At the most basic level, design thinking is thought of as a 5-step process. The first step is to empathize, which is getting into other people’s shoes… literally! Interviewing people, observing them or immersing yourself in what they do. The second step is to define, which is when designers identify implicit needs that users have, or reframe a problem in a new way. The third step is to ideate, which is when designers brainstorm novel solutions to the problems or opportunities they have identified. The fourth step is to prototype, that is making ideas tangible, often with few resources. The last step is to test, which is inviting users to experience your solution and having them help you make it better.
one principle is having an empathetic mindset, which means that you are always looking for multiple and diverse points of view before you make decisions about a problem. Another principle is to have a bias towards action, which is having an idea and doing something about it. Another principle is identifying and challenging assumptions, which is being aware that there are norms accepted as “truth” and challenging them.
Using a process like design thinking helps designers to get into the lives and experiences of others. It helps them be less focused on their own emotions and more focused on what is actually needed.
There are three meaningful ways to develop empathy for others. One way is through interviewing, where you have conversations with your end users.
Another way to develop empathy is through observation;
A third way to develop empathy is by immersing yourself in other people’s’ experiences.
Observing, interviewing and immersing are only the first steps in the empathy work. The rest of the work includes interpreting what you see, hear, and experience, and making some leaps about what it all means.
Design thinking creates this cycle of learning, where by immersing yourself into other people’s experiences, you learn to uncover more about yourself.
The scientific method, the writing process and design thinking all require that you are intentional about what you do and why you do it.
One example is a strategy called “why laddering”, where you ask the question “why” several times in a row.
Once designers get to this important emotional information, they can start designing solutions to replicate these emotions.
Designing for others is an act of kindness and fidelity;