The hardship is that people often do not know what they want or need if they have never seen it. Design thinking puts users at the core center of innovative product and service development. It is about immersing yourself into someone else’s world to come up with new ideas. Immersion allows for the user experience of products and services, and the ability to envision and develop new products to improve user’s lives —to great customer delight. It is about observing your customers through real-life user journeys, portraits, and interviews to gain empathy and become aware of latent, unarticulated needs. In doing so, you collect all the unexpected treasures and insights that will help you look at the problem from new, original angles, thereby creating possible solution spaces. It is up to innovators to embrace this and build on it.
Consider Kyoto’s famous Zen garden, Ryoan-ji, the perfectly designed rock gardens with a unique positioning of the stones. If you were to get a bird’s eye view of garden, you would see that it contains 14 stones. Yet you will never see this by being a mere observer sitting beside the garden or walking around it. The positioning of the rocks is meant to reminds us that you think you see everything, you may think you see the world as it is, but upon closer inspection, from a different angle, things aren’t what they first appeared to be. There are always things hidden, uncovered only by looking at them from a different angle and perspective.
Innovation is all about looking at things from different angles and perspectives by using your unique perspective as an immersed outsider. This is how you get from immersing into consumer experience to creating consumer delight.