It started in the early 1960s around industrial design and made a comeback in the early 2000s to address a wide range of issues, Lorenzo said, who is also the Assistant Dean of the School of Design and Creative Technology at the University of Texas at Austin.
“Design used to mean just the artifact, the output of something,” Lorenzo said. “It was a visual. But design today means a lot of things. We’ve really expanded the definition and meaning.”
“Really design today, if you take it at its essence is really problem-solving,” Lorenzo said.
Today, people are looking at design to solve problems and make their life easier, Lorenzo said.
Lorenzo discusses the importance of design thinking of the latest episode of the Ideas to Invoices podcast. Before joining UT Austin, Lorenzo co-founded mobile video insights firm Vidlet. She previously served as president of Quirky and Frog Design. She is an internationally recognized thought leader on design and innovation. She is also a columnist for Fast Company Design and Medium.
“Design is still always in the eye of the beholder,” Lorenzo said.
There are still beautifully designed artifacts, but the premise of what people value about design has changed, Lorenzo said. People are seeking simplicity in their lives and design thinking can help them solve problems, she said.
“What is the problem we are trying to solve and who are we trying to solve it for,” Lorenzo said.
Humans have a totally different point of view than people often think they do, Lorenzo said. That’s why it’s so important to talk to the users of your product or service and find out what they really want, she said.
Who would have ever thought couch surfing would become a huge business, Lorenzo said. Marriott probably never saw that coming as a competitor, she said.
AirBnB’s founders talked to its users and designed a product for them, Lorenzo said. A lot of times companies in incumbent industries get so confident in their businesses that they think they know what the customers want, Lorenzo said. Successful businesses and companies must understand what the customer need is, she said. They must pay attention to what people really want, she said.
For more on design thinking, please listen to the podcast. Also, Lorenzo provided this link to a book list for more material on design thinking.