What is Design Thinking?
Design thinking is a term that refers to a set of cognitive, strategic, and practical procedures that are used to produce design concepts (for example, proposals for goods, machines, buildings, and communications). Many significant ideas and elements of design thinking have been uncovered via research of design cognition and design activity in both laboratory and natural settings across many design domains. Design thinking is also linked to prescriptions for product and service innovation in commercial and societal settings. Some of these recommendations have been chastised for oversimplifying the design process and downplaying the need for technical knowledge.
Applications of Design Thinking in the Real World
Designers have traditionally been involved solely in the last stages of new product development, focusing on the aesthetics and functioning of the final product. Many businesses and other organizations today recognize the value of incorporating design as a productive asset into their policies and practices. And, design thinking has been utilized to assist various corporations and social organizations in becoming more constructive and innovative.
In the 2000s, there was a massive increase in Design Thinking since it was a catalyst for achieving a competitive advantage for the company. Still, there have also been reservations about design thinking as a cure for success. Designers apply their approaches to the business through participating in product and service development processes from the beginning or by training people to use design methods and establish innovative thinking capacities within organizations.
Design thinking can be developed in students through all forms of professional design education. But design thinking is now taught in general and professional education across all sectors. In the United Kingdom, design as a topic was introduced into secondary school curricula in the 1970s, progressively replacing and/or developing from some conventional art and craft courses and becoming more and more integrated with technology studies. As a result of this evolution, related research investigations in both education and design have been conducted.
At the university level, certain design thinking courses have been introduced, particularly when tied to business and innovation studies. In 2003, Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, also known as the d.school, launched a famous early course of this type.
For more than 40 years, design thinking has been at the heart of user-centered design and human-centered design, the two most common approaches to creating human-computer interfaces. Design thinking is also at the heart of unique approaches to software development.
Design thinking is also beneficial in the healthcare field. The government’s healthcare spending, as well as the cost of healthcare facilities, are increasing gradually. Experts from all across the world are concerned about how to provide people with high-quality healthcare at a low price.
Venice Family Clinic in Venice, California, has devised creative solutions to the problem of establishing a low-cost children’s clinic to serve low-income families. Finance, transportation, and language problems all have to be addressed. All of this had to be done at a modest cost to the children. Fostering excellent health while still making money was a difficult task, as it does not appear to be sustainable. The system’s inefficiencies and periodic crises were solved through design thinking.
Many products in the IT business require trials and proof of ideas. Instead of just deploying technologies, the sector must sympathize with its users. IT encompasses not only technology and goods but also procedures. The developers, analysts, consultants, and managers must brainstorm possible solutions to the clients’ concerns. This is where design thinking may be quite beneficial.
Design Thinking Models
Design thinking is a hybrid of two different mind models:
Divergent: Creative thinking is employed in the ideation stage of this form of thinking to generate a variety of brand design tips and viable solutions.
Convergent: Logical and analytical thinking, unlike the preceding model, seeks an optimal solution by attempting to select the best option from a set of alternatives. Design thinking aims to bring creativity and pragmatism together, which are diametrically opposed.
There have been numerous instances where this type of thinking has been applied to various businesses with excellent results. This kind of thinking has been employed in every field that has attempted to address the challenges arisen.
Five-Step Design Thinking Model
The design thinking method or process consists of five parts in total. The procedure begins with empathizing with the customers or end-situation users. The method then shifts to employing divergent thinking to come up with solutions. After convergent thinking, the prototype is developed, and then the design thinkers test the prototype. The five steps are as follows –
Emphasize – People and their needs are prioritized in design thinking. As a result, the initial stage in the method is to comprehend the issue from the end-user’s viewpoint. You’re attempting to figure out why people do things the way they do, what their requirements are, and what matters to them. Observation and interviews are good ways to learn about the end-user (conversations and engagement). It’s a highly interactive experience.
Define – The problem solver is equipped to determine what the real problem is using the knowledge obtained during the “empathize” phase. The demands and insights discovered in the previous step are cataloged and inventoried in the “define” stage, where the genuine problem emerges. It’s crucial to remember that the only way to come up with the best answer is to frame the problem correctly. Once a problem statement has been drafted, the “define” stage is completed.
Ideate – In this step, the problem solver employs a creative mentality to produce as many solutions to the problem as feasible, regardless of existing solutions. The goal isn’t to find the “correct” answer because it isn’t easy to find. Instead, a wide range of possibilities and alternatives are investigated. There are different tools available for the same, such as mind mapping, brainstorming, doodling, etc.
Prototype – The most excellent ideas from the “ideate” stage are chosen to be transformed into small prototypes because design thinkers learn by doing and by building their way forward (pick between three and five ideas to prototype). To put it another way, a concrete or tangible answer is developed. One of the most critical aspects of this phase is speed. The goal is to create something that can be tested fast rather than something that is perfect. The purpose of this stage is to get ideas delivered before the issue solver thinks they’re ready.
Test – Once you’ve created your prototypes, put them to the test in the real world. Accept the fact that failure is an inevitable component of the design thinking process. In fact, your goal during the testing stage isn’t to be told that your prototypes are a success but to receive input so that you may make changes and tweaks and create a better prototype. The ideate, prototype, and test process is repeated until the prototype fits the end user’s needs. You can go through the complete process numerous times, from the first to the last step. Iteration is a critical component of design thinking.
The Bottom Line
Design thinking straddles the line between analytical and intuitive thinking. Analytical thinking entails both deductive and inductive logical reasoning, both of which rely on quantitative methods to reach conclusions. Intuitive thinking, on the other hand, refers to knowing something without having to reason about it.
These are two entirely different ways of thinking. Design thinking makes the best possible use of both extremes. Intuitive thinking aids in the future invention, whereas analytical thinking aids in the creation of something new in the present that can be replicated. Abductive logic refers to the desire to use these prospective solutions.
Design thinking can be found in a wide range of occupations. Design thinking is widely employed by experts all over the world, from sports, education, and research to business, management, and design. You can enroll in the Stanford Design Thinking course through Great Learning, which is one of the best online design thinking courses currently in the market. This course is designed to provide you with all the desired knowledge and skills necessary for any working professional, entrepreneur, or fresher.
Design thinking claims to deliver realistic, practical, and inventive answers to organizational difficulties, as well as a methodical approach to solving problems. Design thinking is distinguished by the fact that it promotes solution-focused or solution-based thinking. The design thinker is expected to have a clear understanding of the overall purpose of the process. Design thinkers aren’t expected to solve every problem; instead, they’re supposed to start with the end in mind.
This methodology is beneficial because it allows for simultaneous exploration of possible solutions by focusing on both current and future conditions, as well as the parameters of the issue statement.