lightbulb-imageDesign thinking is “a systematic approach to problem solving. It starts with customers and the ability to create a better future for them. It acknowledges that we probably won’t get that right the first time…. Design ‘insists’ that we prepare ourselves to iterate our way to a solution.”

Designing for Growth: a design thinking tool kit for managers (2011)

With its focus on customers, useful research, testing, and de-risking activities, design thinking is a good match for communities looking to solve complex customer mobility needs. The process, tips, and tools offered through this website will support communities in pursuing a customer-centered approach to improving or innovating community transportation offerings.

Specifically, by following the design thinking process,

    • Community facilitators can support stakeholders in thinking creatively and broadly about the range of ways to solve transportation challenges, and take a group from shared problem identification to concept development, assumption testing, and solution implementation.
    • Community groups will be able to conduct research to understand the needs of people who use or will need to use transportation services, how they currently move about their community, the destinations they travel to now or want to travel to, and their experiences while on their journey.
    • Service planners can incorporate strategies to test a new service concept with target customer groups and adapt the solution based on customer feedback prior to implementing the solution in the community.
    • Your community could learn early on what it needs to do to de-risk its new transportation offering.

With transportation such a valuable link to economic development and healthy communities, it’s vital that we continue to tailor transportation services to the ever-evolving travel needs of community members. The design thinking process is one that can

    1. Leverage the skills, experience, and networks of local partners, and
    2. Increase the odds of successfully developing and sustaining responsive transportation services.

Click below to learn more about the 4 questions of design thinking.