Link: Stanford Daily | Why the d.school has its limits
Like any method, design thinking structures how you approach and conceptualize a problem. The way the method is currently taught, however, preordains the result.
The answer to any problem unfailingly is a product or a service. Some problems are indeed best solved with a product or a service. Yet other problems need systemic solutions (e.g. political action).
Take the problem of a low-income single mom for whom dinner with her kids is stressful. How might we improve her dinner experience? We can surely come up with some product or service which decreases the time the mom spends in the kitchen or somehow makes it more fun for her kids to help cook dinner.
But what if raising the minimum wage so she didn’t have to work two jobs was the best way to improve this mom’s dinner experience? Using the design thinking methodology, you would be exceedingly unlikely to reach this conclusion.
You would also be unlikely to reach this conclusion using economics.