5 Steps of Design Thinking

Design thinking is a tool to help solve complex solutions and get innovative results. Even though every issue is different, these 5 steps can help you solve these problems clearly and systematically.

EMPATHIZE

The issues you are setting out to fix are often times not your own. So empathizing with people and learning about what their struggles and beliefs are, can help you see obstacles with a different perspective. Understanding the people you are designing for is a crucial part of problem solving.

DEFINE

After learning about others more in depth, you have to decide what the problems are and how you can solve them. Here you create your vision and start brainstorming to give the project a solid foundation and get others around you inspired.

IDEATE

Now that you’ve fleshed out the problems and have begun brainstorming, it’s time to think outside of the box. Getting all of the simple, obvious ideas out there, you can now branch out and discover more abstract solutions while also creating a high volume of them.

PROTOTYPE

Now it’s time to put those ideas into action with prototypes so you can physically see if an idea works and if it doesn’t what you need to fix. This step is important because it tests functionality both cheaply and discreetely. Prototypes also bring the team together and solve disagreements while the stakes are low.

TEST

When your prototypes are complete, you finally take the ideas that worked and put them to the test. Here you try out every possibility and every kink that could go wrong. While some of the prototypes will pass every trial you throw at them, most will fail and will have to be redone. BUT THAT’S OK. Failure will only make your final product better.

Solving problems may seem like a daunting task at times, but if you do these 5 steps, Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test, it becomes simpler and you are more effective. No matter how bizarre or different the problem may be, these ideas are great guielines to go by. With an open mind, determination and a great team around you, anything is possible.

NOW GO SOLVE SOME PROBLEMS!

-Matt