An Introduction To Design Thinking

Master the art of using your creativity to create success.

Design Thinking Processes for Success

Design thinking enables you to excel in this rapid-changing world. Design thinking is the propelling force of creation and innovation.

It is both a process and an approach.

It can also be defined as a problem-solving process that aims to provide the best possible solutions to perceived problems in a creative and strategic way. If we put it in a much simpler sense, design thinking is the act of using creativity to produce, innovate, or solve.

Below are the 5 stages of design thinking spiced up with steps and strategies that you can implement.

1. Empathise: Discover Needs

If you will observe the business or the corporate world, you will find that the most successful people are the ones who did a great job in providing relief and solutions to the needs, pains, and problems of mankind. Success depends on how much value you give or contribute. This principle is applicable not just in the business world, but also in some other vital components of life.

  • For example, if you are a writer, you must understand your readers and empathise with them. Look at how most articles around the web are too focused on explaining what the information is all about without highlighting the reasons why readers need to read them in the first place and what benefit they can get from reading them.
  • Empathy is key in creating new breakthroughs in any field. Follow the words of Lao Tzu, “attack what is weak”. Find out the weak points or the parts that need improvement. Those are the parts where you should direct your creativity towards.

2. Define: Clearly State The Problem

A clearly defined problem is one step away from a clearly defined solution. Now that you have pinpointed the needs and problems, it’s now time to clearly define them. Synthesize all the information gathered from the empathy stage.

  • List down significant factors, data, stats and other relevant information.
  • Eliminate unnecessary information and data that may clutter the whole process.
  • Scrutinize the gathered information and define the need or the problem in the clearest way possible.
  • State your problem in a phrase beginning with: “How might we...(add the challenge you are addressing)?”

3. Ideate: Think Outside The Box

This is the stage where you leverage your creativity and analytical skills to find the most innovative solutions and answers.

  • Think of all the best possible solutions you can generate and look for alternatives.
  • Brainstorm even the wildest ideas - don’t say no just yet to anything
  • Don’t be afraid to challenge the firmness of established principles and ideologies.
  • A solution can sometimes come as a result of combining two or more ideas or concepts.

4. Prototype: Create Possible Solutions (Yes, Not Just One)

This is where you breathe life to your ideas by creating the smallest version or representation of your solution. This could simply be in a form of a cheap paper prototype, a powerpoint deck, a webpage or flyer. Your prototype will feel unfinished and even “ugly” - that’s ok, it’s supposed to be.

5. Test: Test Your Solutions

Your solutions must be tested with your target audience. This stage is mainly about evaluating and rating the effectiveness of your proposed solutions. This also includes a repetitive process of trial-and-error. The final phase is the most critical stage. Take note of the following:

  • Make an honest assessment. Consider both the negative and the positive aspects.
  • You may also consider possible revisions and alterations
  • Feedback and suggestions are extremely needed to gain more insights to refine your work.

As mentioned previously, design thinking is an open and moldable idea. Use design thinking in your own unique way.

“Design thinking is the propelling force of creation and innovation.”

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