Part 2 of 3: How to Implement Design so it can be Measured

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Written by Digital Surgeons,
• 3 min read

Most problems with production and organizational debt can be addressed before they even arise. It comes down to how design changes are implemented. To do this successfully, you need a strategic system in place before you begin. Don’t reinvent the wheel – we’re going to share some insight into Digital Surgeon’s unique Design Thinking process that’s been used from startups to Fortune 50 corporations.

Design Thinking is a methodology that produces work quickly while allowing for rapid testing and measurement throughout and after the design methodology. 69% of design-led companies say that innovation is more efficient with the design thinking process.

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Reframe your problem and beat tunnel vision

Framing is a critical part of the Design Thinking process, but beyond that it’s a useful capability for your teams and individual workers to hone. Framing a design challenge by using mental models and other techniques reveals new solutions and avenues. It’s a fantastic tool for jumpstarting creativity and breaking out of tunnel vision.

Reframing problems is one way to amp up your creativity, but that alone won’t drive action or outcomes. This is where divergent thinking comes in. This is like a guided, deliberate brainstorming exercise that’s normally facilitated by an experienced Design Thinking practitioner. The critical balance to strike here is fostering total creative safety to encourage wider thinking, while keeping productivity with purpose high.

Convergent and divergent thinking together for a complete picture

After divergent thinking exercises you need to determine which ideas are quickly actionable, which can be measured, and what each goals cost vs. impact ratio is. This is accomplished with special drill down exercises, or convergent thinking. It’s at this point in the process that you or your design thinking facilitator should design the tests and hypothesis for impact evaluation and reporting. For some crash course basics on proper test design, check out our ROI of Design report.

With your goals prioritized by cost vs. impact you can start digging into actual design production. Design thinking is an iterative design process that hinges on rapid prototyping. The entire idea is to attack your prioritized goals and make them real, fast.

Iterative design processes are fundamental to achieving a true pairing of human-centered design and data-driven user experience design. Built-in to the process is rapid user testing and optimization that ensures all stakeholders are satisfied with the current work before moving forward. In the long run, this saves time and resources.

Measurement and optimization: how design lives and breathes

Measurement and optimization begin with the first design and carry on long after implementation. The design thinking process is broken down into sprints. The results of every sprint are user-tested and optimized before continuing to the next sprint. The data collected here is an important piece of measuring and reporting on design progress and outcomes, and can help shape the narrative of your report on design outcomes.

User feedback testing is baked into the design thinking process, which is what makes it the primary methodology for businesses concerned about measuring the ROI of their design investments.

With the proper implementation, the economic value of design is entirely measurable. As long as you plan a process-driven implementation, and prioritize proper testing and data collection, you can make a solid case for your next design project.