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Design Thinking method

Design Thinking is a process that leads you through chaos and helps you to organise it. It consists of five stages: Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test (according to Stanford d.school). Thanks to this structure, we can move from complexity to solutions. We can keep sight of the goal, while providing the opportunity to immerse ourselves in limitless possibilities.

Human centred method

Design Thinking is a human centred method. It proposes that each process start with empathy, that is, a deep understanding of our users’ and clients’ needs. Before we start inventing something, we need to understand how they live, what their desires and needs are, how they make decisions, where they look for solutions, what they enjoy, what hurts them, what they are angry with, and what fills them with joy. We put ourselves into their shoes and look for moments in which emotions arise. In emotions, we find the insights that support and develop the whole creative process.

Define phase

Define phase is a part of the Design Thinking process. Through defining our objective, we get out of chaos and start the journey towards our goal. It encourages us to formulate a question that the project will answer. This question will arise from examining the needs of our end users, who were defined in the Empathise step, and is that for which the project ultimately hopes to provide a solution. It must be inspirational, catchy, engaging, and realistic. The better formulated the question, the greater the motivation there will be to work in the next stages.

Prototyping

The fact is that there will never be 100% certainty in response to this question. However, DT can greatly reduce the uncertainty through its Prototype step. This step gives us the opportunity to prepare low budget prototypes of several ideas. The prototypes can then be presented to potential end users, who provide feedback. Through this approach, we can find out the strengths and weaknesses of our proposed solutions, or even if they make sense at all. Once we have had the chance to implement feedback and improve our product, we can ask for feedback again…and again. Until finally, we can confidently say that the end result is ready for investment.

Creative work

Good DT processes are those through which we include people from a variety of backgrounds. The communication between different areas is beneficial in the promotion of out-of-the-box thinking. Even if, initially, the ideas of others seem strange or unrealistic to us, maybe even crazy, this is where we can gain greater perspective, new insights, and a new dimension of quality, through the process of synergy.

Imagine what can come out of a discussion between an experienced maths teacher and a young painter who work together to create a new type of techno music concert. Something completely out of the box, no doubt. This is where synergy can yield innovation.

Prototyping is also a great way to get out of the box. It encourages a wide variety of methods to be used, including creative processes like drama, which can stimulate our left brain hemisphere and therefore our creativity and sensitivity.

A final but important point in the DT method is that it must always take place in a comfortable environment. The creators of the method emphasise the importance of the conditions of those participating in the process. They must feel good physically to free themselves mentally and emotionally.

Source: https://www.m-powered.eu/design-thinking-vs-chaos/

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