Design Thinking is Kind of Like Syphilis — It’s Contagious and Rots Your Brains
Lee Vinsel

Hi Lee! Such a wonderful, thought-provoking read. Just like you warn of length in the beginning, so do I. I hope you read me :p

I’m a designer, went to Industrial Design school and learned about ALL of this. I was super excited to lead multidisciplinary teams and save the world. I wanted social innovation. I got a job in tech (I’m a UX/UI designer) and I’m the only “classically” trained designer in the firm. I have preached DT to the four corners of the world and even spoken to crowds about how it is basically Jesus’ second coming. I have a horrid case of the DTs. But I clicked the link and read your essay — and I liked it.

In the end, I can see points for both sides, I don’f feel like getting offended and trying to prove you are wrong, because you are not. I also don’t feel like joining you and betraying my brothers and sisters, because it’s simply not black or white.

Yes, DT has become a product, very desired and mysterious, so it sells a lot! As I’ve grown, hopefully matured, and most importantly, left the safe nest of Design School and actually stopped being surrounded 24/7 by designers, I can see the dangers of oversimplifying and demeaning how my brain works as a 4 day course or a 1 hour talk.

It is not the scientific method. It is not meant to replace any other methodologies for other things, it is just another one. I don’t agree with people who try to solve it all with DT. However, it is the method I know, and sometimes I have to go and give it a try in foreign fields by myself, so MY version of DT is what I use. It looks a little different each time, it’s very messy, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

In the end, it can be horribly skewed and watered-down, but just like with any other methods, true experts shall not fear aficionados. I am glad Design is more known and people are getting more familiar with it; but my clients, coworkers, and bosses will never beat me at it. I’m just shedding some light so it doesn’t seem like I go into a dark room, “Do my magic” and then come out with the solution.