Design Thinking is a synthesis of analytical thinking and intuitive thinking. It aims to update the traditional ways of tackling innovation projects by applying the same approach that a designer would use.
Far from a new ideal, this innovation management method was developed by Rolf Faste at Stanford University in the USA in the 1980s, building on the work of Robert McKim.
Still little-known in France, it is based on a process of co-creativity that places people and collaboration at its heart. It is an approach that we have applied in-house at EGERIE since we began.

Design thinking involves developing an innovation by responding to three basic principles: the desirability of the market or its players, technical and organisational feasibility and economic viability.

At the heart of experiential innovation

As an innovative company, EGERIE’s history illustrates how innovation has evolved over time.
While our foundation was guided by long-standing principles in which innovation was led first of all by engineers, driven by continuous improvements to technology, we are nevertheless firmly rooted in today’s era, that of experiential innovation. This begins with observing the needs, constraints and even frustrations of end users. It was on the basis of these elements expressed by the market that we designed our first solution and wrote the first pages of the EGERIE adventure, over a decade ago now. I see it as more than a method; it’s a philosophy. You can adopt it (very easily), but it can also impose itself on you. In fact, that’s how it happened for us.

The emphasis placed on studies on the ground, offering a full understanding of users’ experiences, is very important. This continues throughout the life of the product or solution. We do not innovate for the fun of it, but to respond to a need and anticipate future needs, exploiting and building on the data reported by the market.
Exchanging and sharing information with our customers, who are ultimately more like partners, illustrates fully the benefits of collaboration on behalf of innovation, which does not take place solely within the company. These relationships make us more effective, agile and responsive in a world where the attackers always have a head start, and above all they develop and reinforce a real culture of trust.

A collaborative logic

In parallel with this logic of interdepartmental co-creation, promoting collective intelligence, we have also developed a form of intellectual gymnastics alternating between phases of intuition and analysis, where everyone’s skills are called on to work together. There are no barriers between the R&D, marketing, sales and customer service teams. Everyone is an integral part of the chain and can drive progress at their own level, as long as they have the key information that enables us to be aligned with the market.

This involves a horizontal rather than a vertical organisation, and leads us to emphasise greater interdisciplinarity within the company.

Data, people and technology – a winning combination

The idea that design doesn’t only apply to tools has been fully taken on board by the internet giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon, who use design thinking to develop and improve their platforms, optimising them for users by drawing on the masses of data they generate. In the age of new technologies and connected objects, not to mention the disruptions coming in the near future – artificial intelligence, quantum computing – this trend will only be accentuated.
All the data generated and collected represents huge value when it is processed, secured, analysed and cross-referenced. It will enable the design of tomorrow’s innovations, responding and adapting to users’ needs even more quickly than before. Digital simulations and scenarios will enable tomorrow’s buildings to adapt to employees’ behaviour, tomorrow’s vehicles to adapt to drivers’ behaviour and tomorrow’s cybersecurity to adapt to the new risks, profiles and strategies of organisations.
Using an analysis of your data, your risks, your company profile and your global strategy, and cross-referencing this information with data on the evolution of global cybercrime and existing data in our libraries, which are added to daily by the whole EGERIE community, we can effectively adapt our solutions to existing and future evolutions. With the power of quantum computing, we will be able to do more, more quickly, with more data. It is up to us to seize these forthcoming opportunities and imagine solutions right now, in a context where the relationship between human and machine can only grow stronger, with each side playing its part in a connection that will reveal all its potential.
This could also give rise to the development of new, more responsible tools, products and services aligned with real needs. We could thus design a more pragmatic world in step with its time, incorporating the notions of inclusion, respect for the environment and resources, and responsible, sustainable economic development.

The birth of design science

Design thinking will help us find the most promising applications. As this too is subject to the laws of evolution, a new concept is already emerging – design science.
Though still very marginal in France, it is striking a chord among the young generation, where the idea is to bring designers and scientists together to develop innovative projects in response to major social themes.
The University of Paris Saclay teaches design science, and has been awarding the Design & Science prize since 2016. This French university was placed first in the world for mathematics in the 2020 Shanghai global ranking of academic subjects.
This suggests to me that the method has a promising future – just like EGERIE, which has permanently adopted it!

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