Design Thinking in Practice


Design Thinking

From the earliest days of Paradigm, we’ve considered everyone here a designer. Not because we expected them to draw or know Photoshop—but because we expected them to think. In fact, the purest definition of a designer is something far broader than the one settled on by our industry.

Designer noun
a person who plans the form, look, or workings of something before its being made or built

It’s a deceptively simple definition that speaks volumes to the way we approach problems and the value we bring to our clients. As much as they love the final product, our clients also appreciate our meticulous planning along the way. Whether we’re knee-deep in code or finding the right tone for a client’s tagline, we choose to think like designers. Here’s why.

Design thinking is holistic.

A designer is always two steps ahead. They will not always jump immediately into the task at hand, but instead seek to understand the client’s broader problem. The designer knows the strength of context, and understands that the real challenge may be unknown to the client.

Design thinking is curious.

A designer isn’t afraid to try something new. They crave novel solutions, ones that may not have been done before. The designer insists on seeing things for themselves, and believes that knowing something begins with questioning it.

Design thinking is inclusive.

A designer craves fresh perspectives. They know that good ideas are independent of technical skill or exposure to the problem. The designer invites diversity of opinion for the discussion it brings and the solutions it births.

Design thinking is iterative.

A designer isn’t afraid to be wrong. They know the short-term sting of failure is outweighed by its long-term value as a guide and teacher. The designer tests as often as they create in an effort to arrive at the very best solution.

Design thinking is bespoke.

A designer circumvents commonality in pursuit of individualism. They aren’t satisfied with a one-size-fits-all approach, and believe that every challenge, and thus every solution, is unique. The designer celebrates ideas that are not beholden to what came before them.

Design thinking is creative.

A designer exercises their imagination with optimism and openness. They must believe in the triumph of the solution far more than they do the weight of the challenge. The designer works with a balance of awareness and innocence that invites new thinking.

Design thinking is a mental approach sharpened by time, discipline and experience. At Paradigm, it runs through every department and every deliverable. We believe design thinking is a philosophy whose presence you can’t always see, but whose absence you will always feel.