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Design Thinking for The New Age Blogger!

Remember people talking about how the left brain rules logic and right brain rules creativity? What if there was a way to exercise both parts of your brain while running your Blog?

If you have been following the business news, a lot of organizations are moving towards a concept called ‘Design Thinking’. Organizations like Infosys and IDEO seem to swear that this is the new way to go! Executives are being told to use this approach and keep the end -user (customer) at the heart of all operations.

You may ask, so how is this relevant to me? I’m just a Blogger!

Turns out… a lot!

The only way you become better at anything and achieve maximum efficiency is through continuous innovation and improvement.  As Bloggers, we find ourselves in a world which is intensely competitive and at the same time needs massive co-operation among the Blogging community to be successful! And Design thinking helps you do just that.

In simple terms, Design thinking is a technique used by designers to solve complex problems and find solutions for clients. Design Thinking makes one use imagination, intuition, system thinking and logic to explore possibilities of potentially what can be created. A design mind-set is not problem-focused, it’s solution-focused, and action-oriented.

Design Thinking has five steps which you as a Blogger can follow to help you keep up with the desires and needs of your readers. These steps will ensure you remain at the top of your game and use your brain’s full potential!

5 Design-Thinking steps for bloggers:

Empathy

Empathy as a behaviour is being defined as the new trait of leaders in the 21st century! As a Blogger, no matter what niche you are in, unless you empathize with your readers, you can hardly add any value to them.

Empathy implies you put yourself in the shoes of your readers and more importantly future potential readers of your blog. It helps you to learn more about the audience you are writing for.

So how do you make sure you are empathetic to your readers? Try asking these questions to yourself when you’re about to hit the publish button.

a) If I was a reader of this Blog, would this post add value to me in terms of knowledge, skill or attitude?

b) If I was a reader, what would I be delighted to read? What are my future expectations from this Blog?

c) Do I have fun when I read the posts? Or are they becoming too dry and heavy to read?

These questions are a start. You can add on any relevant questions which will help you see your Blog through the eyes of the reader!

Define

This involves constructing a point of view based on your readers’ needs and insights. When readers visit your Blog regularly, they do it for a reason. Whether it be the latest SEO strategies, gadget reviews or even inspiration for their daily lives, your blog is helping them fulfill a certain need in their lives.

But their needs keep changing even if the categories you blog about remain the same. In order to adapt to these changing needs and continue to improve as a Blogger, you need to review your definition of what these needs are.

The way to do this is to tap into the wisdom of readers in their comments and feedback. Any reader will subtly give you signs of whether your Blog is meeting their needs or not. You can also conduct regular surveys and invite them to share their needs through personalized emails.

Not only will this help you reach closer to your reader but will also strengthen your reputation as a credible and trusted Blogger.

Ideate

Once you get a feel of what your readers expect, this is when you will have to swing into action! Ideation is that stage when you brainstorm and come up with creative solutions to meet your ends-user’s needs.

This may involve challenging your limiting beliefs about what your blog is and start thinking of what your blog might look like once it evolves. You can look at the following elements for ideation:

Content – How can I incorporate better elements in my content to suit the audience?

Format – Will podcasts, videos, interviews and other blogging formats add better value to the reader?

Design – Is my current design helping the reader find relevant content easily? How can I improve it better?

Such questions will make you think beyond what your blog currently is and will help you to come up with great ideas to put into your blog.

Prototype

Prototyping usually involves building a representation of one or more ideas and showing it to a trusted team. Once you make those changes to your blog which you feel will connect much better with your readers, show it to your trusted circle.

This circle might be your trusted fellow-bloggers, long time subscribers or experts in your niche. Once you get a good response from them, you know that your new ideas are much more likely to take off and have a higher success rate.

Another advantage of prototyping is that it enables rapid sharing of ideas between Bloggers and building upon each other’s innovations!

Test

The final and the most important step is to constantly test out if a certain set of ideas are working or not. By keeping the readers at the center of your content, you will be helping them meet their needs and expectations.

As a result, when you start testing the new ideas on your blog, your readers will help you determine if the steps you have undertaken are in the right direction or not. You need to use this as a compass to decide whether you should move further with your new ideas or allow them to point you in the right direction.

Trust me, your readers will become your best guides after this!

So are you ready to do some Design thinking and make your blog super-awesome? Let me know how it works out for you!

This article is contributed by Nikshep. If you would like to contribute something useful for Shouters community, read our contribution guidelines.