June 4, 2017

Design Thinking Explained

DESIGN THINKING EXPLAINED

Design thinking is a process for creative problem solving.

Design thinking is becoming an integral part of more and more companies as people discover the benefits it can give to their projects and organizations. By understanding what this mindset is and how to apply it to any situation, you too can integrate design thinking into your life.

Why Design Thinking?

So why exactly is design thinking becoming such a popular method among organizations?

Design thinking improves the success rate of solving complex problems in various fields, discovering innovation, and creating effective products that meet users needs. It brings together what an understanding of the customer with human needs and desires along with technological feasibility and economic viability. It has the ability to transform the way we create products, processes, strategies, spaces, and services.

Design Thinking Areas

At design thinking's core its effectiveness stems from a human-centered design approach in which decisions are based on what future customers truly need as opposed to just past data or unproven assumptions.

"We spend a lot of time designing the bridge, but not enough time thinking about the people who are crossing it."

-Dr. Prabhjot Singh, Director of Systems Design at Earth Institute

Beyond just delivering solutions, design thinking also instills confidence in people that they can tackle even the most daunting challenges and bring out creativity within them.

What Is Design Thinking?

What is this design thinking that can do all these things? The exact definition varies depending on who you talk to, but what is common among them all is that design thinking is a mindset and human-centered approach. Tim Brown, one of the early advocates and developers of design thinking states:

"Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer's toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology and the requirements for business success."

-Tim Brown, president and CEO of IDEO

The design thinking toolkit consists of tools such as empathy, ideation, prototyping, and iteration.

Design Thinking Steps

How to Apply Design Thinking?

How can we apply design thinking? Design thinking can be applied to all fields from education to healthcare to poverty. This mindset can be used to tackle any problem in any area.

There are multiple ways to get started, from the initial stage of understanding this mentality through written materials or workshops, and then applying it for yourself or with your team to truly understand the process. The key here is to just do it, only by doing can you learn and improve.

"Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer's toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology and the requirements for business success."

-Tim Brown, president and CEO of IDEO

Design Thinking Action

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