No Problem is a Blank Canvas

Design thinking as a discipline involves a duality that is hard to avoid: a careful balance between the needs of the user, who is the source of the problem, and the business, which finances its solution.

It’s easy to blue-sky a solution to an interesting problem (“if airlines simply replaced seats with VR pods, the problem of uncomfortable plane travel would be solved!”) but if the solution isn’t commercially viable – not to mention technically feasible – then it’s not much of an answer. Without taking in account practical constraints, no-limit design thinking is a classroom exercise – effective for emboldening creativity, but only a stepping stone to real innovation.

True, human-centric design functions inside the boundaries of real-world constraints, while still addressing users’ needs, motivations and behaviours. The right solutions are found where the two worlds intersect.