Design thinking is a design methodology based on a solution to a problem. This is extremely useful in solving complex, complex problems that are not identified or unknown. In this case, the solution is usually associated with a rethinking of the problem in the realities of human needs, the creation of a large number of ideas through brainstorming and a practical approach to prototyping and testing. Understanding the 5 stages of design thinking will allow everyone to apply the methods of design thinking when solving the complex problems around us – in our company, our country, and even on our planet.
In his original text in 1969 on the methods of designing the “Science of the Artificial”, Nobel Prize winner Herbert Simon outlined one of the first official models of the Design Thinking process. Simon’s model consists of seven main stages, each of which includes separate stages and activities, significantly influencing the formation of some widely used models of the design thinking process. Currently used and applied many variants of the process of design thinking.
The Design Thinking methodology has its origins as so many other things related to innovation, at the Stanford University of California (www.stanford.edu), the design consultancy IDEO (www.ideo.com) was the one who applied it for the first time in commercial projects in the 70s and today this company with its CEO Tim Brown at the helm (https://www.ideo.com/people/tim-brown) remains a benchmark in terms of Design Thinking and innovation refers.
Initially, this methodology was closely related to product development but little by little it has evolved and it has become a sensational tool that generates innovation with which ideas can arise in any sector and situation, in the development of innovative products or services, improvement of processes, definition of business models, improvement of user experience, etc.
Let us not miss anything and we have to realize everything, things that at first sight or quickly we could not appreciate or value. We have to be empathic, through empathy we integrate ourselves into the environment and try to adapt to it. We identify with the user and his problem, fundamental to be able to help him solve it. The environment and the user condition us and we have to know them, understand them, merge and relate to them.
One might think that Design Thinking is a direct and linear process in which each previous stage leads to the next with a logical conclusion at the testing stage. However, in practice, the process is more flexible and non-linear. For example, several stages can take place simultaneously in different groups within the design team, or designers can collect information and make prototypes throughout the project, translating their ideas into reality and visualizing solutions to the problem. In addition, the results of the testing phase may provide new information about users, which, in turn, may lead to a new phase of brainstorming or the development of new prototypes. It is important to note that the five stages do not always have to be consistent, it is not necessary to follow a strict order. Often phases can go parallel or iteratively repeat.
The design process
- Design thinking solves complex problems with the following actions:
- Empathy: understanding human needs and requirements
- Definition: definition and rethinking of the problem in the realities of human needs and requirements
- Idea generation: creating a large number of ideas to solve a problem during the idea generation sessions
- Prototyping: putting ideas into practice, developing a prototype
- Testing: Getting feedback on the prototype, improving it.