Five Stages of the Design Thinking Process

Design thinking has fast become one of the leading methodologies for solving problems. It has begun to be taught in schools already, and many people use it for tackling complex problems in their lives. If there is a problem that is ill-defined or still relatively unknown, design thinking can be used to resolve it. The process involves understanding the needs of the humans involved and reframing the problem in a different way to come up with new ideas in brainstorming sessions. The process itself has become incredibly popular and adopts a very hands-on approach to resolve the problem. However, there are five stages of design thinking that need to be considered during the process.

  1. Empathy

The first step of the design thinking process is empathy. Those who are working on the problem need to develop an empathic understanding of the problem that they are working on. This involves getting in touch with experts to find out their primary area of concern, and then engaging and empathizing with them so that they can understand their motivations and the experiences that they have been through. When it comes to design thinking for innovation, this is the first step that people focus on.

  1. Define the Problem

An acute understanding of the problem can only be achieved if the problem is defined in the clearest of ways. Those who have been hired to solve the problem have to come up with a careful definition of the problem itself, and how it affects them. A comprehensive problem statement needs to be written in a human centered manner to determine the cause of the problem, and how it affects those who are suffering from it.

  1. Ideate

This is the third and most important part of the design thinking process. The designers sit down and start generating ideas that they can use to solve the problem. By now, the designers have grown to understand the problems that their users are facing, and are looking at different ways to solve the problem. With the help of the human centered statement that defines the problem, the designers will be able to come up with different strategies that they can use to resolve the problem.

  1. Prototypes

This is the product that comes from the ideas. A prototype can be created to see if it helps solve the problem. Multiple prototypes can usually be made during this process to resolve the problem quickly by a team of designers.

  1. Test

Finally, the last stage is testing, where the prototype is tested to check whether it is capable of delivering the right results or not. If the prototype fails to solve the problem, the whole design thinking process will have to be started from scratch to come up with a new solution, or a new prototype can be created if the first three steps were done properly.

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