Design Thinking

What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is a methodology for innovation and development of products, services and processes.
The name "Design Thinking" starts from the central principle of the methodology: to approach the innovation process as a "designer".
The philosophy of Design Thinking starts from the presumption that, if we look around us, the only thing that is not designed by man is nature (everything else is designed by us humans); therefore, in order to innovate or develop new products or services, we must think as a designer, as a person who designs something.
We will focus on the five stages of design thinking which, according to the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford, are:
  • Empathy
  • Define (problem)
  • Idea
  • Prototype
  • Test
Let's take a closer look at the five different stages of design thinking.

1.Empathy

The first step in the Design Thinking process is to gain an empathic understanding of the problem you are trying to solve. This involves consulting experts to find out more about the area of ​​interest through observation; engaging and empathizing with people to understand their experiences and motivations; as well as by immersing yourself in the physical environment so that you can gain a deeper personal understanding of the issues involved.
Empathy is crucial to a human-centered design process, such as Design Thinking; and empathy allows design thinkers to set aside their own assumptions about the world to gain insight into users and their needs.
A substantial amount of information is collected at this stage to be used in the next stage and to develop a better understanding of users, their needs and the issues underlying the development of that product.

2.Define (problem)

Here you will analyze your observations and summarize them to define the basic issues that you and your team have identified so far. You should seek to define the problem as a statement of the problem in a human-centered manner.
The "Define" stage will help the designers on your team gather great ideas to set features; functions and any other elements that will allow them to solve problems or at least; to allow users to solve problems on their own with minimal difficulty. In the "Define" stage you will start moving on to the third stage, "Idea", by asking questions that can help you look for ideas for solutions.

3.Idea

In the third stage of the Design Thinking process, designers are ready to start generating ideas.
You came to understand your users and their needs in the "Empathy" stage and you analyzed and synthesized your observations in the "Define" stage and you came to a human-centered problem statement.
With this solid background, you. and your team members can start thinking "creatively"; to identify new solutions to the problem statement you created, and you can start looking for alternative ways to view the problem.

4.Prototype

The design team will now produce a series of simple versions of the product; so that it can investigate the solutions to the problems generated in the previous stage.
Prototypes can be shared and tested within the team itself; in other departments or on a small group of people outside the design team.
This is an experimental phase and the aim is to identify the best possible solution for each of the problems identified in the first three stages.
The solutions are implemented in prototypes and, one by one, are investigated; and either accepted, improved and re-examined, or rejected based on user experiences.
By the end of this stage, the design team will have a better idea of ​​the inherent constraints of the product and present issues and will have a clearer vision of how real users would behave, think and feel when interacting with the end product.

5.Test

Designers or evaluators rigorously test the final product using the best solutions identified in the prototyping phase.
This is the final stage of the 5-stage model, but in an iterative process; the results generated during the testing phase are often used to redefine one or more problems; to inform users' understanding, conditions of use, how people believe, behave and empathize.
Even in this phase, changes and improvements are made to exclude solutions to the problem and to gain a deeper understanding of the product and its users.

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