Why design thinking is important?
Design Thinking is not an exclusive property of designers, all great innovators in literature, art, music, science, engineering, and business have practiced it.
So, why call it Design Thinking? What’s special about Design Thinking is that designers’ work processes can help us systematically extract, teach, learn and apply these human-centered techniques to solve problems in a creative and innovative way – in our designs, in our businesses, in our countries, in our lives.
Some of the world’s leading brands, such as Apple, Google, Samsung, and GE, have rapidly adopted the Design Thinking approach.
What is Design Thinking?
Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions. At the same time, Design Thinking provides a solution-based approach to solving problems.
Design Thinking helps us in the process of questioning: questioning the problem, questioning the assumptions, and questioning the implications.
Design Thinking is extremely useful in tackling problems that are ill-defined or unknown, by re-framing the problem in human-centric ways, creating many ideas in brainstorming sessions, and adopting a hands-on approach in prototyping and testing.
Phases in Design Thinking :
The first stage in design thinking process is to empathize.
For any solution to exist, the problem and the users interacting with it needs to be identified and observed. Empathizing with actual users is the only way a designer can identify the problems they’re facing.
Every designer should step into the user’s shoe. Sometimes, users are not even aware of the problems they are facing unless they find a solution for it.
In this stage, you should keep aside your own assumptions about the world and gain real insights into users and their needs.
In this stage, the information gathered during empathize stage is organized.
The observations are analyzed to define the core problems which are identified. Problem statements are framed based on the result of the observations.
Create ideas which solves the defined problems. Brainstorm over the ideas and dig deep into the base of information which was obtained in the previous two steps.
Look the problem from different perspectives and find out innovative solutions for the problem statement.
In this step, the possible solution is filtered. Sketches, models or digital renders of an idea is created which looks close to a small-scale, inexpensive version of the product.
It sets the stage for decision making conversations around what works and what doesn’t.
Prototyping should also uncover additional user experience problems and set up designers with a clearer view of user behaviors, reactions, and expectations.
In this step, test your solutions. Perform testing with different potential users.
This step requires real users to generate real data. Testing is often an iterative process. Designers can expect to go through a series of changes, edits, and refinements during the testing stage.
Hence, the whole module of 5 steps helps a designer to generate a human-centric solution. These steps are not be followed sequentially as design thinking is the iterative process.
This helps the designer to gain the deepest understanding of the users and their problems and help them figure out the best potential solution for the same.