What Is Design Thinking?


Design Thinking is not limited to designers; it has been practiced by great innovators in literature, art, music, science, engineering, and business. What makes Design Thinking unique is that designers’ work processes can assist us in systematically extracting, teaching, and learning. We can also apply these human-centered techniques to solve problems in a creative and innovative way in our designs, businesses, countries, and lives.

 A colorful description of design thinking process

Some of the world’s leading brands, including Apple, Google, and Samsung, quickly adopted the design thinking approach, and top universities around the world teach the related methodology. Before incorporating design thinking into your workflows, you should understand what it really is why it is so popular.

Design thinking is an iterative process that focuses on understanding your users, challenging assumptions, changing the definition of problems, and developing innovative solutions that can be prototyped and tested. The overarching goal is to identify alternate solution strategies and solutions which are not immediately obvious based on your initial understanding and knowledge.

Design thinking is more than just a process. It introduces an entirely new way of thinking, as well as a set of hands-on methods for putting this new mindset into action.

Essentially, design thinking is:

  • It revolves around a strong desire to comprehend the people for whom we create products and services.
  • It assists us in observing and developing empathy for the target users.
  • Improves our ability to question: design thinking requires us to question the problem, the assumptions, and the implications.
  • When dealing with problems that are ill-defined or unknown, this tool is extremely useful.
  • Involves ongoing experimentation with new concepts and ideas via sketches, prototypes, testing, and trials.

Design is an act of human consciousness with a general definition, and the impulses that direct this action are the details of the material and spiritual world. To give it to Design Thinking, it can achieve an iterative process that does not aim to 

  • understand users, 
  • challenge results,
  • redefine experiments, 
  • perform demolitions for prototype and testing. 

This method, which consists of 

  • Empathy, 
  • Identification, 
  • Idea Generation, 
  • Prototype, 
  • Testing steps, 

maintains their relationship with the problems, brainstorming ideas in structures and adopting a hands-on approach. It is extremely useful for uncovering complexes that are not fully defined or unknown by experiencing and testing them.

5 items of design thinking:

Empathy: This stage aims to gain an empathetic understanding of the problem we are trying to solve. We create empathy by using methods to understand the experiences and motivations of the user/person who has this problem.

Identification: We try to clearly define the main problem by gathering and analyzing the information that we have created and collected in the empathy phase. The thing to pay attention to is; While defining the problem, it is to define the needs of the user.

Idea Generation: We generate ideas on the identified problem. We discuss emerging ideas and evaluate ideas without judgment. Of course, not every problem identified may have a fixed solution, more than one idea may emerge. 

It is one of the most important stages of the design-oriented thinking method. Here we have to try to push the boundaries and break out of the box as we gather ideas. This approach, which is defined as “think out of the box” in the design world, makes it easier to evaluate problems from different perspectives. You can come up with different creative ideas for solutions.

Prototype: It is the stage where we create solutions from the ideas that emerged during the idea generation stage. Prototypes also help you present your idea to the user. We can also call it an experimental stage. It ensures that the solutions created in the previous stage can be tested after determining the solutions that can be given priority.

Testing: Questions such as whether the product works as intended, what effect it has on the user, what technical problems are tested and discussed. As a result of the detected problems, if there is a problem related to which stage, corrections are made by going back to that stage.

You can always apply the Design Thinking approach. Because Design Thinking is circular, and sustainable and everyone can have it.

What exactly is the goal of Design Thinking?

There are numerous advantages to employing a Design Thinking approach, whether in a business, academic, personal, or social context.

To begin with, Design Thinking promotes creativity and innovation. As humans, we rely on the information and experiences we’ve gained to guide our actions. We develop habits and routines that, while useful in some situations, can limit our ability to solve problems.

Design Thinking inspires us to remove our blinkers and consider possible approaches rather than repeating the same tested methods. The entire process encourages the testing of assumptions and the exploration of new paths and ideas.

Design Thinking is frequently cited as the common way of problem-solving. It is not entirely based on emotion and intuition, nor is it entirely based on analytics, science, and rationale. It employs a combination of both.

Another significant advantage of Design Thinking is that it prioritizes humans. By emphasizing empathy so heavily, it encourages businesses and organizations to think about the real people who use their goods and services. It increases their chances of creating meaningful user experiences

This means greater, more quality materials that genuinely improve our lives for the user. This means satisfied customers and a healthier bottom line for businesses.

Scientific Side of Design Thinking

Thinking about design is both a science and an art form. It combines research into ambiguous aspects of the problem with analytical and rational research—in other words, it focuses on the scientific side of the problem. This enchanted potion reveals previously unrecognized parameters and aids in the discovery of alternative strategies that lead to truly innovative solutions.

The scientific activities investigate how users interact with products and the conditions under which they function. They consist of the following tasks:

  • Investigate user requirements.
  • Use previous project experience to your advantage.
  • Take into account the product’s current and future conditions.
  • Put the problem’s parameters to the test.
  • Put alternative problem-solving strategies to the test.

Once a number of potential solutions have been identified, rationality is used to guide the selection process. In order to arrive at the best possible solution for each problem or obstacle identified during the design process.

Today’s Ideas In Design

Design thinking is becoming more mature. It is evolving from a fledgling practice to a well-established one, bringing with it both interest and criticism. People are arguing about its definition, history, and worth. 

We’ve learned a great deal over the years and would like to share what we’ve discovered. We’ve seen design thinking transform people’s lives and organizations, but we’ve also seen it fall short when approached superficially or without a solid foundation of research. 

Design thinking requires practice, and as a society of designers, entrepreneurs, engineers, teachers, researchers, and others, we’ve tracked the path to mastery and created maps to help others.

Mindset Of A Designer

Design thinking promotes collaboration and problem-solving through creative activities. We adopt a “beginner’s mind,” with the intention of remaining open and curious, making no assumptions, and viewing ambiguity as an advantage.

To think like a designer, you must generate wild ideas, spend time tinkering and testing, and be ready to fail early and almost always. Empathy, optimism, iteration, creativity, and ambiguity are all part of the designer’s mindset. Most importantly, design thinking places individuals at the heart of every process. A human-centered designer understands that as long as you keep the people you’re designing for in mind you can arrive at the best solution.

Everyone can approach the world as if they were a designer. However, creative confidence is essential for unlocking greater potential and learning how to work as a dynamic problem solver.

If you are still having difficulties in design thinking, you can contact our Digipeak team for professional counseling and design management.

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Ahmed Alaaeldin
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