Design Thinking

What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is a popular methodology used during the design process which first defines the problem, then moves on to problem solving and implementing solutions. Essentially taking a ‘human experience first’ approach to problem solving, and embracing a customer-centered culture.

Customer expectations are changing. The arrival of companies without any legacy systems or restrained by technology are now really starting to apply pressure delivering exactly what users want and expect.

Organisations that embrace the culture of designing products and services around the needs and wants of their users from the very beginning are seeing the rewards - engagement, loyalty and long term growth.

The process

The design-thinking framework follows an overall flow of understanding, exploring and materializing. Within these larger buckets fall the 6 phases: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test, and implement.

Step 1: Empathise
Conduct research in order to develop knowledge about what your users do, say, think, and feel.

Step 2: Define
Combine all your research and observe where your users’ problems exist. In pinpointing your users’ needs, begin to highlight opportunities for innovation.

Step 3: Ideate
Brainstorm a range of crazy, creative ideas that address the unmet user needs identified in the define phase.

Step 4: Prototype
Build real, tactile representations for a subset of your ideas. The goal of this phase is to understand what components of your ideas work, and which do not. In this phase you begin to weigh the impact vs. feasibility of your ideas through feedback on your prototypes.

Step 5: Test
Return to your users for feedback. Ask yourself ‘Does this solution meet users’ needs?’ and ‘Has it improved how they feel, think, or do their tasks?’

Step 6: Implement
Ensure that your solution is materialised and touches the lives of your end users.