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Introduction to Design Thinking: A Beginner’s Guide

Posted on August 27th, 2020 by Sanjit Anand ||Email This Post Email This Post

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Design thinking is a user-centered way of a cognitive problem-solving process. Design Thinking is Mindset that is Human-Centered & Empathic , Collaborative , Optimistic & Experimental .

Design Thinking is the confidence that new, better things are possible and that you can make them happen. It involves extensive collaboration, using strategies such as mapping customer journeys, concept creation, and prototyping

Watch the video below for a introduction by Jeff Humble as starting point

  • What is Design Thinking? Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to
    • understand the user
    • challenge assumptions
    • redefine problems in an attempt to
    • identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding.

At the same time, Design Thinking provides a solution-based approach to solving problems.

In order words , we can redifinee as

A skill that allows a designer to align what people want with what can be done, and produce a viable business strategy that creates customer value and market opportunity “

  • What is underline Process : This consist of 4 Rule and 5 Phase as below

    • 4 RULE : Design Thinking process is progressive and highly user-centric. Christoph Meinel and Harry Leifer of the Hasso-Plattner-Institute of Design at Stanford University ( identified four rules of Design Thinking:

      • The human rule: design is social in nature — problems must be solved in a way that satisfies human needs and acknowledge the human elements in all technologies.
      • The ambiguity rule: ambiguity is inevitable — experiment at the limits of our knowledge, the limits of our ability to control events, and with the freedom to see things in a different light.
      • The re-design rule: all design is re-design — technology and social circumstances are constantly evolving. We need to understand how our human needs were met in the past.
      • The tangibility rule: making ideas tangible facilitates communication — this directly refers to creating prototypes.
    • 5 PHASES : The phases of Design Thinking that influenced the modern day process were coined by Nobel Prize laureate Herbert Simon in 1969, and originally included 7 steps. Modern versions of the process include anywhere from 5-6 steps. For the purpose of this post, I use the simple 5 step process proposed by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford.
  1. Empathize (Understanding the human needs involved ) : The empathize stage is critical to understand where the problems you are trying to solve come from. Immerse yourself into the life of your user to understand the1fcad11a-7d17-49dc-8257-3a3a778f10a5ir problems. This can also be thought of as finding “gaps in the market”, where there are no straightforward product solutions to a given issue. Identify the need and address it. This phase focuses on research.
  2. Define (Re-framing and defining the problem in human-centric ways) :Now that a need is identified and research is collected, you can define the problem in human-centric terms. You want this problem to be broad enough for a flexible and creative approach, but narrow enough to hone in on the problems niche. An example of a successful human-centric problem definition could be: “Professionals need a way to virtually take notes, mark their calendar, set reminders, and sync them for access on work and home devices to streamline organization.”
  3. Ideate (Creating many ideas in ideation sessions ) : Now that you understand your users problems and have analyzed your research, you can begin generating ideas to solve the defined problem. A popular way to generate ideas is with a brainstorm. Arrange a meeting with at least four people to start off. Try to come up with as many phrases or word associations as you can — no limits, no rules! Bring in a couple individuals from other teams. People with outside experience contribute valuable ideas by looking at the problem through an alternative lens. The ideate phase focuses on free thinking and unconventional approaches.
  4. Prototype (Adopting a hands-on approach in prototyping) : Using the best ideas from the ideate phase, you can now produce several basic iterations of your problem solving product. Early stages of the prototype phase are generally where user testing allows designers to identify kinks or missing elements of their designs. This stage focuses on experimenting by creating multiple approaches to solving the problem.
  5. Test (Developing a prototype/solution to the problem) :The final stage of the design thinking process, designers now combine the best solutions from the prototype phase into one complete product. This phase involves the most user-testing.

Moreover , there are small variation in Design Thinking but more or less center theme remain same


  • What is the value of Design Thinking?

Design thinking can be beneficial to several businesses and individuals wishing to advance or improve their problem-solving methods. Here are a few of the many ways in which design thinking can be important in a business setting:

  • Design thinking helps individuals to focus on the solution rather than getting stuck on the problem.
  • This process allows companies to better understand their customers’ needs, which, in turn, allows the businesses to better meet these needs.
  • Design thinking enables businesses to come up with new and innovative solutions to problems.
  • The design thinking process can help to more adequately meet a client’s needs, especially when the client is directly involved in the process.
  • Design thinking allows businesses to continually learn about and monitor their customers’ satisfaction as well as allow them to make changes to their products or services when necessary to promote increased customer satisfaction.
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