What sets us apart? Whisk Creative has been serving as a marketing consultant and marketing agency in Mildura for quite some time now. Recently, we discussed what distinguishes our marketing work from other advertising agencies, brand identity services, and business consultancies. Was it our creativity? Our knowledge of the local market? Possibly. However, we do think it consists of three core principles: empathy, lateral thinking, and experimentation. Luckily, we think there’s already a name for that. Let’s talk about that here.
What is Design Thinking?
Design thinking is an iterative, nonlinear process where you try to understand your users, challenge assumptions, reframe problems, and come up with innovative solutions that can be prototyped and tested.
Design Thinking is fundamentally a problem-solving approach, distilled into the design field, that combines user-centred perspectives with rational, analytical explorations, with the aim to produce innovative solutions.
The ideology behind Design Thinking states that in order to create innovative solutions, a person should adopt the designer’s mindset and approach a problem from a user’s point of view.
The backbone of design thinking is the double-diamond framework, visualised by the Design Council. The journey starts with identifying one apparent problem and expanding the insights and information about that problem through extensive and in-depth research. It is then followed by distilling all of these data into a clear, insightful, and well-crafted problem statement. The possibilities open up again after, as the process demands a wide array of ideas and potential solutions. Then, the ideas are combined, refined, and prioritised to come up with a definitive solution which will be tested and delivered.
When done well, design thinking helps you to understand the mindsets and needs of the people for whom you are creating, uncovers opportunities from those needs, and leads you toward new, innovative solutions.
The Different Frameworks: Explained
There are three major schools of thought in design thinking that practitioners usually switch across, depending on the design challenge: The Standford d.School Model, the Nielsen-Norman Group Model, and the Human Centered Design Model.
The Stanford d.School Model
The Stanford d.School Model involves five stages, namely: Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test.
The NNGroup Model
The Nielsen-Norman Group Model is an authoritative institution on design (see: Don Norman, one of the pioneers of design thinking), and has created its own version of design thinking. The model “follows an overall flow of 1) understand, 2) explore, and 3) materialize. Within these larger buckets fall the 6 phases: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test, and implement.”
The HCD Model
Finally,IDEO, a global design firm along with the Melinda-Gates Foundation, popularised Human Centered Design Model, breaking it down into three phases: Inspiration, Ideation, Implementation, or in their version: Hear, Create, and Deliver.
The Similar Principles
All in all, these frameworks agree on the same things. Let’s go over some of them:
- Empathise refers to the process of understanding the needs of the intended users and identifying the most painful or delightful parts of their experience. Read about how empathy drives connections here.
- This leads to the Define phase, where the goal is to write the design challenge statements often in the form of “how might we’s”.
- Based on the design challenge, designers move on to Ideate, where brainstorming of solutions occurs.
- These ideas will be refined and developed into prototypes that users can interact with and provide feedback on.
- The next stage is Testing that prototype among actual users to see how it can be improved.
- The cycle then repeats and starts a new design iteration, and a minimum viable product is implemented.
Throughout history, great designers have applied human-centred creative processes to create meaningful, impactful solutions. What is unique about Design Thinking is that the designers’ own working processes help us to systemically mine, teach, study, and apply those human-centred techniques to problem-solve creatively and innovate — in our designs, our businesses, our nations (and, ultimately, if things are going very right, even beyond), in our lives.
While you can start doing this yourself, it might be helpful to collaborate with an external partner you trust. You can talk to a marketing consultant, a business consultant, or your digital marketing agency on record. Even better, it would be best to work with consultants with local knowledge of Mildura as a market, and reasonably-priced agencies with a deep experience in strategic marketing services and brand identity services.
In short, we recommend you work with a boutique marketing consultant in Mildura because:
- Internal biases tend to sneak into the design,
- Without attention to detail, there tends to be a lot of generalisations and shortcuts,
- Someone has to keep track of the process while others engage in the design–it’s difficult to do both
- Design thinking is inherently a collaborative exercise
- Big agencies tend to charge an arm and a leg for this service
- Your products deserve better communications
We Are Whisk Creative
We are Whisk Creative, a Marketing Agency located in Mildura. We uncover your brand’s unique capabilities and pathways of possibilities. Ultimately, we aim to develop marketing solutions that put people’s needs and aspirations at the centre. We adapt design thinking into marketing in our effort to make sure every business in Mildura connects with its audience at a deep, personal level. Through design thinking in marketing, we aspire to build meaningful brands in Mildura and beyond.