Akinpelu Babatola
Guest Writer, The Xpress Train

What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is an innovative problem-solving process. The end goal of the process is to create more customer-centric products. Organizations all over the world are learning the process and adopting it.

Doesn’t matter what industry you operate in, you can use design thinking. If you work in the arts, fear not, design thinking is not limited to science and technology. 

To design customer-centric products, organizations must be empathetic to customers. Companies can no longer afford to ignore their customer’s feelings. After all, they are the ones who use your products.

Stages of Design Thinking

There is a variety of design thinking processes. The following stages must exist for a complete design thinking process. 

  • Empathy: here, you need to put yourselves in the shoes of your users. You should also consult with professionals/. this will aid you in learning what your users’ problems are. Without empathy, your products will have no target audience. 
  • Definition: at this stage, you define the problems and needs of your users. You organize all the data from the empathy stage and analyze it. This way you will be able to move on to the next stage.
  • Ideation: After defining the needs of your users, it’s time for ideas. Gather your team and have them come up with innovations that can help your customers. You can think of it as a brainstorming session
  • Prototyping: once you have ideas ready, it’s time to give form to them. Create as many prototypes from your ideas and put your solutions in place.
  • Testing: this is where you test your solutions. You take advantage of the prototypes and conduct rigorous tests on them. Most people assume this is the final stage but they are wrong.

Testing doesn’t make products final. You can still make as many adjustments to your ideas as many times as you need. This will help you put out the best possible solution to the identified problem.

While the process looks straightforward and simple, sometimes it is not so. There is a not so direct method of design thinking. Non-Linear Design thinking is its name. 

Non-linear design thinking allows for two stages to work concurrently. 

For example:

During the testing stage, you might come up with better ideas that still need prototyping. This sends you back along the line of design thinking stages. 

Concurrency while delivering the same output shows that Non-Linear design thinking actually works.