been adopted and sort of built into existing systems.