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Digital developments in focus
| 1 minute read

Design thinking - listen to your user... but not too much!

I recently had the opportunity to attend a session on design thinking led by Treehouse Innovation. Design thinking is an innovation methodology which can be used to generate innovative solutions to challenges. In a legal context, it can be applied to challenges being faced within a law firm, or by clients within their organisations.

I was surprised to take away the message that, despite the focus of design thinking on people - meaning the users of a service or process - you should not place too much emphasis on what they say! A key stage early in the design thinking process is going into the field to uncover what the users value, care about and need. So listening to what the users say is important. But you need to apply a little scepticism. What people say can often be misleading - not deliberately so, but people are complex and sometimes unable to articulate what they actually need or want, perhaps because they are unable to imagine possible solutions. Listening to what your users report is therefore not enough. The best way to uncover insights into solutions which might address the challenge in question is to observe the users' behaviour in action.

It is human-centred because it starts with people and seeks to reveal meaningful insights into what they value and care about, in order to better understand how to innovate for them.


design thinking, innovation culture, user experience