What Is the Design Thinking Process: How Design Thinking Works

Designers, no matter what background they hail from, all have to use their creativity when solving a problem. The final product that ends up being launched only comes after a very detailed procedure. In terms of what this process involves, each designer will have their own habits and customs.

However, every part of the procedure is consolidated under what is known as design thinking. It is something that is used to get the right gears moving, and preparation is of the utmost importance. No matter if you are a freelancer, or part of a small team, design thinking will be utilized in some fashion.

There are design thinking companies that specialize in this particular process. Are you curious about how design thinking works? This guide explains what the design thinking process is in better detail:

What Is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is a process that allows you to consolidate all your specific approaches into one, single procedure. In a way, design thinking can be seen as brainstorming on a much larger scale.

Many aspects of the design process are non-linear, requiring all parties to take varying approaches. For example, UX designers will often discuss how a consumer responds to certain user environments. Should these responses need tailoring in some fashion, the steps to fix this will be included in design thinking.

This process strongly involves challenging assumptions, whether they are traditional or not. Once this is done, the final product will be able to meet all standards, and satisfy all parties. As you are engaged in design thinking, be sure to write all pertinent information down and keep it organized. That way, you will be proud with how your final product turns out!

Empathize with Users

There are a number of specific phases that are involved in design thinking, to keep things organized. The first of which is known as empathizing with users; all problems need to be understood empathetically. Generally speaking, this is done by doing a heavy amount of research.

Since designers will be working with users from wide demographics, there needs to be a genuine comprehension. Products from many industries can come across as robotic, which may cause consumers to be unenthusiastic about them. By putting empathy at the forefront, designers set themselves up for long term success.

Define the Design Needs

The next phase in design thinking is known as defining what exactly your users will need. After gathering all the information required from your research, it is time to put it to use. You may also have certain problems at the start of your journey that need solutions. Defining a user’s needs means consolidating all data to find those answers.

In some design thinking processes, these are known as problem statements. By outlining your problems at the onset, and then writing down your answers, you are well on your way. Remember, it is important to keep this as human-focused as it can be!

Ideation Process

Research, as mentioned previously, is incredibly important when figuring out the first steps in design thinking. Once you have accumulated your data, and it has been recorded, the next phase involves generating ideas. Ideation can be seen as the most important part of the process; your creative energies will be put to use.

The problem statements that you initially made should be referred back to here. Challenge yourself to think of all the ways you can creatively solve them. It is important to also discuss this with your team if you have one too. The more ideas that are pooled together, the better the solution will be!

Prototyping Process

All designers will eventually have to experiment with their proposed ideas, before reaching the final product. Developing prototypes will be the key to finding the right product to launch in the end. Each prototype that you put out should address your problem statements, so that issues don’t arise.

These prototypes don’t have to be launched in a final state either. Rather, scale them down, so that they are functional and can operate without potential problems. As a benefit, analyze how your prototypes turn out when possible. This allows you to see what works the best!

Testing Solutions

Prototypes are generally tested quite vigorously in the design thinking process. By doing this, it ensures that the final product to be launched can operate with all solutions implemented. If any potential issues come up, they will be tested further, and integrated into the final design.

Non-Linear Approach

One of the best parts about the design thinking process is that it is different for every designer. Every method and evaluation to be reviewed will inevitably be different for each person. Since there is a hefty amount of preparation required, you’ll have to be creative in your approach. That way, your final design will not only be different, but launch in a truly special way as well.