Design thinking is an iterative process in which you seek to understand your users, challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions which you can prototype.
Design thinking is a strong approach for solving ill-defined or complicated difficulties by reframing the problem in human-centric ways. The approach varies according to the project's requirements, money, and timeline, but the basic idea is first to assess the problem and comprehend the difficulties of a target audience.
Understanding the user's pain and gaining points by creating personas, conducting interviews and surveys, and creating customer journeys is essential for identifying issue areas since the user plays the most important role.
Five Phases of Design Thinking Process
The design thinking process may be summarised in five steps or phases: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. These five phases are not usually sequential in the sense that they do not have to occur in any particular sequence and can be repeated to refine and perfect our solutions throughout the process.
Let's take a quick look at each stage in connection to a real-world design process.
Phase 1: EMPATHY- Research your User need
Empathy is the critical starting point for successful design thinking solutions, with the first order of business is to know who it is you’re solving a problem for. It is the ability to emotionally understand what other people feel, see things from their point of view, and imagine yourself in their place. Essentially, it is putting yourself in someone else's position and feeling what they must be feeling.
Understanding customer demands, barriers, attitudes, and ambitions are the only way to discover innovative solutions that identify whitespace and emergent possibilities for businesses. The key aspect to remember at this stage is that you do not have to place your vision in the head of the user; instead, you must comprehend their vision and provide a user-friendly solution.
We frequently make the enormous error of asking closed-ended questions to users and end up knowing nothing from their perspective. Allowing the user to speak provides a fresh point of view to be added to the list.
Phase 2: DEFINE- Identify different touchpoints
After collecting all the reliable resources it's time to compile the data obtained during the empathize step. You then examine and synthesize your observations to describe the fundamental challenges that have been found.
Phase 3: IDEATE- Challenge assumptions and create ideas
In this step, you have to brainstorm ideas that will be best suited to resolve the problem. With all the knowledge gatherers in the Empathy and Define stage, section the problems and find the solution for the same.
After assessing the conditions, several ideas may be generated. To facilitate the process, create a Journey map of the before and after scenario, in the first frame pinpoints the issues encountered by the users and the second frame depicts when the solution is implemented. This will aid in determining the efficacy of the solution.
Phase 4: PROTOTYPE-Turning ideas into Tangible products
In this stage, you must put the concept into resemblance; this is the most creative step, in which you develop and prototype the idea which is ideated in the previous stage. Creating a low-fidelity wireframe on paper is an excellent place to start, and after experimenting with several concepts, choose the best and then create a high-fidelity wireframe.
Don't restrict yourself to one prototype design; instead, try out several to see which ones perform best. All of the resources gathered in the previous step serve as a guideline for developing the prototype use those qualitative and quantitative data to assess your design alternatives against technical feasibility and business viability.
Phase 5: TEST- Seek feedback from users
The goal of this phase is to discover which components of your design are effective and which are not. The target audience will provide comments on the design and how they feel about it. It is critical to be mentored by someone who is not a designer since their eyes view things differently. Designers are so focused on their work that they may overlook a few elements that users would notice.
The primary goal of design thinking is to investigate the problem and connect with the target audience to develop a better and more appropriate solution. And bear in mind that the design is never done; it is iterated regularly to stay up with modernism.