“We wanted to shift that culture towards a focus on users’ outcomes,” Hill says.
IBM today published its very own set of design thinking guidelines—a selection of best design practices the company hopes other big businesses will look to as they seek to remain relevant and profitable in a rapidly evolving corporate landscape.
corporate trend in design thinking
even though design thinking champions nonlinear thought processes, big companies often find themselves mired in the methodology’s suggested phases (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test). Ultimately this defeats the purpose, which is partly to build agility into the product-creation process.
The company’s version of design thinking centers around something it calls “the loop.” Visualized, the loop is an infinity symbol punctuated with four dots—the yellow dot representing the user, the green dots representing the various actions of “observe,” “reflect,” and “make.” Explained simply, the loop represents the entire product-creation process, beginning with user-centered research all the way through prototyping (“everything is a prototype!” says Hill), to building and launching a product.
loop becomes a loop when you realize that the iterative process is never actually done; perhaps the loop’s most important requirement is reflecting on what’s been created and constantly improving it.