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What is Design Thinking

The Ultimate Guide to Design Thinking

Learn everything there is about Design Thinking. What it is, the Design Thinking Process and how to run a Design Thinking Workshop.

Contents

Design Thinking is a human-centered and strategy-driven process that helps digital experts to discover innovative solutions. In this guide, we will talk about what Design Thinking is, how you can get started with it and the different steps of the Design Thinking Process. We will also discuss how to run a Design Thinking Workshop so that you can put Design Thinking into practice!

Design Thinking Basics

What is Design Thinking?

To get straight to the point: Design Thinking is a problem-solving method that helps you to find innovative solutions to complex chaqllenges. Design Thinking is based on a human-centered approach and it is all about putting yourself in the shoes of the user or customer. This means that you have to understand their needs, wants and pain points in order to come up with better solutions.

Since Design Thinking was first developed at Stanford University's d.school in the early 2000s, it has become one of the most popular methods for problem-solving and innovation. Design Thinking is now used by leading companies all over the world, such as Google, Apple, IBM and Nike.

Who created Design Thinking?

Design Thinking was first developed through the combined efforts of several people at Stanford University's d.school in the early 2000s. The excitement for Design Thinking emerged from a class called the Design of Services, taught by David M. Kelley, the founder of IDEO.

While many say, Design Thinking is a combined outcome of a few brilliant minds. For example Herbert A. Simon introduced the term "design science" in the 1960s, Alex Osborn developed brainstorming techniques in the 1950s, and Edward de Bono created the concept of "lateral thinking" in the 1970s.

What is Design Thinking vs. Systems Thinking?

Design Thinking is often confused with Systems Thinking. To put it simply, Design Thinking is about coming up with creative solutions to complex problems, while Systems Thinking is about understanding how different system elements interact.

Since Design Thinking has its focuses on empathy and creativity, it is often used in the early stages of problem-solving. Design Thinking can help you to generate new ideas and to find innovative solutions. On the other hand, systems thinking is more analytical and is mostly used in the later stages of problem-solving. Systems Thinking can help you to understand how different system elements interact and

The Purpose of Design Thinking

What is the purpose of Design Thinking

The purpose of Design Thinking is to come up with innovative solutions to complex problems. Design Thinking is all about putting yourself in the shoes of the user or customer and understanding their needs, wants and pain points. By taking a human-centered approach, Design Thinking can help you find creative solutions tailored to the user's needs.

The Three Lenses of Human-Centered Design

You may have seen this one before. But let's talk about Desirability, Feasibility and Viability.

Desirability: Does the solution meet the needs and wants of the user?
Feasibility: Can the solution be implemented?
Viability: Is the solution sustainable?

These are the three lenses that you have to keep in mind when using Design Thinking. All solutions have to be desirable, feasible and viable in order to be successful.

What types of problems does Design Thinking solve?

Design Thinking can be used to solve any type of problem. Complex problems, simple problems, you name it. Design Thinking is about understanding the user's needs and wants and then developing creative solutions that meet those needs.

Design Thinking has been used to solve problems in a wide range of industries, such as healthcare, education, business, government and more.

Six Benefits of Design Thinking

1. Design Thinking is human-centered.
2. Design Thinking is an iterative process.
3. Design Thinking encourages collaboration.
4. Design Thinking generates new ideas.
5. Design Thinking helps you find innovative solutions.
6. Design Thinking can be used to solve any type of problem.

Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.

~Tim Brown, CEO and President of IDEO

Examples of Design Thinking in Business

An example where Netflix used Design Thinking is when they decided to redesign their website. They started by talking to their users and understanding their needs. They then designed a new website that was easier to use and more user-friendly. As a result, their website traffic increased by 50%.

Apple is another company that uses Design Thinking. When designing new products, they start by understanding the needs of their users. They then design products that are not only functional but also beautiful and user-friendly. As a result, Apple has become one of the most successful companies in the world.

Airbnb used Design Thinking to solve the problem of how to get more people to list their properties on their website. They started by talking to their users and understanding their needs. They then designed a new system that made it easy for people to list their properties on Airbnb. As a result, the number of listings on Airbnb increased dramatically.

With Design Thinking, LEGO was able to turn around its business when they were facing bankruptcy. From their User Research, LEGO discovered that their target market was no longer children but also adults who wanted to relive their childhood. They then designed a new line of LEGO products that were more appealing to adults.

Some other notable examples of problems that have been solved with Design Thinking include:

- Developing a new type of surgical glove that is less likely to cause infections
- Designing a school in Ghana that uses local materials and is affordable to build
- Creating a program that helps small businesses in developing countries get access to credit

The Design Thinking Principles

Principle 1: Empathy

The first principle of Design Thinking is empathy. This means that you have to put yourself in the shoes of the user and understand their needs. Only then can you develop solutions that meet those needs. Without understanding your users' needs', it's impossible to create solutions that they will want to use.

Principle 2: Expansive Thinking

The second principle of Design Thinking is expansive thinking. This means you need to think outside the box and develop creative solutions. Expansive thinking is about looking at problems from different perspectives and coming up with innovative solutions.

Principle 3: Experimentation

The third principle of Design Thinking is experimentation. This means you need to test your ideas and see what works and what doesn't. Experimentation is essential in Design Thinking because it allows you to validate your ideas and make sure they are effective.

The world-famous Double Diamond.
The world-famous Double Diamond.

About divergent and convergent thinking

Design thinking is a creative process that involves both divergent and convergent thinking.

Divergent thinking is about generating new ideas and coming up with creative solutions. This is the type of thinking you need to do in the early stages of Design Thinking. During the BTNG Design Thinking projects, the discovery phase is all about divergent thinking: Gathering new insights and identifying user needs.

Convergent thinking is about narrowing down your ideas and choosing the best solution. In order to do this, you need to analyze your ideas and see which one is the most feasible and effective. You can narrow down your choices by doing experiments and testing your ideas.

The Design Thinking Mindset

The capacity to innovate as a key strategic resource has assumed growing importance for many organizations. A Design Thinking Mindset is therefore essential for anyone who wants to be innovative and create new value.

A Design Thinking Mindset is a way of thinking that is characterized by four key features:

A focus on the user:
Design Thinking starts with the user. It's all about understanding their needs and developing solutions that meet those needs.

A bias for action:
Design Thinking is all about taking action and putting your ideas into practice. It's not enough to just have a good idea; you need to take action and make it happen.

A willingness to experiment:
Design Thinking is about experimentation. You need to test your ideas and see what works and what doesn't. Experimentation is essential in Design Thinking because it allows you to validate your ideas and make sure they are effective.

A focus on collaboration:
Design Thinking is a collaborative process. It's all about working together with others to come up with creative solutions. Collaboration is essential in Design Thinking because it allows you to tap into a group's collective intelligence and come up with better solutions.

How does Design Thinking differ from creative processes?

Design Thinking is a creative process that differs from other creative processes in several ways.

First, Design Thinking is user-centered. This means that it starts with the user and their needs. The goal is to develop solutions that meet the user's needs.  

Second, Design Thinking is a collaborative process. It's all about working together with others to come up with creative solutions.

Third, Design Thinking is an iterative process. This means you need to test your ideas and see what works and doesn't. You can then use this feedback to improve your ideas.

The Design Thinking Methodology

What is the Design Thinking Methodology?

The Design Thinking Methodology (also referred to as the Design Thinking framework) is a framework that consists of five phases: Empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test.  These five phases are designed to help you come up with creative solutions to problems.

Key elements of the Design Thinking methodology

Design Thinking stages: Design Thinking is a process that consists of three stages: Discovery, Design, and Delivery. The discovery stage is all about understanding the user's needs. This involves empathy and research. The design stage is about creating creative solutions to meet the user's needs. This involves ideation and prototyping. And Delivery is about bringing the solution to the user.

Design Thinking Steps: There are seven steps of Design Thinking: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test, Implement and Evaluate. While every step logically follows the next, they are highly iterative in nature and you should expect to move back and forth between them.

Design Thinking Activities: Because Design Thinking is largely workshop-based, there are a variety of Design Thinking activities that you can use to facilitate the Design Thinking process. These activities include brainstorming, role-playing, and sketching.

What are Design Thinking workshops?

Design Thinking workshops are interactive sessions that help you generate creative solutions to problems. They are typically facilitated by a Design Thinking coach and use Design Thinking activities to help participants think creatively.

Conclusion: So, What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is a powerful way for people to come up with creative solutions to problems. It's all about starting with the user and their needs and then developing creative solutions that meet those needs. In practice, Design Thinking is a collaborative process that involves experimentation and prototyping. Design Thinking workshops are a great way to get started with Design Thinking and help you generate creative solutions.