The design thinking process is a cycle-based method for developing creative solutions from the end user’s perspective. It allows you dive deep into the world of your end user in a short amount of time and helps you understand them on a deeper level.
The design thinking process is a five-step method for developing out of the box solutions to difficult problems.
In the empathizing phase you will submerge into the world of your end user and get to know them at their core. You will get to know them on a personal level, what drives them, their hopes and dreams, fears and how they go about their daily lives. This is how you will truly understand them on a fundamental level, what they want, the decisions they make and why they make them.
In the defining phase your task will be to analyze the information gathered from the empathizing phase and set a goal for the project.
This phase is tricky and analyzing tools should be used to help guide you in understanding the challenge. The key to success in the defining phase is asking the right questions.
The ideation phase is, you guessed it, the phase where you will ideate solutions to the challenges and questions defined in the previous phase. There are many ideating tools you can use to help you come up with ideas and using them is necessary. While ideating you should really think out of the box and let your creativity prosper. Creating the right mood and environment for your team is vital. Each to their own how you achieve this but make your team feel comfortable, have a laugh, and don’t take yourself too seriously. The ideation phase, if done correctly, should never feel like work. It might even be helpful for your team to set a goal on how many solutions you should come up with before starting.
Prototyping is a phase that should be done quite quickly and after this you should test your prototyped solution as quickly as possible. “Fail fast” is the preferred motto while prototyping. Use what you need to prototype, build it in physical form or create a digital version, there is an application or software for anything.
The testing phase is where you will test your prototype on the end user. Testing really goes hand in hand with the prototyping phase. These two steps should be repeated in a cyclical manner until you have done enough troubleshooting to have a solid, working and applicable solution to the challenge at hand.
Set goals, make your team members feel appreciated and heard and most importantly, take pride and joy in your creative process.