top of page

Why we need Design Thinking in Product Management?

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

A good product based company always need product leaders who can lead the product in a way that honours both qualitative and quantitative metrics. Not that existing Product leaders can’t provide qualitative and innovative products, but they aren’t focused on innovation & user experience as much as they are with optimization. Most product leaders are not going to have the time, or energy, or desire to go learn the craft of design, and they don’t have to. But they can try design thinking because like product management it is a beachhead that’s led design into a business. And It also helps business people and tech people open their eyes to the user experience.

Design thinking is a hot concept for the past few years, and depending on whom you talk to there are different steps to that process. And the first thing you have to discuss design thinking is different from the craft of design. Being a good design thinker does not make you a designer. Design thinking is a process for essentially about understanding your user’s needs and experience without any bias.

Quantitative Value vs Qualitative Value

In business, value pretty much just means money. Most of them concentrate on quantitative value than qualitative value. we all know the qualitative value, exists because we all feel it, we react to it, but we don’t know how to talk about it. This value related to emotion, identity and meaning. The qualitative value is almost always worth way more than the quantitative value. When Instagram was purchased by Facebook, the book value the day before the company was sold, $86 million, that’s what the books said that the company was worth. How much money did they get? Well, it was 1.1 billion. So over on this column, the qualitative value $1.01 billion versus 86. This is what design thinking can do in business.

Understanding customers on a level of emotions and values and meaning and not just what they’re willing to pay for what their budget is, and but for what features they need. People are not rational actors, because, in Neo-classical economics, they learn people are rational-actors. But This is the justification for only looking at the financial value and the functional value. Price and performance, price and features. That’s what the history of product development has been built on. And then, along comes, you know, a company, whether it’s an Apple, or a Nike or a whatever, and people pay more for things. Why are you paying more for that? It’s just that the value that’s being derived is not on the quantitative column, But on the qualitative column.

Well, if you’re a rational actor, you’re not going to buy the thing that makes you feel good in this world when you look at it. But people are wonderfully irrational, like, that’s what’s good about people, of course, you’re going to buy the thing that makes you feel good. That leads you to the most important part of design thinking which is reframing. Reframing requires some pretty flexible thinking. Once people were able to let go of their rigidly fixed mindset then they will end up in something which will be a way more interesting which was a better opportunity than anything they had imagined. And that’s the process of design thinking, but it requires reframing your mindset because you never really know what people need and react to.

Enhancing User Experience of the Product

Incorporating Design Thinking in your regular process will give you a mindset to understand your target audience even better like their problems, expectation, convenience and motivation to use your product. So with that insights, you can better your product by introducing & modifying the features. At last, Design thinking is a tool to increase the qualitative value of your product and blending it with the other kind of quant processes that are driving the business and financial model is mandatory


SANTHOSH GANDHI (UX Researcher & Writer)


520 views0 comments


bottom of page