Design Thinking…What is that?

Design Thinking: communicating your visions with someone via experiences, illustrative visuals, or telling good stories to benefit them in the end.

6 ways to show not tell:

  • Focus on human values
  • Craft calrity
  • Embrace experiementation
  • Be mindful of process
  • Bias toward action
  • Radical collaboration
5 modes of design thinking and a call to action

The 5 modes of design thinking:

1. Empathize

  • This is the foundation of design thinking. In order to understand who you’re designing for, you must put yourselves in their shoes. There are 3 things you must do in order to fully empathize with someone; First, you must observe. Pay attention to the user and what’s around them. Second, engage. Interact with the user. And last, immerse. Familiarize yourself with what you’re giving them.

2. Define

  • ”A mode of focus rather than flaring”, you should have 2 goals: develop a deep understanding of your users and the design space and come up with an actionable problem statement, your point of view. The define mode is crucial in the design process because it directly expresses the problem you want to solve.

3. Ideate

  • ”A mode of flaring rather than focus”, in this mode you should aim to generate alternative. Ways to properly ideate would to be to get the obvious solutions out of the way, create variety in your options, and uncover areas you wouldn’t typically explore.

4. Prototype

  • The “putting your thoughts into action stage”, prototyping is mainly used for testing funtinality but isn’t limited to that. Other reasons would be to gain empathy, exploration, and inspiration. Reasons to prototype are to learn, solve disagreements, start a conversation, fail quickly and cheaply, and manage the solution-building process.

5. Test

  • The final mode of design thinking. This mode is used for getting your idea out there and receiving feedback and to continue to learn about the problem you’ve worked on. You should do 3 things in the test mode: refine your prototypes and solutions, learn more about your user, and test and refine your point of view. This step will help you realize if you’ve reached your goal, what you should change next, or if you should just start over from the beginning.

Conclusion and call to action

As you can tell, design thinking is not a quick fix, it is a detailed process that requires time and effort. However, this process is a good way to solve problems and will actually save you time and money in the long run. For example, this summer the lawn mower at my house had trouble starting. Somehow it had a brand new battery but I kept finding myself having to jumpstart the lawn mower to get it running. After several times of using the quick fix of jumpstarting, I started doing some research into my mower, how it worked, and similar problems that others had with the same mower. Eventually I learned that the problem wasn’t with the battery but rather the charging system. After more research and several failed attempts, I fixed the charging system and now my mower cranks every time. The moral of the story is that by recongizing a problem, thinking outside of the box and throwing out quick fixes, and then formulating solutions and testing them, you can find better, long lasting solutions.

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