Design Thinking: Efficient problem solving
Design thinking is an extremely popular term now, and everyone seems to be talking about it. But what exactly is design thinking?
Simply put, design thinking is a process that employs nonlinear thinking and attempts to gauge its users substantially, provide innovative solutions, and create better alternatives.
It is proven to be an extremely efficient approach to problem-solving and involves five distinct steps, namely, Empathises, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test while employing human-centered design.
The thing about these aforementioned steps is that they need not be executed in sequence, they can even be executed parallelly or arbitrarily if that is what suits your situation best.
Stage 1: Empathize:
Empathy is at the heart of what we call human-centered design and involves you setting aside your own assumptions and preferences when it comes to an issue and looking at it from the point of view of the user who is going to be interacting with it.
This ensures you gather relevant insight that can help you gauge the needs of the customer.
This inevitably leads you to solve the problem much more efficiently.
Stage 2: Define:
This stage involves you analyzing and drawing concrete conclusions based on your observations. This is the stage where all the issues are collated and scrutinized to get an understanding of what exactly and specifically needs to be solved, this is also where the core of the problem is identified and of course, defined.
Stage 3: Ideate:
Given that you are now aware of and have a clear understanding of the issue it is now time to think outside the box and come up with solutions, this stage essentially involves identifying effective solutions that serve the needs of the consumer and cater to their convenience because design thinking is hinged on two things- the user’s experience and efficiency.
Stage 4: Prototype:
The ideation stage is followed by coming up with physical solutions for the issue. The best way to navigate this stage is to be as experimental as possible, the focus is on inexpensive, scaled-down, and innovative solutions.
Any discrepancies with your idea can be fixed or eliminated in this stage of the process. This can be as simple or as complicated as you want based on the materials of choice for the prototype.
Stage 5: Test :
The final step is to obviously put your solution to the test. Even though this is the final step in the process design thinking in itself is an extremely iterative loop that requires a significant amount of back and forth. It is completely acceptable and okay to re-evaluate the previous steps.
This process does not necessarily need to be a sequential one.
On a concluding note, it is important to mention that many large companies like Apple, Google, and Samsung have adopted the approach of design thinking, and even if this method does not appeal to your tastes it is worth giving a shot, and could prove to be extremely advantageous.