Design Thinking is a solution-oriented method in which, again, the user is central. It is an iterative or repetitive process, in which, on the basis of feedback loops, one always strives to optimize the obtained 'solution'. If it turns out that the solution does not sufficiently meet the needs of your customer or user, you can always revise certain steps in the process. So basically you keep iterating and testing until you have achieved the desired result.
At Dropsolid, we apply the Design Thinking methodology in four steps:
1. Empathise & define
To provide a user-friendly solution, you must first get to know and understand your target audience, for whom the website or application is primarily intended. Questions like "Who are they?", "What do they do?" and "What drives them?" help with this.
In the first phase, we for instance go through the following steps:
- Based on a few personas from your target groups, we create customized customer journeys.
- We determine the needs and expectations of the various target groups and stakeholders.
- We formulate a solid value proposition, which is in line with your brand.
- After a thorough analysis we define the business objectives.
- On this foundation we determine clear and realistic KPIs.
Once the target group and pain points are mapped out, the brainstorming process starts. We involve as many team members as possible in this process and come up with numerous out-of-the box solutions. If, in a later test phase, it turns out that solution A does not deliver the desired user experience, we easily pick up on this step, and as a result, develop solution B further. So we devise concrete solutions together, in different phases. We draw up a model of the information architecture, as well as wireframes. We also take a professional look at your SEO.
Our designers create a prototype with an accompanying user interface or UI. The prototype is interactive, focuses on the experience of your users and is in line with your corporate identity.
Next, we translate the user flows into concrete 'wireframes', or the building plan of your website. In this phase, we establish things like: navigation, layout of the various pages, components and call to actions. Again: we put the end user first. The layout of the website is systematically determined on the basis of the thinking and needs of your end user.
Once the wireframes are approved, the web design or user interface design begins. This is more than just ‘a little bit of paint on top of the wireframes'. The decision to color a button red or not can have quite a big impact on the conversion rate on your website. Are your call to actions not clear enough? Then your user will get stuck and chances are he/she will drop out.
To conclude this phase, we create an interactive prototype of certain predefined user flows, so they can be tested in the next phase.
4. User testing & iteration
- User testing with about five people from the target audience.
- Performing defined tasks and assignments on the interactive prototype of your website.
- A/B-testing, where different possibilities are tested side by side.
- Heatmaps showing how the user uses the prototype.
Any feedback from the tests helps determine whether specific steps in the process need to be revised, whether the solution provided is satisfactory, and whether the end user's needs and expectations are being met.