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Design Thinking

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This is a complete guide to design thinking principles and processes, start reading to explore more!!!


Design thinking is a non-linear, iterative method used by teams to understand people, challenge assumptions, redefine challenges, and build creative prototypes and tests. It is especially useful for tackling ill-defined or unknown challenges, as it involves five phases: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. Human-centered design thinking is at the heart of design thinking. It promotes enterprises to focus on the people for whom they are developing things, services, and internal processes, resulting in better products, services, and internal processes. When developing a solution for a business need, the first question you should always ask is, “What is the human need behind it?” When you use design thinking, you combine what is desired from a human standpoint with what is technologically practical and economically viable. It also enables folks who have not been trained as designers to employ creative methods to address a wide range of problems. Taking action and asking the correct questions are the first steps in the process. It’s about adopting simple mentality modifications and approaching things from a different angle.


What Makes Design Thinking Unique?

What makes design thinking special is that it focuses on a specific set of challenges. For example, we are not only talking about regular problems that have tried-and-true answers. Here, we’re talking about “wicked” challenges, which defy traditional methodologies and approaches. Defining and solving these problems is not only difficult but every attempt at doing so is likely to create more problems. From global issues such as climate change and poverty all the way to obstacles that touch practically all enterprises, such as change management, attaining sustainable growth, and maintaining your competitive edge, there are wicked problems everywhere. 


With the help of design thinking, even the world’s most difficult challenges can be solved. A user-centric approach is emphasized, as is creativity in the form of new ideas and a willingness to think outside of the box.


Examples Of Design Thinking Success

In product and service design, design thinking is most visible. Design thinking may, however, be applied to a wide range of problems, not just those related to design!


Innovation and teamwork are fostered by integrating design thinking into the workplace. Using IBM’s Enterprise Design Thinking framework, IBM claims that organizations are twice as quick to get their ideas to market, 75% more efficient in terms of teamwork, and experience a 300% return on investment compared to those who do not.


The insurance company MassMutual employed a design thinking approach to encourage young folks to get life insurance. Over the course of two years, they conducted comprehensive user research in collaboration with IDEO. On the basis of what they had learned, they spent two more years prototyping and testing. Society of Grownups, a set of digital tools that help young people make good financial decisions, is the result.


Importance of Design Thinking


Importance Of Design Thinking

1.  Tackling Problems – Design thinking allows you to look at challenges from an entirely different angle. The use of the Design Thinking technique offers a fresh perspective on a company’s current situation by leveraging the power of imagination. There will be a lot of serious brainstorming and the generation of new ideas that can help the learner enhance his or her knowledge base. It allows experts to work together to collect input, resulting in a better end-user experience.

2.  Helps effectively in meeting the requirements – Because design thinking involves prototyping, all items in the MVP stage will undergo many rounds of testing and consumer feedback to ensure quality. It is more likely to achieve client expectations when you use a design thinking approach because your clients are participating in the design and development process.

3.  Enhance the knowledge – The design process is subjected to a number of tests. Even after the delivery has been completed, the process continues. Firms will continue to measure results based on client input, so they may continue to improve their products. A design thinker who actively participates in a process like this will constantly enhance their understanding of their clients and as a result, they’ll be able to figure out certain things such as what tools should be employed, how to plug any weak gaps in the deliverable, etc.


Principles Of Design Thinking

There are certain principles that are pivotal to design thinking. The five most significant design thinking principles are given here:


1.  User centricity and empathyThe goal of design thinking is to discover solutions that are responsive to human needs and feedback from users. This means that you must put yourself in the shoes of your users and develop true empathy for them.

2.  Collaboration – As a result of design thinking, you’ll be able to come up with new and innovative concepts.  Collaboration between varied, multidisciplinary teams is encouraged by design thinking.

3.  Ideation – When it comes to design thinking, the goal is to generate as many ideas and solutions as possible.  Ideation is both a core design thinking principle and a step in the design thinking process. Participants are encouraged to focus on the number of ideas, rather than the quality, during the ideation process.

4.  Experimentation and iteration – Aside from coming up with ideas, it’s also about prototyping, testing, and making modifications based on feedback from the user. When using design thinking, be prepared to go back and redo particular processes as you discover flaws and inadequacies in your first solution.

5.  Bias towards action – When it comes to fixing problems, design thinking favors action over talk. As opposed to making assumptions about what your users want, design thinking pushes you to go out and talk to them. As an alternative to discussing possible solutions, you’ll convert ideas into concrete prototypes and test them in real-world scenarios.


Framework:  Five Key Steps/Phases

The three steps of the design thinking framework are immersion, ideation, and implementation. Further, the design thinking process may be split down into five parts that can be carried out in real-time:



Design Thinking Process



1. Empathize: Research your users’ needs.


Identifying and addressing the problem at hand is the first step in the design process. Because preconceptions can inhibit creativity, design thinkers are encouraged to throw off all assumptions about the problem, the users, and society at large. Because of this, they are able to objectively analyze any and all alternatives regarding the customer and their wants.

Typical activities include the following:

   Observations: Visit the places your users go and find out what they are interested in.

–   Qualitative interviews: You’ll interview a few of your consumers one-on-one to get a better understanding of their opinions on the issue you’re researching. Anyone who’s ever experienced the problem you’re examining can provide a rich description of the situation that may otherwise go unnoticed.


These tools might be an excellent method to consolidate all the essential information gathered from interviews. In the context of the situation, empathy maps capture what people do, say, think, and feel as a result of it. Colleagues benefit from their knowledge of the problem’s background and how others perceive it.


2.  Define: State your users’ needs and problems.


The next step is to explicitly articulate the problem statement based on all of the information acquired in the first stage. Instead of focusing on commercial goals, the resulting problem statement should be human-centered. It would be more humane, for example, to help busy women provide healthy meals for their families instead of establishing a goal to raise signups by 5%. Ask yourself questions based on the issues you noticed or heard about and consider how you may resolve them.

Typical activities include the following:

   Clustering and themes: Define can be approached in a variety of ways, but it’s safe to assume that you’ll require a wall of sticky notes packed with quotes, thoughts, and ideas that you’ve collected while doing the study. Consider grouping or clustering ideas together until you locate the most noticeable ones.


Concentrate on spotting patterns and difficulties among a varied collection of people as you explore the empathy data. Knowing how people are currently solving the problem gives us clues on how to come up with an even better one. Not every user’s problem can be solved. The most important or influential concerns that you want to explore as you move forward are those that you have identified.


3.  Ideate: Challenge assumptions and create ideas.


Now that the problem has been identified, it’s time to come up with solutions. So that your team can research and test as many ideas as possible, you gather as many ideas as feasible in the beginning.


During the ideation stage, you move from recognizing problems to researching possible solutions to those problems. Idea generation and evaluation are intertwined, yet it’s crucial to keep them separate. For now, don’t worry about the quality or viability of your ideas. It is time to evaluate the thoughts that have been collected. As a group, discuss the ideas that have been presented to get clarification if necessary.


For a team, the ideation phase is usually an extremely creative and liberating time, as they are allowed to come up with unconventional ideas before deciding on what to prototype.


4.  Prototype: Start to create your solutions.


Experiment now! Your team determines which of the available solutions can best tackle the specified problem through trial and error(s). You’ll often need smaller versions of the items or systems so you can show them to the individuals they’re meant to serve and obtain their input.


A low-fidelity version of the planned solution should be developed first, then improved over time depending on feedback. To learn quickly, start by creating a paper prototype. To learn what works and doesn’t work, you’ll need a realistic picture of the solution.


As a result of input received during the test phase, it is revised and updated in an iterative loop. Additionally, prototyping allows you to design alternative solutions that may be tested in parallel, identifying the best viable solution for those unmet user needs.


5.  Test: Try your solutions out.


When it comes time to test the finished result, all of the labor and information come together in one place. It’s vital to keep in mind that this is still a stage that allows for interaction. As with the Empathize phase, you’ll want to hear from your users again. That’s the only difference: You’re presenting your prototype to them in order to receive input on whether or not it solves their issue.


As the last point, everything should be centered around the individuals who will utilize your items. Once you’ve reviewed the problem statement, make sure the final solution meets those needs and resolves frustrations.


There is a strong need to know what people think about your idea in real life. Here, all the details are sorted out and refined to provide the finest potential outcome for all parties involved.


To learn more about design thinking principles and processes and how it works, enroll in the training course on design thinking brought to you by Labdox.

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