Design Thinking: Top-Level Process and Application


As I mentioned previously, I’m super intrigued by the “Design Thinking” concept.  I’ve always had a thing for process and methodology as I see it is a good way to organize thought and get to some point of solution- When applying the right methodology to a question, I’m confident I’m making progress because the process has most likely been validated with rigorous testing.

…Anyhow, the above schematic is a simplified depiction of the design thinking process that includes 5 phases.  These are meant to proceed linearly only in the sense that there is a full intention to iterate and begin the "Empathize" phase over again after “Testing”.

Empathy: This is a key element and a defining feature of the design thinking process.  Similar to such sub disciplines or disciplines which borrow from the grand design thinking process such as UX, it is of the upmost importance to put all assumptions aside and observe, listen, engage, ask questions and all out immerse oneself in the user’s situation.  It is then when it is possible to understand what an actual need is.

Also exciting to me is that this type of thinking can and should be applied to a broad array of disciplines and causes (social, cultural, ecological, environmental…).  It is being applied to education and many other areas as demonstrated by top-notch design firms, IDEO being the best example.  Teams should be multi-disciplinary and diverse.

As I spend time researching and learning interesting topics, I will continue to post my top-level interpretations of some of these areas.