Design Thinking is a design process that takes a solution-oriented approach to issue resolution. It is highly beneficial in resolving difficult challenges that are ill-defined or unknown, by understanding the human requirements involved, re-framing the problem in human-centric ways, brainstorming various ideas, and using a hands-on approach to prototyping and testing. Understanding these five steps of Design Thinking can enable anybody to apply Design Thinking methodologies to tackle complex problems that arise around us – in our businesses, in our countries, and even on a global scale.
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Now let us take a deeper look at each of the five stages of Design Thinking.
What are the five steps in design thinking?
The first step in the Design Thinking approach is to develop an empathetic knowledge of the situation at hand. This entails consulting specialists to learn more about the topic at hand, as well as watching, interacting, and empathizing with people to understand their experiences and motivations, as well as immersing yourself in the physical surroundings to obtain a better personal grasp of the problem at hand. Empathy is essential in a human-centered design approach like Design Thinking because it helps designers to lay aside their worldview assumptions to acquire insight into consumers and their needs.
2. Define the problem
You bring together the knowledge you developed and received throughout the Empathise stage during the Define stage. This is where you will analyze and synthesize your observations to describe the fundamental challenges that you and your team have noticed thus far. To characterize the problem as a problem statement in a human-centered approach, you should try to characterize it as a problem statement.
To illustrate, rather than defining the problem as your desire or the company's need, such as "We need to increase our tampon consumption market share among young teenage girls by 15%," a much better way to define the problem would be, "Teenage girls need to use more tampons to thrive, be healthy, and grow."
3. Idea stage
Designers are ready to generate ideas at the third stage of the Design Thinking process. In the Empathise stage, you grew to understand your users and their requirements, and in the Define step, you analyzed and synthesized your observations to produce a human-centered issue statement. With this firm foundation, you and your team members may begin to "think outside the box" to uncover fresh solutions to the issue statement you've written, as well as other ways of perceiving the problem. Ideation techniques abound, including Brainstorm, Brainwriting, Worst Possible Idea, and SCAMPER.
By the conclusion of the Ideation phase, you should have selected some other Ideation approaches to assist you in investigating and testing your ideas to identify the ideal approach to either fix an issue or offer the pieces necessary to sidestep it.
The design team will now create several low-cost, scaled-down replicas of the product or particular elements found within it to study the issue solutions created in the previous stage. Prototypes can be shared and tested inside the team, across departments, or on a small group of individuals outside the design team. This is an experimental phase in which the goal is to find the best potential solution to each of the challenges highlighted in the previous three phases. The solutions are implemented within the prototypes, and one by one, they are investigated and either approved, enhanced, and re-examined, or rejected based on the experiences of the users.
By the conclusion of this stage, the design team will have a deeper understanding of the product's restrictions and issues, as well as a clearer picture of how real users would behave, think, and feel while engaging with the ultimate product.
Designers or evaluators put the whole product through rigorous testing utilizing the best solutions found during the prototype phase. In an iterative approach, the data collected during the testing phase are generally used to redefine one or more issues and enrich the understanding of the users, the circumstances of usage, how people think, react, and feel, and empathize. Even during this phase, changes and improvements are done to rule out issue solutions and gain a thorough grasp of the product and its users.
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