What is Design Thinking and Why is so Important?
Design Thinking is a way of thinking and working through a collection of practical methods. It is an iterative process in which we try to understand the user, question assumptions, redefine problems, and try to identify alternative strategies and solutions that may not be recognizable at our initial level of understanding.
At the same time, Design Thinking offers a solution-oriented approach to solving problems and some of the world’s leading brands, such as Apple, Google and Samsung, rapidly adopted the design thinking approach.
Design Thinking is an ideology and a process aiming to solve complex problems in a user-centred way. The ideology says that in order to find innovative solutions, one has to adopt a designer mentality and address problems from the perspective of the users. Design thinking is an iterative, non-linear cycle that includes\
development of a deep understanding of the needs of the customer or user
context of a particular situation
meaning of the data
discovery of insights
questioning of assumptions
exploration of different perspectives
reformulation of the problem as an opportunity to generate creative ideas criticism
selection of ideas
refinement of solutions
implementation of your innovation
Stages of design thinking
Initially, designing empathy for the user and builds a crucial & necessary bridge between the target user or audience and the product, project, or service being designed. The steps involved during this stage of the design thinking methodology are:
Finding out what experts know about the topic
Gaining a deeper understanding of a user's perspective by engaging in a more personal interaction
Immersion oneself in the physical world
In this stage, designers will analyze their observations completed throughout the empathy stage and synthesize them to define the core problems you have identified and ensures a human-centred approach by focusing on the end user.
Not focusing on what the company might need to do, the definition stage of the design thinking process should help state what the user needs as a way of defining the problem.
Starting to think outside the box, solid knowledge from the first two phases means you can start looking for alternative ways to view the problem and identify innovative solutions to the problem statement you’ve created and promote open thinking and risk-taking in order to create strong and unique ideas.
The more ideas you can put together, the more opportunity is created to investigate and test to see if they work to solve the user’s problem.
In this stage, it is necessary to have a prototype of an idea, but the ramifications are still open to change. Prototypes can be sketches, models, or digital renders of a concept. The aim is to identify the best practicable solution for each problem found. Produce some affordable, scaled-down versions of the product.
Understanding all ramifications and roadblocks in making the product a reality is an objective. Ideally, prototyping should also uncover additional user experience problems and set up designers with a clearer view of user behaviours, reactions, and expectations. This could involve simply paper prototyping.
Directly test your prototype with actual users. Don't defend your idea in case people don't like it, the point is to learn what works and what didn't, so any feedback is great. Take your learnings and apply them to the next round of ideation or prototyping. Repeat the process until you have a prototype that works and solves the real problem. Now you are ready to change the world.