Search
  • Saakshar Makhija

Why does Design Thinking fail to deliver?


Saakshar Makhija, P. Trishita, Esha Biddanda Pavan, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design Thinking, Innovation, Product, Marketing, Systems Thinking, Collaboration, Leadership, Problem Solving, Human Centered, Psychology, Consumer Behaviour, Zeyka, Zeyka India

Design Thinking is an iterative process. It can be challenging to master for some. Moreover, its implementation as a decision-making process can be complex. The success stories of organisations using design thinking persuade people to adopt it in their projects. Furthermore, they try to align their work practices with the method. Since design thinking is a nonlinear process, having industry experience does not ensure one’s success. While solving problems, there are umpteen factors that can influence the adaptability of a team’s progress. Thus, while working on a project, it becomes crucial to ensure that the shortcomings are dealt with carefully.


Design thinking is composed of an intricate set of procedures. It includes frameworks that need careful attention to detail, skills, and inputs. A significant number of the determining factors depend upon the design culture at the company or the design thinker themselves. This could lead to several obstacles while solving problems.

Saakshar Makhija, P. Trishita, Esha Biddanda Pavan, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design Thinking, Innovation, Product, Marketing, Systems Thinking, Collaboration, Leadership, Problem Solving, Human Centered, Psychology, Consumer Behaviour, Zeyka, Zeyka India

Designers today are confronted with challenging situations. They tend to be spontaneous in making decisions while dealing with these wicked problems. However, these complex problems are often sub-problems looped together. In problem-solving, it is once in a blue moon that the first reaction is the most appropriate. It is almost always essential to gain an understanding of everything falling under the respective domain. So, rash decision-making and impulsive reactions can conversely complicate the condition. As a consequence, the process of design thinking might fail to deliver.


A design thinker always requires time to develop a thesis for his problem. But, in the fast-paced, technology-driven world today, solutions need to be derived swiftly. The efficiency of the framework in an institution plays a key role. It should be inbuilt in the long-term strategy of an organisation. Each phase of the envisioning process requires design thinking to be embedded into the ecosystem. An example of Apple’s success makes us understand that it is achievable. Its model explains that design thinking is a crossover of art and science. It is both, and neither at the same time. Besides, it uses dexterity from art and intellect from science. One takes time to understand, develop, cultivate, and finally apply it to a specific problem. Further, it throws light on the importance of group thinking and collaboration.


Since we all agree, we must be on the right path, correct? Yes? No? Maybe?


There are times when people gravitate towards keeping their idea in their minds and agreeing to a conversation. Such nuances could stem from a feeling of being targeted for voicing out their opinion. It becomes crucial for the brainstorming process to allow thinkers to freestyle with their ideas. Well, that stupid (or not?) idea could lay the foundation for the much-awaited Eureka moment!

Saakshar Makhija, P. Trishita, Esha Biddanda Pavan, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design Thinking, Innovation, Product, Marketing, Systems Thinking, Collaboration, Leadership, Problem Solving, Human Centered, Psychology, Consumer Behaviour, Zeyka, Zeyka India

In this digital era, businesses constantly interact with their consumers. Numerous channels have resulted in a decrease in the time available for the companies to respond to their consumers. It is a mammoth task to apply design thinking at every stage, innovate, and engage rapidly. Enterprises need to channelise the application of design thinking in a phase-wise manner. Thus, with institutional advancements in algorithmic thinking, design thinking could be a double-edged sword. Most organisations play down the patience required to work with design thinking. They are used to quick data-oriented research and analysis. As a result, they get frustrated and give up before achieving any progress.


While immersed in the design thinking process, one can fall prey to ‘the man with a hammer syndrome.’ Here every problem comes across as a nail they need to hammer. Where these tasks have commonalities, design thinkers are inclined towards dealing with them all in the same way. However, it is fundamental to do away with following patterns based on past experiences. It inhibits the ability to think out of the box. The practice requires a holistic approach to shift focus to something outside of the core tendencies.


Saakshar Makhija, P. Trishita, Esha Biddanda Pavan, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design Thinking, Innovation, Product, Marketing, Systems Thinking, Collaboration, Leadership, Problem Solving, Human Centered, Psychology, Consumer Behaviour, Zeyka, Zeyka India

All in all, despite the failures, there are innumerable success stories. Its application in medicine has enabled the provision of affordable healthcare to the dispossessed. Technological innovations have brought about a revolution in the lives of individuals. Above all, it facilitates human behaviour in product design. It allows entrepreneurs to have the insight to tell compelling stories to swoon their stakeholders. With a thorough understanding of the ‘human,’ inputs result in human-centric outputs. Hence, industries have flourished with the application of design thinking.


Design thinking adds as a powerful team-building tool aligning the collaborators in their approach. Besides, it challenges the worn-out organisational dynamics. This creates novel customer-centred innovations capable of achieving high market growth.


When design thinking fails to deliver, the power of time can help organisations to realign to get onto the right path.



* * *



About the Writer

Saakshar Makhija is an undergraduate architecture student at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Bhopal. He is the Co-Founder of Emblema Designs, a graphic design, and digital marketing venture. He has experience working with Rethinking The Future (RTF) and India Lost and Found (ILF) by Amit Pasricha. He attended the summer school organised by the "Rafael Manzano Prize for New Traditional Architecture" by the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism (INTBAU), Spain.


About the Editor

Esha Biddanda Pavan is an architect and urbanist currently based out of Toronto, Canada. She is a graduate of the School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University, UK, and the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), Bangalore. She has experience working at Kitsune Consulting, Cardiff University Business School, Weaving Thoughts, Keha Casa, Kabir Hira Architects and a-designstudio.


About the Illustrator

P. Trishita is an undergraduate architecture student at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Bhopal. She is also a multipotentialite, illustrator, singer, and occasional songwriter.

13 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All