Most people think that design is about making things look pretty – a decoration or art. But design is as much an art as it is a science. Recent years have shown that design is becoming increasingly important in both the corporate and startup worlds. Young entrepreneurs, design agencies and company builders are using design thinking with its iterative and human-centered process. Empathy is critical because it allows you to put aside your own assumptions about the world and gain real insight into users and their needs
There is another product design approach that is not as popular, but just as important: design-driven innovation. Similar to design thinking, it starts with extensive customer research, but unlike design thinking, users are much less involved in the early steps of the process. The focus is on understanding why people attach meaning to things. Believing that people are not just looking for functional and technological features of products, it seeks to understand people’s underlying desires and how to give meaning to things.