Design thinking refers to the process of creative problem-solving. It is an iterative, user-focused process that provides advantages in various business situations and settings. It is very helpful when used to handle complex issues that are unknown or ill-defined- as it serves to know the human requirements involved, reframe the issues in human-centric techniques, adopt a practical approach to testing and prototyping, and create various ideas in brainstorming meetings. Learning about the design thinking process stages will allow you and empower you to implement a methodology to work and resolve complicated issues that happen in our organizations, across the world, and in our countries. To do so, you can enroll in design thinking courses to learn in detail about them.
Design Thinking Process Benefits
Before we find out about the 5 stages of the design thinking process, here are the benefits that the process brings to you:
- The process teaches individuals how to problem-solve and innovate.
- The process provides an established competitive benefit.
- The process fosters collaboration and teamwork.
In short, design thinking refers to a tool for innovation, problem-solving, and creativity. It does not just help designers to turn up with revolutionary products. It nurtures a culture of user-centricity and innovation at each level of business.
5 Stages of The Design Thinking Process
When considering the stages of design thinking, it is vital to keep in mind that it isn’t a linear process. Though we consider the process to be sequential, it is an iterative loop. With every phase, you will make a discovery that may need you to reconsider the earlier stage. With this in mind, let us consider the 5 stages of a design thinking process:
This process begins with empathy. To create desirable services and products, you should understand who your users are and their requirements. What expectations do they have from the product you are designing? What pain points and challenges do they experience within this context? In this phase, you will spend time engaging with and examining real users – carrying out interviews, finding how they communicate with a current product, and usually paying attention to body language and facial expressions. With direct insights, you can design with actual users in mind.
In this stage, you will define the user problems that you wish to solve. Firstly, you will collect all the findings from the first stage and begin piecing them jointly. What challenges and user needs came up consistently? What common patterns and themes did you perceive? After you have combined your findings, you will be able to create a problem statement. This statement outlines the challenge or issue that you want to address. It will form the foundation of your idea and prospective solutions.
Ideation is the third phase of the process. By now, you will know your target users and what they wish from your product. Moreover, you will have an obvious problem statement that you are willing to solve. It is now time to bring up effective solutions. The ideation stage is a completely judgment-free zone. In this, the group is cheered to explore newer angles, project away from the norms, and think out of the box. You will hold an ideation session to produce ideas, irrespective of whether they are feasible or not. For utmost creativity, an ideation session is held in strange locations.
In this stage, you will turn your ideas into prototypes. Prototypes are scaled-down versions of a feature or product – whether it is an interactive digital representation or a straightforward paper model. The goal of prototyping is to change your ideas into something definite that can be tried on actual users. It is vital in maintaining user-centric approaches, letting you collect feedback before going ahead and developing the entire product. It ensures that your final design solves the problems of users and is a real delight to use.
Testing is the fifth stage in the process. It involves putting your prototypes before real users and observing how they find them. During this stage, you will observe the target users as they relate to your prototype. You will also collect feedback on how the users felt all through the process. This stage will highlight any design faults that should be addressed. Depending on what you learn from user testing, you will go back to make improvements.
The design thinking process is a nonlinear and iterative process that focuses on collaboration between users and designers. It gets a creative solution to life depending on how actual users think, behave, and feel. Design thinking certificate courses can help you become an expert in the design thinking process. So, take up one today!