Design thinking is a process for creative problem solving. It’s about identifying an unmet human need and using design to solve it. The concept has been around since the early 1900s, and now it is used by companies all over the world. Design thinkers have helped people with everything from ergonomic office chairs to app interfaces, brand identities to toothbrushes.
The process goes beyond just creating new products or services. The goal of any designer is to create a product or service that people will use and love—not just something they need. Design thinking starts with understanding the core problem, then generating ideas quickly and inexpensively, and selecting solutions to test and refine. It’s a never-ending process that can be applied across any industry, including healthcare, education and business.
Design thinking is a process for creative problem solving.
The idea behind design thinking is that if you can create a prototype of your idea, test it, and learn from the results, then you’ll have a more effective solution in the end. Design thinking is an iterative process—you cycle through each step until you get closer to solving the problem.
Design thinking starts with a problem and works to create something that is useful and relevant to the people who need a solution. It’s also about creating a great experience for customers from start to finish. Often, a business creates a product/solution and then sets out to find someone who needs it. Instead, designers rely on intuition and experience to guide them as they experiment with different solutions until they find one that works best for a set of users.
Design thinking starts with understanding the problem.
The first step of design thinking is to empathize with your audience and go through a process of observing, interviewing and listening to learn more about their needs.
You can take field notes or use photography as a way to document your process and reference them later. This will help you remember what you learned and provide evidence that you’ve gathered useful insights before you start solving problems (or making things).
Empathy is key to design thinking because it allows designers to focus on users’ needs, rather than their own preconceptions about what those needs might be.
Next step is to generate ideas.
At this point, you should have gotten a better idea of what design thinking is and how it can be applied to your projects. In the next step of the process, you will be asked to generate ideas. This is called brainstorming.
- Brainstorming can take place either in groups or individually.
- Brainstorming is not about making a decision; it’s about generating as many ideas as possible. It’s like playing an improv game: no idea is wrong or bad; they’re all good until proven otherwise!
- It might seem silly at first but brainstorming can be fun—and even silly—so go ahead and let yourself get into it!
Design thinking tests ideas quickly and inexpensively.
Design thinking is an iterative process that involves testing ideas quickly and inexpensively. One of the key constraints of design thinking is that it’s often done with limited resources, which means you have to be efficient in your use of time, money and materials. Design thinkers create prototypes to try out ideas—not only because they can test them more quickly than traditional methods, but also because they can bring them into the real world for better feedback from users.
Prototypes are a great way to get concrete feedback about whether or not your idea will work for customers or users—and if it does work, which elements need further refinement before being brought to market?
The design process is ongoing.
The design process is not a one-time thing. Designers often think of their work as an “aha!” moment, but in actuality, it is more like a constant cycle of learning and problem solving. The best designers don’t just create beautiful things; they also look at the world around them with critical eyes that seek out problems to solve.
As you go through your daily life, think about things differently: Why does this need to be improved? How could this product or service be better based on a real experience? Asking these questions and seeking out solutions through observation and experimentation, you can start building a repertoire of the problem solving skills used in design thinking.