What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is a creative and out-of-the-box thinking process used to solve problems, both big and small. Within the design thinking process are several steps to follow to stay on track and maximize your ability to work out a solution to any given problem. Below, we have outlined each step in the design thinking process.


Step 1: Empathize

Approaching a problem empathetically will allow you to gain a more extensive understanding of the problem you are tackling. The first part of empathizing is putting yourself in the shoes of those being affected by the problem. It’s vital to gain a strong sense of what the consumer is feeling to truly understand how to approach the problem at hand.

Step 2: Define

Take the time to research what you are trying to solve as well as any additional hurdles you may run into in the process. In this step, you must be critically thinking about what you have learned from the first step of empathizing and now applying it through the eyes of the client.

Step 3: Ideate

Once you have gathered more information about what you are dealing with, it’s time to start generating basic solutions. Start small and work your way up. Sometimes the answer you have been looking for is more straightforward than you anticipated it would be. Looking at the problem through different perspectives can also be a great way to ideate. After generating multiple solutions, take the most innovative approach to Step 4.

Step 4: Prototype

Make a prototype! This prototype doesn’t have to be physical if your solution doesn’t require it to be. Just be sure that you take active progressions in solving the problem. Whether you have a budget to spend on a prototype or not, this is the stage where you take action on what you are trying to achieve. A prototype should not be perfect by any means. Put more simply: this is a designated time to put your compiled ideas into fruition.

Step 5: Test

Now that the brainstorming is over, it’s time to test your prototype. This final step in the design thinking process is where you can test your product in a real-world situation that replicates a solution to the original problem. While this is the final step in the process, it does not always lead to a successful outcome. Never settle for less than what you originally put out to accomplish, even if it means going back and repeating a step over again to improve your desired outcome.


Origin of Design Thinking?

Created by Stanford’s Design School (D.School), “design thinking is used to enhance learning and promote creative thinking, teamwork, and student responsibility for learning.” Stanford’s D.School is one of the most prestigious schools of design and is globally recognized for the creation and utilization of design thinking. Thinking outside the box in ways that allow people to give themselves a different perspective towards something is vital in accomplishing bigger goals.

How to Apply Design Thinking to Everyday Problems

Now that you know what design thinking is, it’s time to implement it into the next situation or problem you may face in your everyday life. Use these steps provided above to aid you in creative thinking!