What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking

What is Design Thinking? Design is a process of working to develop solutions consciously and innovatively in which both functional and aesthetic requirements are included based on user needs.

Design thinking is an iterative, non-linear process where teams can understand users, challenge assumptions and redefine problems to create new solutions.

  • Design Thinking is the art of creative problem solving.
  • It brings creativity and innovation to your day-to-day processes by reshaping/recalibrating your thinking.
  • Design Thinking uses empathy and experimenting to arrive at innovative solutions.
  • The ‘human element’ and/or ‘end user experience’ is the key to design thinking.

The Five Stages of Design Thinking

The Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (aka the d.school) describes design thinking as a five-stage process. Note: These stages are not always sequential, and teams often run them in parallel, out of order and repeat them in an iterative fashion.

Stage 1: Empathize – Research Your Users’ Needs

This is where empathy and understanding are key. Typically, this can be achieved through user research. Design thinking is a human-centered process that relies on empathy. It allows you to let go of your assumptions and gain an understanding of users’ needs and wants.

Stage 2: Define and state your users’ needs and problems

Now it’s time for you to consolidate the information from the Empathize stage. The next step is to analyze the data and combine them to identify the core problems that you and your team have identified. These definitions are known as problem statements. To keep your ideas human-centered, you can create personas.

Stage 3: Challenge Assumptions, Ideate and Create Ideas

You are now ready to think of ideas. You can now “think outside of the box” and look for other ways to approach the problem. This will allow you to come up with innovative solutions. This is where brainstorming can be especially useful.

Stage 4: Start to Create Solutions

This is an experimental phase. This phase is intended to find the best solution to each problem. To test the ideas that you have generated, your team should create scaled-down versions of products or specific features within the product. This could be as simple as paper prototyping.

Stage 5: Test Your Solutions Out

The prototypes are rigorously tested by evaluators. Even though this is the last phase of design thinking, it is often used by teams to solve additional problems. You can go back to earlier stages to refine, alter, or re-invent the process – in order to discover or eliminate alternative solutions.

What is design thinking?
The Five Stages of Design Thinking

Design thinking process

The 5 stages in the Design Thinking Process. Enables you to think efficiently and effectively.
This is a human-centered future-focused process.

Step 1: Feel/Observe

To observe clearly what is happening around in any situation. To empathize and to look beneath the surface.

Types of observation:

  • Cartographer: An Entire Perspective Mindset- A bird’s eye view.
  • He is a visualizer of the ‘big picture. Similarly in Design Thinking involves looking at and visualizing the entire scenario.
  • Detective: Expertise Mindset
  • He observes the pattern from a different perspective, something that no one thought of. Similarly, blind spots in the Design have to be identified.
  • Reporter- Interrogative Mindset
  • He articulates the problem in an appropriate manner to ask the ‘right question’. Similarly, asking questions will be unable to unearth the blind spots in a design.

Step 2: Define the Problem

The identification of the problem statement is key in the design process.

  • Asking a lot of questions will enable them to arrive at the right problem.
  • Only one problem solving can be done at a time. So, defining the problem is vital.
  • The problem can only be solved by identifying the root cause. Only then can an appropriate solution can be arrived at. The tool to identify the root cause is the ‘5-Why’ tool. You need to keep asking ‘Why’ to narrow down on the problem statement. An example from the inventor of 5-Whys is given below:

Taichi Ohno, the creator of the 5-Why technique, for root cause analysis:

  1. “Why did the robot stop?”

The circuit has overloaded, causing a fuse to blow.

2. “Why is the circuit overloaded?”

There was insufficient lubrication on the bearings, so they locked up.

3. “Why was there insufficient lubrication on the bearings?”

The oil pump on the robot is not circulating sufficient oil.

4. “Why is the pump not circulating sufficient oil?”

The pump intake is clogged with metal shavings.

5. “Why is the intake clogged with metal shavings?”

Because there is no filter on the pump

What do you think?

Is “NO FILTER ON THE PUMP” the root cause?

Step 3: Divergence

Ideate, What if & Brainstorm.

  • In this step idea generation will take place based on two patterns

– Pattern: with no defective ideas (positive)
-Anti-pattern: with few defective ideas (negative)

  • By connecting these two patterns in affinity, we can arrive at an appropriate idea
  • Ideas have to be in a cluster keeping the main goal in mind, by which the right idea to solve the right problem can be obtained.
  • Everybody should contribute ideas and there should not be any judgment or bias.
  • Brainstorming and Mind map are excellent tools to come up with a variety of ideas.
  • Encourage conflict of ideas to come up with more ideas.

Step 4: Convergence

What works and connecting the dots.

  • From ideas that evolved from the divergence process, now it’s time to make choice on the best ideas.
  • Make choices among pooled ideas by categorizing them into the following categories:
  1. Quickest Impact Ideas
  2. Boldest Ideas
  3. Long-Lasting Ideas
  • To arrive at which idea works best, connect the dots from the previous process.
  • Testing of the desired solution to find out if any flaws exist within the Design Thinking Process.

Step 5: Communicate /Tell Your Story

Tell your story.

  • Storyboard presentation of the idea and processes helps to communicate in an efficient manner.
  • Communication is the energy engine, which makes the ideas run.
  • By connecting the ideas as a story, it will avoid distraction in the target audience.
  • This also helps in converging ideas & effectively presenting the ideas to the target audience.
  • Many good ideas have been killed as they were not properly presented / Communicated to the intended audience.
  • Story needs to be told in the language of the user.

List of 10 Design Principles:

  1. Good Design is inclusive
  2. Good Design is stress-free
  3. Good Design is intuitive
  4. Good Design is a problem-solver
  5. Good Design is sustainable
  6. Good Design is friendly
  7. Good Design satisfies the senses
  8. Good Design is altruist
  9. Good Design blends into the environment
  10. Good Design is thoughtful

 Design Thinking
Principles of Design Thinking

Design approaches from around the globe

Design Thinking isn’t just for designers. All great innovators in literature and art, science, engineering, business, and music have used it. Why is it called Design Thinking? What is Design Thinking? What’s special about Design Thinking? “Design Thinking means that designers can use their work processes to help us extract, teach, learn, and apply these human-centered methods to solve problems creatively and innovatively – in our designs and in our countries.

Many of the top brands in the world such as Apple, Google, and Samsung have adopted Design Thinking quickly. Design Thinking is taught at the best universities worldwide, including Harvard, Stanford, Harvard, MIT, and d.school. Do you know what Design Thinking is? Why is it so popular? We’ll tell you why it’s so popular.

Why is design thinking so important?

Organizations can create lasting value for their customers through design thinking. The process is useful in any complex system (not just design systems) because it:

1. The goal is to address a specific human need

Teams can identify pain points in the consumer’s life using an observational, human-centric approach. This may be something that the consumer might not have thought of before. Once they are identified, design thinking can help to solve those pain points.

2. Problems that are unclear or hard to define.

Many consumers don’t know the problem they are facing or can’t articulate it. However, observing closely can help identify problems by looking at real consumer behavior and not just relying on their own ideas. This allows you to identify ambiguous issues and makes it easier for you to find solutions.

3. This leads to innovative solutions

It is impossible for humans to imagine things that aren’t possible. These unknown pain points can be identified using design thinking. Using an iterative approach to tackle those problems often leads to non-obvious, innovative solutions.

4. Organizations run more efficiently and faster

Instead of spending a lot of time researching a problem and not coming up with an answer, design thinking encourages the creation of prototypes that can be tested to determine their effectiveness.

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