“What is a difference between Design thinking and innovation processes all Variant & Tartar Brown (2008) talks about Thomas Edison and how he did limit his invention to Just the light bulb, but rather envisioned the entire marketplace, making sure he predicted how people would want to use his product, and thus created this as well (p. 1). Essentially, this exemplifies what is known as “design thinking”, which, as Brown (2008) defines, is “a methodology that imbues the full spectrum of innovation activities with a human-centered design ethos” (p. 1).
Design thinking represents instant observation and prediction of what people want and need, and what they like and dislike. Further, design thinking “is a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity’ (Brown, 2008, p. 1). In other words, design thinking centers on the mind of the designer, and uses his or her knowledge in conjunction with insight on what consumers want, need, like, and dislike.
What results from the latter are not only reduces that cater specifically to these needs and wants, but also packaging and branding that is essentially more appealing than what others have to offer. Design thinking, thus, encompasses the entire marketplace. Innovation processes are those that reside within organizations and can basically be divided between radical innovations and incremental innovations.
Norman and Variant (2014) argue that, “radical product innovation is driven by either advances in technology or a deliberate change in the meaning of the product, rather than by being driven by the human- entered design philosophy widely used in product design” (p. 81). The latter shows one of the differences between design thinking and innovation processes. As was mentioned in the preceding paragraph, design thinking is human-centered, whereas innovation processes are not necessarily the same.
Innovation processes are human- centered when it comes to product design, but not really in radical innovation as a process in itself. On the other hand, incremental innovation is understood as a steadier stream of constant innovation centered on similar precedents and themes in the company. As Norman and Variant (2014) argue, incremental innovation is the “result of a deliberate design research strategy or through a series of mutual adaptations by the product developers that use community to bring the two into better alignment” (p. 1). As can be implied by the latter, incremental innovation is more in line with the meaning of design thinking, as it is a constant process that seeks to outperform what has already been done. However, design thinking is more holistic, in the sense that it encompasses not Just a product, but also the consumers themselves, and what they want, need, like, and dislike. The products that are derived from this methodology take all of these factors into account and, in this way, design thinking is similar to incremental innovation.