An Overview of Design Thinking


Design Thinking is a process for creative problem solving. It is used by businesses, startups, educators, and students to generate new ideas and solve complex problems. Design Thinking can be used in a variety of fields such as product design, web design, advertising and architecture.

Design thinking has been used by companies such as Google, Apple, and IBM to develop new products and services. Design thinking has also been used to solve social problems such as poverty and healthcare access.

Quick overview of Design Thinking

1. Design thinking is a mindset to find practical solutions using a user-centred approach. Focus on the keywords mindset, practical solutions, and user-centred as these define design thinking further as explained in the points below.

2. You can use design thinking not just to define the product but also to solve problems you’re stuck with, as well as to inject speed into the process.

So design thinking can be used in the entire lifecycle. It doesn’t just apply to coming up with product ideas but also to solving programs throughout the lifecycle and also to accelerating the process.

3. The design thinking process has 5 steps:
Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test.

design thinking process

4. Empathise: Follow and observe your user, know who they are and what they say (interview) vs what they do (observe).

5. Define: the problem they face in various ways – Use this template:

User X is a (define persona) who wants to (state user need) but struggles because (state obstacle).

This template is complete once you’re able to define the persona, find the user’s need, and the obstacle they’re facing to fulfil that need.

6. Ideate: how you can solve the problems and which ones you will focus on solving!

Use how might we statements to help here.

*How might we help (user) support the (need) despite the (obstacle)

7. Prototype: Build an MVP first. Make sure it can be tested. And then Test and validate it with users.

As you can see the first 2 stages have more to do with the users, then the third stage is us ideating solutions, and finally, the last 2 stages are about prototyping and testing to validate the solution.

Design Thinking is an iterative process that helps teams to think outside the box and find innovative solutions to complex problems. It is a collaborative process that engages all members of the team.

Benefits of Design Thinking

There are many benefits to using design thinking. Some of these benefits include:

  • Developing innovative solutions to complex problems
  • Improved customer satisfaction through improved customer experience
  • Increased team collaboration and communication
  • Reduced risk when making decisions
  • Improved decision making throughput

Applications of Design Thinking

  • In product design, teams use Design Thinking to create new products or improve existing products.
  • In web design, teams use Design Thinking to create websites that are user-friendly and meet the needs of the client.
  • In advertising, teams use Design Thinking to create campaigns that are memorable and effective.