Design Thinking for Writers
The key concepts that can make an impact on writing productivity
This is my first story for the Vocal.
I am excited to join this community and share my experience in technical and writing expertise.
In this post, I want to touch on Design Thinking. It is a topic close to my heart because I am a Design Thinking professional and leader in the industry. I ran hundreds of workshops for dozens of customers from large corporate organisations. More importantly and interestingly, I started introducing Design Thinking to writers and content developers.
Even though Design Thinking is popular in the industry, many writers are not aware of this exciting method. Therefore, I want to briefly introduce and explain how Design Thinking practice can help writers to be more productive and appealing to their readers.
Design Thinking is an established and innovative process. The basis for Design Thinking is the agile approach commonly used in the information technology (IT) industry.
The focus of Design Thinking is on the users and consumers of the planned solutions. I used Design Thinking approach for the clients from the IT industry, engineering, and manufacturing. We can use this practice for other disciplines as well as all fields dealing with people in the form of consumers.
Design Thinking practice assists the practitioners to understand the uncertain and ambiguous situations in the earlier phase of the solution lifecycle by questioning assumptions, reviewing risks, issues, and dependencies.
By using Design Thinking, we can define the solutions with clarity or redefine ambiguous points by reframing the problems. Design Thinking can be considered as an innovative problem-solving technique with close interactions of the actual users of the solutions.
Let's touch on my key perspective for this story: use of Design Thinking for writers and content developers.
Design Thinking can be useful for writers and content developers too. I know this because I used it and helped many writers to use it too. Writers and content developers can use Design Thinking principles for improving quality, providing simplicity, and creating agility for delivery of the content initiatives.
I see writers and content developers as service providers. Our consumers are the readers of our content. Design Thinking helps us shift our focus on the reader.
Let me briefly introduce the construct without going into technical details so that you can understand how Design Thinking can help you shift your focus on your readers.
Design Thinking has five key constructs which can be considered as phases in the solution lifecycle. Understanding these phases can help us to use this practice in writing stories and developing content for various purposes.
1. Empathy with users and consumers
2. Definition of user needs
3. Ideation to challenge assumptions
4. Prototyping for solution definition
5. Validation of solutions
By using Design Thinking principles and constructs, we focus on our consumers. Empathy is the keyword. In the first phase, we metaphorically put ourselves in our readers' shoes. We listen and try to understand their pain points and expectations.
In the second phase, our focus will be on requirements, use cases, and expectations of the consumers as personas. This methodical approach can help us put ourselves in the shoes of the readers using empathy maps. In other words, we map the requirements and expectations of our consumers.
The purpose of these two principles and constructs are delighting our customers.
Like in any system development approach, we always start with assumptions. However, to validate the requirements of our customers, we need to challenge the initial assumptions and validate with them using workshops.
Design Thinking workshops cover techniques such as questioning, brainstorming, prototyping, experiments, sketching, and tests. These techniques must be user-centric approach using an agile method.
By applying Design Thinking techniques, writers can create user-centric content. User-centric content aims to increase the quality and acceptability of messages. We satisfy our customer on a timely basis.
Design Thinking principles recommend testing in different formats. The most common one is prototyping. Prototypes are small scale implementation of the solutions to test the validity of the solutions and ensure requirements are met.
The most valuable and compelling aspect of Design Thinking is to encourage the practitioners, technical leaders, and writers to think outside of the box, or even beyond the box.
The mind shifts and creative approaches increase productivity, diversity, and innovations. With Design Thinking practice, the team members can be inventive and add new meanings to business initiatives.
Writers can benefit a lot from applying Design Thinking principles to their writing practice. The method is straightforward and transferable.
This is my first article and a preliminary piece to give a quick taste on my Design Thinking skills. My plan is to create several follow-up articles explaining each concept step by step for practical use in the writing and content development process.
Your feedback will be invaluable to me. I want to provide you with customised content from my experience. Please help me to help you.
Thank you for reading my perspective.
About the author
I'm a writer and published author with four decades of content development experience in business, technology, leadership, and health. I work as a postdoctoral researcher and consultant. My background is at https://digitalmehmet.com.