Design Thinking: a toolkit for everyone

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Photo by Icons8 team on Unsplash
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Design Thinking in a basic Double Diamond

Phase 1: Empathise

Empathy is the foundation of human-centred design and simply means being able to understand and share the feelings of another person. In a business context, this means understanding your customers’ context, drivers for making decisions, and the problems they face on a daily basis.

  1. Engage:
    Interact with and interview your customers on a variety of topics. This can be carried out in public settings (e.g. street, malls, museum) as spontaneous encounters with your targeted audiences, or more formally through scheduled interviews.
  2. Immerse:
    Spend a day in your customers’ shoes. Try to see what they see and experience what they experience on a daily basis to identify opportunities for improvement.

Phase 2: Define

The goal of the define phase is to analyse your research, categories it into customer needs and insights, and define an actionable problem statement. This means communicating the problem from the users perspective rather than from the business’.

  • Customer-centric: Women aged 18–25 need to eat nutritious food in order to thrive and be healthy, but find it difficult to do so with such busy work schedules.

Phase 3: Ideate

This phase of the methodology is all about generating innovative ideas that address the problem statement. It is an opportunity to think divergently about the problem itself, as well as possible solutions.

Phase 4: Prototype

Prototyping gets ideas out of your head and into the world. A prototype can be anything that takes a physical form — a wall of post-its, hand-drawn wire-frames, a role-playing activity. In early stages, keep prototypes inexpensive and low resolution to learn quickly and explore possibilities.

Phase 5: Test

The testing phase is your opportunity to have your users interact with your prototypes. Put what your team has built in the hands of your customers and observe how they interact with what you’ve created.

Conclusion

Design Thinking is an open-source framework for building empathy for your customers and solving their problems in an iterative way. The framework lends itself perfectly to all business units and is definitely not reserved for designers.

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Design Thinking Workshop in London on May 9th, 2019

Written by

Designer transforming problems into beautiful products. Find me at www.matteogrand.com

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