Here at DDStudio we participated in several Startup Week San Diego events last week. Those conversations are recapped here.

It takes a bold will and determination to lift your idea off the ground and fight for it from conception to reality. The best way to ensure success that is embraced by your users is to leverage Design Thinking at each stage of your development. Design Thinking is the fundamental process in which business practices and endeavors are approached through a human-centered mindset; new concepts and products are filtered through the acknowledgement of what people want and need while simultaneously applying your company’s innovative toolkit to develop this new technology that can meet these socially responsible requests. By understanding the emotional expectations and desires fueling the consumer or customer, you can guarantee your business has a market and a thoughtful purpose.

Here are four ways to incorporate Design Thinking at each step:

  1. Interpreting Your Project

Before kicking off a project you want to ask tough questions to ensure that entrepreneurs understand their customer, market, cultural and technological trends and the big “WHY” when committing to their product realization journey.

Accessing design thinking will assist in the understanding of what societal issues your products are considering to help, and in what ways they may be directly approached within your business. You must agree on who the audience is and to prioritize the project within a reasonable time frame of social progress. Review the history of the product’s market, and move forward considering the modern AND future of the market for PEOPLE and what they wish to see changed or resolved. Don’t judge or debate ideas within the mindscape of your market’s typical approach. Think within a completely societal and functional context.

  1. Opportunity Assessment

Leverage strategic input in understanding your audience and what they may possibly want for innovative improvement to daily life. An opportunity assessment should include: Stakeholder Workshops, ethnographic research, empathy mapping, journey / experience mapping, market positioning, technology positioning, business model simulation.

These tools are choreographed to achieve several important tasks including team alignment, prioritized objectives, market awareness and ultimately determining customer empathy and emotional drive. You must identify the motivations of your end-users, and begin generating as many ideas as possible to identify these desires.

  1. Innovation Assessment

As your business transitions into the innovation and growth stages, the creative juices really start flowing and your team begins to implement concepts into the first phases of tangible mockups. This is where you combine, expand, and elaborate on all your team’s ideas. Design thinking will ensure you reach human based conclusions. The most practical ideas aren’t always the best, as a market practicality is usually BUSINESS oriented thinking, which often doesn’t include human oriented solutions.

Build these tools into your Design Thinking: sketches, CAD, wireframes, user flow, visuals, mock-ups, feedback loops/iteration. As mockups come together, you move closer to a finalized product stage, in which the hands-on implementation comes together.

4. Implementation Phase

Soon that brilliant, finalized concept comes together that will launch your startup into the world of market players. Within the implementation phase, concepts are refined, engineered, prototyped and prepped for low quantity/ scaled manufacturing (hardware). After all the essential prepwork, your prototype can eventually move to production.

Design thinking will ensure you gather crucial initial feedback from potential consumers, and determine if your solutions are meeting their goals. There is always room for fine –tuning, especially when you know the ins and outs of your human-centered conclusions.

DDStudio’s nimble culture and proven process compliments the spirited resilience of entrepreneurs. In determining the best strategy to grow your company from startup to success, you can trust our track record of providing superior design and engineering innovation at a level that leverages the combined team talent and turns dreams into a reality. We’re all a part of the design world, looking to push the bounds the product possibilities.