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Design Thinking: From Insight to Innovation

Staying relevant is a challenge. Even while catching up with business partners or social circles, it is important to make sure that you are not rusting away in the dark. When we plan our strategy to stay abreast with today’s demands and tomorrow’s expectations, one must be able to empathize with the ones making those demands and expectations — the consumer. This is the first step of design thinking, to think from the customer’s perspective.

Insight is information that will give us an actionable point so that something can be done about it. What enabled companies like Uber, Flipkart, or WhatsApp to succeed, was the fact that they empathized with their users upon whom they based their innovation upon. The famous ‘emoji’ pop culture took its next step by being usable in various other apps and having a universal outlook in almost all our social media applications. On a corporate note, Uber was able to enhance their become-a-driver feature by enabling users to be readily convertible, thus adding value to their revenue model from an operational level. And that has helped popularize the model and even emerge some interesting stories by Uber drivers! It’s amazing how insight can lead to story telling.

As much as innovation is about identifying new ideas, it is also about mitigating the kind of risks that we will inevitably face. How can we bring down the number of instances due to app glitches, payment gateway failures, laggy interfaces, slow software, and so on? We accumulate data to answer that question. Insight is knowledge, and knowledge can design fantastic products.

The customer is our core factor in engineering smart innovations. Their experience is important for us to understand what was done right, what was done wrong, and how can it be done better. If shoppers on an e-tailer site prefer the info of the distributor to be easily available on their order, it will only make their experience of shopping on the site better as they would have control and knowledge of the whereabouts of their order. This is why the customer is important in deciding whether the etailer would like to add a LIVE tracking microservice to their order. Insight enhances value. This strengthens the arsenal of IT infrastructure to enhance customer experience.

One might ask, why is innovation important? Any product that you find around is constantly being improved upon. Whether it is in the form of updates or hardware upgrades, everything around us is being improved to create better value. Innovation is about bringing your ideas and complementing them with actionable insight. Competition is largely based on innovation. If one is able to innovate themselves, they naturally stay ahead of the competition.

-Anupam Kulkarni is the Co-Founder and CEO of iauro Systems, Pune

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