Moving away from complexity and making it short and simple, we can say that designing thinking is an approach to solving design problems by understanding users need and developing insights to solve those needs. It involves developing and deploying a solution to a problem through a process which involves 5 steps. The design thinking cycle is one which can be repeated.

Let us go through those 5 steps.

  1. Empathize

When you feel what the other person is feeling, then you are empathizing. When you empathize, you will be able to mirror the expressions, opinions, needs, wants and aspirations of the users. Observe your users and fall in love with their habits, beliefs, perceptions etc. Understand them and understand their needs and problems.

  1. Define

After understanding the problems of the user, do a unique concise reframing of the problem that is grounded in user needs and insights. That is all about reflecting on the problem and analyzing and interpretingit.

  1. Ideate

It is all about getting ideas to solve the problem. Set a time limit and generate as much number of ideas as possible. Imagine, brainstorm, research, ponder and come up with innovative ideas to overcome the problem.

  1. Prototype

It is about building upon your best of the ideas. Make your ideas real by applying creativity for physical or tangible solutions to the problem. It is about creating a concrete embodiment of a concept.

  1. Test

Test your concept with end users using your prototypes. It helps you gather insight on how your users understand and use the concept.  Revise and review based on the feedback of the end users.

The interesting thing about design thinking is that this cycle is repeated.

An example.

  1. Empathize

The rural school students sit and study outside the class room. The students are finding it difficult to write down the lessons holding the books on their laps. Students are interested in learning.

  1. Define

The school classrooms have no furniture. The students do not have benches and desks.

  1. Ideate

Make use of broken furniture and old used furniture in the neighborhood to make benches and desks.

Cut down the trees for new furniture.

Borrow money and purchase new furniture from the neighboring town.

4. Prototype

Chose to reuse the old and broken furniture to make cost effective and purpose driven benches and desks for the students of the rural school.

  1. Testing

Deploying the benches and desks for the students and looking out whether the students are comfortable inside the class. Ask them, what they liked about the prototype and also ask them what they would have preferred differently.




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