Launching an app project quickly has never been so easy, thanks to the design thinking process.
With nearly 90% of mobile internet time spent on apps, instead of mobile browsers, there’s never been a more important time to develop a responsive app with an excellent user experience. However, the app-building process is often long-winded – with the launch and deployment stage usually taking 14-45 days alone.
One of the main contributing factors to these timely averages lies in the app development process. The key to a successful content-led app isn’t just about making it look good, it’s also about creating an unforgettable user experience, solving common problems and improving the everyday lives of people.
This is where design thinking comes in.
What is design thinking?
Design thinking is a problem-solving model used in digital product development to explore user problems, establish ways to find and attract the ideal audience, recognize market opportunities and consider desired solutions. It’s the human process of integrating user needs, business goals and the best of technology.
In layman’s terms, it’s the strategic path towards creating successful projects. The design thinking process is inspired by the way app designers think about innovating, forming new products, processes and services.
It’s a user experience (UX) based methodology that considers the customer, client and ergonomist. If you fully embrace the design thinking model, you can use it to launch your app in a matter of days.
How design thinking helps in innovation and app development
When it comes to launching an app, there’s always a risk of it underperforming and becoming yesterday’s news in a matter of weeks. In fact, nearly 90% of people surveyed by AppDynamics said that they stopped using an app due to poor performance. Furthermore, another report found that 86% of people have deleted or uninstalled an app when they encountered problems with its functionality or design.
These issues largely boil down to the UX and a lack of understanding of what the target audience wants and requires on a day-to-day basis.
However, when you combine the design thinking process with app development, you start to challenge user problems through innovation and creativity. By gaining a greater understanding of your project and defining your challenge from the start, you’ll be able to think more innovatively and mitigate any timely blockers before they arise. For example, if you initially identify your audience during the empathize design thinking stage, in principle, you won’t require as many amends or prototypes further down the app development process as you’ll already know what their needs are.
One of the best ways to speed up this process and to successfully launch your app in less than a week is to collaborate with experts. When you invest deeply into the creation of a project, it’s easy to fall victim to cognitive bias – whereby, your ability to think from a consumer perspective gets clouded by your own preferences and opinions.
To eradicate this and to turn challenges into tangible digital assets, our team of experts at Rakuten DX offers Digital Boosters. These short, punchy sessions enable businesses to gain knowledge, obtain solutions and bring projects to life in just days. Paying closer attention to the UI/UX of your app by implementing the design thinking process also plays a critical role in helping your team provide unique user experiences, which keeps your customers coming back for more.
The fusion of design thinking and app development minimizes the risk of launching new ideas as well. Instead of wasting valuable time analyzing why your app is underperforming, you’ll already know the answer through end-user research. It would just be a simple case of fixing or amending the issue in real-time.
Putting design thinking and app development into practice
Without the right face-to-face research with clients and the ability to immerse yourself in the users’ experiences, you will find yourself innovating and adapting on the go. Part of building a long-term app solution isn’t to simply launch it and move on. The best apps are constantly enhanced and improved using the latest innovations and user insights.
Design thinking provides an excellent framework for collecting user feedback and using this knowledge to brainstorm solutions and to develop prototypes. It’s effectively a way of enhancing your project and defining your challenge with minimal delays. The best way of actioning the design thinking process with app development is to adopt the following approach:
– Mickaël Bernard, Lead UX Designer, Rakuten DX
“At Rakuten DX, we run workshops based on fast-tracking the design thinking process, depending on our clients’ needs. This can involve anything from helping clients define their end-users to developing user journey mapping and conducting user testing. However, the endpoint always remains the same: to identify user behaviors, test these ideas on the spot, and then learn from them. The beauty of these design thinking workshops is that they sometimes only take between half a day and two days to complete”, said Mickaël Bernard.
From the outset, design thinking does require a level of dedication and intensity, especially if you’re looking to launch an app in a short space of time.
Nevertheless, the inconveniences make sense in the long run. Not only does the Design Thinking process allow you to deliver a profitable app project promptly, but it also helps you in the long run.
Once you establish user needs and identify what these people look like, you’ll be able to use this information to innovate and improve your app beyond the launch date.
It’s just a case of adopting the right methodology before you create.