Probably this is the most well know methodology by thinkers around the world, and is just because this one results the most affordable of all. But what many people didn’t know is this one was first time proposed by Standford d.School and its considered one of the wholly defined methodologies because is very complete and recommended for complex design works.
#Keypoint: Empathy is the key
In bootleg methodology it’s necessary to keep it clear about that empathy is the key during the 5 stage process. That is the very first directive for this methodology and the second one is about this process is not a sequential one, so you can take any of these steps in the order you decide. The steps of the process are:
- Empathize — with your users
- Define — your users’ needs, their problem, and your insights
- Ideate — by challenging assumptions and creating ideas for innovative solutions
- Prototype — to start creating solutions
- Test — solutions
Emphatize with users
At this point, we’ll focus into gain an empathic understanding of the problem that we’re trying to solve by putting ourselves in customer’s shoes or end users of our product or service. This step involves:
- Consulting with experts to find out more about the area of concern. inside of this step, this is the key.
- Observing and engaging with people (customers or final users) to understand their experiences and motivations.
- Putting ourselves in the customer’s physical environment to have a deeper personal understanding of the issues involved.
Empathy is crucial in design thinking. It helps design thinkers cast aside their assumptions and gain insights about the user and their needs.
Define the design challenge
At this stage, we’ll aggregate the information we have created and gathered during the previous stage.
So, whit this info in hand, we can then evaluate our observations and synthesize them to define our core problems identified until now.
At this point it’s probably we should seek to re-define the problem as a problem statement in a human-centric manner.
Just to be clear about last paragraph, instead of describing the problem as a requirement or the company’s need such as:
- “you will need to increase the cereal product market share among children by 5%.”
A better way to re-define the problem in a human-centric manner would be:
- “Children need to consume cereal food to stay healthy and disease-free .”
Ideate prospective solutions
It is at this stage of the Design Thinking process that design thinkers start generating ideas.
By this time, we would have matured enough to understand our users and their needs that was done during previous stages if we have ones (Keep’t in mind that this is not necessary an ordered process, so you would be demonstrate to be creative individual at any time).
By the way, if we decide to take a more traditional way to use this methodology, we must have also analyzed and synthesized our observations in the Define stage, and at this point we’d come up with a human-centered problem statement.
With this solid background, we can start thinking outside the box and identify new solutions for the problem statement in our hands. We can also look for other possible ways of viewing the problem.
Now, us as design team will create a number of economical, scaled down versions of the product or service with definite features found within this one, so they can investigate the problem in solutions generated in the previous stage.
We can demonstrate and test prototypes within our team, or with a small group of people from a different team.
The aim here is to identify the best possible solution for each of the problems identified during the previous stages (if we decide to begin this process with another stage) and being an experimental phase, continuous iterations may take place.
Towards the end of this stage, the design team will have a better idea of :
- The constraints deep-rooted within the product or service.
- The problems to be handled.
- How end users would think, feel and behave when interacting with the end product or service.
Testing the product or service
This is an iterative process and the final stage of the five stage-model (again, just if you decide to take the traditional way to use bootleg methodology).
So, the insights achieved during the testing phase are often used to redefine the problems.
Designers, evaluators or just thinkers meticulously test the complete product using the best solutions identified during the prototyping phase.