10 Attributes of Good Design Thinking. 8 Strategies for Fostering Creativity.
Because quality is multidimensional, we need to address the overall product quality from a combination of logical thinking and emotional response. Product quality has both the logical and the quantitative aspect (conformance to performance, cost, features, reliability, serviceability and durability), and emotional and qualitative aspect. This is similar to the working of left-brain activities (logic) versus right-brain activities (emotion, creativity, and intuitiveness). The aesthetic and emotional characteristics of good products (elegance, beauty, charisma, sophistication and ingenuity) are often overlooked. Aesthetics dimension (how a product feels, looks, tastes, sounds, or smells) is very personal, usually a reflection of individual preferences and a matter of personal judgment. There will always be someone having a different taste from you. Thus, there are no universal theories/formulas that enable us to optimize such emotional appeal or aesthetics attractiveness.
Design plays the crucial role in determining product quality. Corporation are increasingly using the term ‘design thinking’ to create high product quality. Good design thinking usually possess the following attributes:
1. Creativity and Innovation
2. Whole Brain Thinking – both Logical and Emotional
3. Performance and Cost Consciousness
4. Integration and Coordination Abilities
5. Customer Focus
6. Quality Focus
7. Adaptability and Flexibility
8. Product Form and Function Conformance
9. Good Craftsmanship
10. Beauty, Elegance and Sophistication
Creativity is the ability to generate ideas, and is actually a subset of innovation. Innovation = Creativity (creative idea generation) + the actual idea implementation. Innovation usually involves intellectual, technological, emotional and social (be sympathetic and able to work well in a team) maturity levels. An invention is an innovation (ideas that have been built or conceptualized) that is not yet ready for commercialization, and not widely used and available. Thus, creativity is the crucial element behind innovation and invention. Anyone can be creative by applying one of the following strategies:
- Embrace risks and allow failure
- Experiment and prototype often
- Have quiet time and solitude
- Have adequate resources (time, people, and money) available
- Have appropriate reward system – encouragement, appreciation, incentives.
- Increase collaboration and dialog
- Focus on a single mission and goal
- Increase thinking time and think harder about problem-solving approaches, creativity techniques, and more thoughtful decision-making process.
Creative design includes not only technical and business aspect, but also a wide variety of other fields, including law, natural sciences, social sciences, and even humanities. Both technical and emotional aspects of design should emphasize creativity (generating alternate ideas/solutions), understand customer need and problems, and apply generous use of experimentation and rapid prototyping during the design process.