EDITIONS

How design thinking is transforming software development

Design thinking is an approach that is gaining prominence in the corporate world. It is a methodology that uses designs as the basis to finding desirable solutions for clients. Here we explore how Design thinking is transforming software development.

Apoorve Dubey
5th Feb 2018
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Design Thinking for Software Development

Design Thinking for Software Development

Human beings are inherently attracted towards attractive designs. Design in simplest terms facilitates human interactions with an object. It may be design of a building, furniture, an illustration, product or even a concept.

Design thinking is an approach that is gaining prominence in the corporate world. It is a methodology that uses designs as the basis to finding desirable solutions for clients. Design thinking is used by many companies for coming up with solutions to various facets of their business. Design thinking is playing a key role for software development by making collaboration easier with teams across silos & locations. Here we look at how design thinking is transforming software development:

1. Technical Feasibility :

Design thinking starts with the end goal in mind. It is a tool that helps companies to evaluate the feasibility of the required solution. The starting point of the project is the end user goals and requirements and how they can be translated into software. Design thinking approach helps an organisation to visualize all the constraints, requirements, and end users clearly. It helps the offshore company to evaluate feasibility of the deliverables.

2. Designing for Users :

When the software is conceptualized, it is done with users at the heart of it. The user environment, constraints, assumptions, demographics are analyzed thoroughly before coming up with the preferred solution. This approach also encourages early feedback from the end users to ensure that the product ultimately meets their actual needs.

3. Clarity of Deliverables & Scope :

The clarity of deliverables and scope of work is extremely important to make a project successful. When the projects are complex, it is hard to analyze all the given constraints, underlying patterns affecting the projects and nail the scope of work. But design thinking revolves around understanding the client needs, constraints and assumptions effectively with designs.

The clients, end users and the software development teams can effectively share notes using the Design thinking approach. It helps in defining the deliverables and scope with clarity.

Design thinking Solutions

Design thinking Solutions

4. Rapid Prototyping :

Once the deliverables are clear, the designs of the project are shared with the clients. The clients can get to see everything and even take user feedback for the conceived designs. Once the designs are approved & finalized, the specifications for the project are defined clearly. The workflow of the project, its intended design and proof of concept can be built quickly using design thinking.

5. No Surprises during Implementation phase :

Once the designs are approved by the clients and end users, the implementation for the project can be done. One of the key hurdles in development of softwares is the difference between the concept and actual implementation. But once the designs are finalized and approved by the users/clients, there are hardly any surprises. What you see is what you get.

6. Communication & Collaboration is easier :

The collaborative approach puts the clients, development team and the end users together; they all pitch in to get the project on track. This approach makes communication and collaboration easy and effective. The designs also help in clear visualization of the concepts to keep everyone on the same page. Offshore teams and clients even though geographically apart can collaborate with ease using clarity using designs and visualization.

7. Focus on finding Solution :

Software Development requires clarity on the project objectives. The focus area should be very well defined for the project to materialize. With design thinking approach, the key focus area is the on finding the right solution to the core problem. Once the core problem is identified, design thinking encourages finding the best solution for solving it. This clear definition of the focus area helps offshore teams to stay on track and find the best solutions for achieving the project objectives.

Design thinking process

Design thinking process

8. Visibility of actual processes and work :

When working with virtual & offshore development teams it is important to understand their processes and work culture. The visualization of work and specific end goals make it easier to track the progress of the project. The milestones are also defined with clear visualizations that clients can easily follow. With this there is transparency and clients are well informed about day to day work that is being done by offshore development teams.

9. Allows Iterations and Ongoing Changes :

The flexibility to incorporate changes as per user feedback helps in converging to the best solution. When a new product or service is released for the end users, the iterations are done as per feedback received. The iterations and ongoing changes shape the final product/service. The enhancements and suggestions are also incorporated to make the product or service more appealing for the users.

Software Development

Software Development

10. Improved Outcomes for Projects :

Software development brings in a lot of value for companies, but it can also be complicated to bring abstract ideas to life. With design thinking, projects are implemented with a clear purpose, clarity, user involvement, practicality and learning; leading to improved outcomes. Design thinking is clearly helping software teams, especially, offshore teams to execute projects with more finesse.

Software products & digitization can provide compelling benefits to corporate clients helping them with to automate their business processes, resulting in faster time to market and considerable cost advantages.

Design thinking makes communication and collaboration quite easy. It has transformed the way software products and services are delivered to clients. Corporates around the world are opting for software teams to build aesthetic products/services, improving their brand perception and getting great value in return using Design thinking.

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