Design thinking started as a strategy to spark innovation and creativity but in time it proved to be a powerful tool for business in the private and public sectors. Design thinking is a method that focuses on solving problems by keeping the needs of customers, possibilities for technology, and the potential success of businesses in consideration. It is an iterative process that seeks to redefine problems in order to create alternative solutions that might not appear considerable without using design thinking. It’s a solution-based process that requires getting a deep understanding of users and customers. But how does it work and what are its stages in simple terms?
Design thinking has several methods and models which embody empathy, ideation, and experimentation. The model that we are using here to explain design thinking further was first described by Nobel Prize laureate Herbert Simon in The Sciences of the Artificial in 1969. This model consists of five stages namely empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. These five stages are briefly described as follows:
Empathize- Understand users and empathize with them.
Define- Clearly define the problems. Turn those problems into insights.
Ideate- Challenge norms and create innovative solutions.
Prototype- Experiment and use prototype for possible solutions.
Test- Test, reflect, improvise, and repeat the process for best optimization.
But what if these stages are implemented in no particular order? These stages of design thinking are connected to each other but not always linearly. It is possible that after testing, new information gets revealed which helps define the problems more deeply. Other than this experimenting with prototypes and testing can also spark new ideas which will need further prototyping and testing.
What’s special about design thinking is that it allows users to use its human-centric processes to analyze, reflect, learn and experiment in order to start solving problems in an innovative way. Design thinking can also provide a solution to those problems which consumers might not even be aware of in the beginning making design thinking’s potential endless. Sometimes, customers/users find it difficult to verbalize the problem. Design thinking help in solving those ambiguous issues by first identifying those problems. Ambiguous problems call for alternative and out-of-the-box solutions which require innovative thinking and creativity. Design thinking embodies these qualities and thus sparks innovation by creating a deeper understanding of user experience and problems. In Conclusion, design thinking is a combination of creative and critical thinking which is useful in solving problems and stimulating innovative ideas.
If you would like to learn more about design thinking and learn about its several fun and innovative methods, then you are at the right place! We have much more learning content coming soon. Stay Tuned!