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What is Design Thinking? Learn from FreshBooks Experts

freshbooks-logo[1]Jeremy Bailey, Creative Director at FreshBooks, took 50 Donate & Learn attendees through the Design Thinking process. Whenever a new product, design function or problem arises, FreshBooks uses these steps to come up with an innovative solution. don’t forget to checkout Green Lotus Digital Marketing Services!

One the most successful Design Thinking sessions at FreshBooks was during the development and design of the FreshBooks Android App. Using the 5 steps of Design Thinking, we released an Android app that customers (and non-customers) got excited about!

What is Design Thinking, you ask?

Design Thinking is a problem solving approach that can be applied to product, service or business design. If you are in charge of introducing innovation and change in your organization or if you struggle with finding the “right” idea, design thinking is an approach you should try.

Design Thinking Broken Down in to Five Steps:

1- Empathize: Talk to people and conduct research. The goal is to develop background knowledge through these experiences. Understand what the problem is. Watch how people behave and interact as they observe physical spaces and places. The understanding and observation phases of design thinking help develop a sense of empathy.

2- Define: Define what the problem is. Take in to consideration the user + need + insight. With the FreshBooks App  we wanted to create a way for Android users to use FreshBooks while they were on the go, or even when they were offline.

3- Ideate: Brainstorm a myriad of ideas and suspend judgment. No idea is to0 far-fetched and no one’s ideas are rejected. Ideating is all about creativity and fun! The FreshBooks team spent hours brainstorming the features of the App to ensure that the same product they love online could be accessed through a mobile device. We needed to make sure features in the web app translated to smart phones, and still delivered a great experience.

4- Prototype: A prototype can be a sketch, model, or a cardboard box. It is a way to convey an idea quickly. For the App we created dozens of layouts until we found the one that worked best for our goal.

5- Test: The purpose of testing is to learn what works and what doesn’t, and then iterate. This means going back to the prototype and modifying it based on feedback. Testing allows you to learn what works and what doesn’t work for users.

Repeat steps 3-5 as often as needed to ensure that you’ve got the right solution!

If you weren’t able to attend the hands on workshop, Stanford offers a free crash course that you walk you through the process!

Next time you are faced with a challenge and aren’t quiet sure how to solve it, just ask yourself: what would FreshBooks do?

About FreshBooks

FreshBooks is the #1 cloud based accounting solution designed exclusively for small service-based business owners. The company has helped more than 10 million users process billions of dollars through its easy-to-use invoicing, expense management and time tracking features. Recognized in 2014 with six Stevie awards for best customer service in the world, the company’s mantra is to “execute extraordinary experiences everyday.” Based in Toronto, Canada, FreshBooks serves paying customers in 120 countries.

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What is the Donate & Learn Initiative?

The Donate & Learn initiative was created by Green Lotus to support local Toronto charities and provide informative educational events with a focus on social media, online marketing strategies, and the tools needed to achieve online marketing goals.

25Whether just getting started planning an online marketing strategy, or deep into implementation; Donate & Learn Events will provide you with the knowledge, strategies, tools and networking opportunities needed to improve your social media and online marketing results.



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