It's common for many companies to struggle with striking a balance between the technical aspects and limitations of software development and also ensuring an optimal user experience. Doing so requires development teams to view the project through the lens of the end user of the software and their human experience when using the product.
Design Thinking is a common methodology that is employed by innovation teams to build software products that not only accomplish the desired goal but provide a seamless customer journey. MJV Technology and Innovation is one of the leading firms helping Fortune 500 companies implement design thinking within the software development process. Their CEO Mauricio Vianna shared insights with us on what companies need to pay attention to when incorporating a design thinking methodology to optimize their product development.
What is the core idea behind design thinking?
Mauricio Vianna: Design Thinking is a bold, systematic, and non-linear approach focused on the human being. It is a method that seeks to generate solutions that align the desires and unmet needs of the consumer or user with the generation of value for the business. It combines analytical, intuitive, and abductive reasoning to identify, understand and solve challenges with empathy.
What role does design thinking play in the software development process?
MV: Design Thinking ensures that software solutions consistently solve the real needs of current and future users and generates higher market value as a result. In addition, through Design Thinking, the solution can be tested and refined in a prototyping process, which allows the reduction of errors at the moment of development, mitigating risks, driving efficiency, and optimizing human and financial resources.
How can CIOs better implement a design thinking methodology when developing software?
MV: We have a few phases within the Design Thinking approach that can be integrated into software development to bring value to users and the business.
1. Through the immersion and analysis phase, design thinking helps to determine the software's requirements based on customers' wants and needs. These requirements are translated into individual features and user stories that provide the foundation for the future sprints.
2. After defining the requirements, the prototyping phase focuses on testing hypotheses with users through simple prototypes or more complex MVPs, integrating their input, iterating, and ensuring an even more assertive solution. In addition, it helps to establish the best digital experience, considering navigability, usability, interface design, and the entire user journey in the solution.
What are three mistakes to avoid?
MV: First, designing for yourself and not the user. Second, thinking that prototypes are a waste of time (they serve a vital role). And lastly, leaving design to designers alone, without involving the other departments.
What is a good way for measuring success of a design thinking methodology?
MV: Measurement is very important for making an objective, data-driven analysis of what is working in a development project. We use a number of metrics that measure performance including customer feedback (such as Net Promoter Score), customer effort score (CES), the cost of customer support, conversion rates, customer retention rates, and the reduced number of complaint tickets.