What is design thinking in mobile app development?
Mobile app development processes can be complex as there are different aspects that need to be considered. To create a successful mobile app, proper planning is needed. Design thinking processes enable you to set goals, analyze user’s problems or challenges and come up with solutions that are feasible. This process helps you test how your solutions can be useful to the users.
Design thinking also helps eliminate any UI/UX issues to ensure that you provide your users with the best experience. This approach requires in-depth analysis and research into user problems so that you create a product which resonates with them. In this article, we will discuss design thinking and how it is useful.
What is Design Thinking?
Design thinking is a process that includes understanding the users, identifying complex problems, and finding effective solutions for them. This process also enables you to find solutions for problems that are unknown. The design thinking method is used in various fields like mobile app development, architecture, research, IT and more.
The design thinking process is human-centric. This means that it analyzes how customers engage with a product or service. In the case of mobile apps, design thinking examines how users interact with the app and aims to solve any issues to improve the user experience. This is an iterative process as you continue to optimize your product to provide the best customer experience.
Why is design thinking important?
Design thinking methods can be beneficial in your app development process and enable you to create a successful app. Here are some things that design thinking can help you with:
Solve user problems
As discussed, that design thinking is a human-centric approach. While researching your target users, you can discover the problems your target customers may face. For example, complex navigation can discourage them from engaging with your app. If you identify this problem, you can come up with solutions that help you enhance the user experience. UX and UI are important aspects of your mobile app that contributes to creating a good user experience. Design thinking can help you come up with innovative solutions when you determine the problems your users face.
This process involves the contribution of various team members. With team members collaborating you will access different expertise that helps you create better solutions for your target users.
Create innovative solutions
Design thinking can enable you to find out unknown pain points that you may not have known before. In-depth research and analysis into your users can help you discover the various challenges they may come across. With design thinking you can also determine how viable your solutions are. The iterative approach lets you improve your product and come up with innovative solutions.
Become more efficient
Design thinking focuses on testing your product or solutions. You can create prototypes or wireframes of your mobile app to test it. Testing can help you identify any issues with your product or incorporate new ideas to refine it. This saves you time and resources as you improve your product in the testing phase, and the final outcome is exactly as you need it.
5 stages of design thinking
The design thinking process usually consists of these following 5 stages:
The first stage consists of observing your target users and understanding how they interact with a product or service. Empathize with your users to understand what their pain points are. This approach can be an effective tool to know and uncover problems that the users may not know they had.
Empathizing with the needs of your target customers helps you research their pain points in-depth to help you come up with solutions.
You empathize and research about your customer’s pain points in the first stage. In the second stage you need that information to define a problem that you are trying to focus on solving. When designing your mobile app, the first thing you will want to ask yourself is what problem is your product trying to solve. You can also look at the solutions that exist in the market and what differentiates you from your competitors.
Based on this problem you can further plan what types of features or design your app will have. All the attributes of your app make up the solution you are trying to offer. It helps you plan great user experience designs for your end-user.
This step includes coming up with ideas to help solve the problem you have identified. You can have team meetings which include people with different expertise that are valuable for your project. When various team members collaborate on the project, they bring their own creativity and innovative ideas to the table.
Here the focus should be on coming up with different ideas that can help solve the problem. A few ideas are needed to move to the next step.
In this stage you will convert your ideas into actual solutions. The focus here is to come up with a version of your product based on your ideas. For example, in the app development process you can start by creating wireframes to test how your app’s design will look like. This can give you a chance to look at how the feature would contribute to the user experience. Then you can develop an MVP or minimal viable product that only includes the necessary features to test it out in the market.
Through prototypes you can determine whether your ideas are going to be useful for your end-user or not. If you find out that some of the ideas are not plausible, you can brainstorm other ideas and incorporate them into your prototype.
Once you have the prototype you can test it out in the market. This testing stage is meant to observe how your end-user interacts with your product. You can collect their feedback on your product.
The design thinking process is iterative and nonlinear. After this stage you may realize that you need to go back to any of the previous stages to make improvements. In the case of a mobile app, you may discover that you need to make changes to any of the features or design elements in your app. You may want to go back to the prototype stage to make the necessary changes.
Testing is a great way to release your product on a small scale to test it out. Rather than spending your time and money at once creating a final version of the product, test it out first. This way you can take customer feedback and create a final version that is useful for your end-users.
Design thinking methods are used in many different industries. It is especially useful in the mobile app development process where user experience and design play a key role for the success of your mobile app. With design thinking you can develop a mobile app that resonates with your target users. It helps become more efficient with your time and resources. Prototype and testing enable you to revise and refine your product before the full-scale release. If there are any ideas or product features that don’t fit in with your solution, you can eliminate or optimize them.
This process ensures that you create a product that matches the needs of your customers. If your user experience is seamless then the users will be encouraged to engage with your app. It helps improve sales, brand loyalty and ROI.