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A New Way of Approaching the Product Design Process

Design Thinking is the process of creative problem-solving. A key component of this process is taking crazy ideas in any part of your life and applying design methodology. Holly Gardner is a local entrepreneur, engineer, photographer, and mom. Holly talked about how Design Thinking is used in when planning a child’s birthday party or creating the next big invention. 

When asked what she does she would prefer to say, “I solve problems.” Holly came to speak about Design Thinking to a group of entrepreneurs and business students at Gulf Coast State College.  One of her two children has severe food allergies. She could not find needed products on the market, so she curated and developed a line of goods and specially designed products. 
 
The development of one of those products, “My Food Allergy Binder,” was created using Design Thinking. The process includes fives stages: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test.  

More resources about the design thinking process are available at Stanford’s d.school website including a 90 Minute crash course on Design Thinking. Since the process starts opposite of the traditional product design model by finding out what your clients need, you will not spend large amounts of money on a prototype and later conclude that it is not what your customers want or need.

Holly added,”with Design Thinking, you fail fast and early, which in the long run, saves you time and money.