What is Design Thinking, and how does it work?

Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we try to understand the user, question assumptions, and reframe challenges in order to find new tactics and answers that aren’t immediately obvious based on our current level of knowledge. Simultaneously, Design Thinking offers a problem-solving strategy centred on solutions. It is both a style of thinking and functioning as well as a set of practical techniques.

Design Thinking is based on a strong desire to learn more about the people for whom we are making goods or services. It enables us to observe and empathise with the target user. Design Thinking aids in the process of questioning: the issue, the assumptions, and the consequences. By re-framing the issue in human-centric ways, producing numerous ideas in brainstorming sessions, and taking a hands-on approach to prototyping and testing, Design Thinking is highly beneficial in solving challenges that are ill-defined or unknown. Sketching, prototyping, testing, and trying out thoughts and ideas are all part of the Design Thinking process.

The Stages of Design Thinking

There are several different versions of the Design Thinking approach in use today, with three to seven different phases, stages, or modes. Design Thinking, on the other hand, is extremely similar in all of its forms. The same concepts underpin all variations of Design Thinking, which were initially outlined by Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon in The Sciences of the Artificial in 1969. We’ll concentrate on the five-phase model established by Stanford’s Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design, often known as d.school. Because they are at the forefront of using and teaching Design Thinking, we picked the d.school’s approach. According to the d.school, there are five stages of Design Thinking:

Empathize — with the people you’re trying to help.
Define — the needs, the issue, and your insights of your users.
Ideate — through questioning assumptions and coming up with new answers.
Prototype — this is the first step in developing a solution.
Test — the solutions.

It’s worth noting that the five phases, stages, or modes aren’t necessarily in that order. They don’t have to be in any particular sequence, and they may frequently happen in parallel and iteratively. As a result, you should not think of the stages as a hierarchical or sequential procedure. Instead of sequential stages, think of it as an overview of the modes or phases that contribute to an innovative endeavour.

Design Thinking or ‘Outside the Box’ Thinking

Design Thinking is a method of thinking that involves thinking outside the box. Designers are aiming to establish new ways of thinking that do not abide by the prevailing or more frequent problem-solving approaches, which is why Design Thinking is sometimes referred to as “outside the box” thinking.

The objective of Design Thinking is to enhance products by researching and understanding how consumers engage with them, as well as examining the circumstances under which they work. The desire and skill to ask important questions and challenge assumptions are at the foundation of Design Thinking. Falsifying earlier assumptions – that is, proving whether they are correct or not – is one aspect of outside-the-box thinking. The solution-generation method will assist us in producing ideas that represent the true restrictions and features of a challenge once we have questioned and studied its circumstances. Design Thinking allows us to go a little further; it enables us to do the appropriate research, prototype, and test our products and services in order to discover new methods to improve the product, service, or design.