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Design Thinking Principles that Every Designer Should Follow

Design thinking can be considered to be a design methodology that offers an approach for solving problems. It is quite useful when it comes to tackling complicated problems which are not properly defined or unknown, by comprehending the human requirements involved, by developing quite a few concepts in brainstorming sessions, by re-framing the issue in a human-centric manner, and also by adopting an approach in prototyping as well as testing. Comprehending these 5 stages of design thinking principles will allow anybody to apply the methods of design thinking for solving complicated issues that happen around us – in our countries, in our companies, and so on.

Here, we will not waste much time and delve into these 5 design thinking principles in the following paragraphs.

1. Empathize

The initial phase of the design thinking procedure will be to gain a comprehension of the issue which you are attempting to solve. This will involve consulting the experts for finding out more regarding the area by means of observing, engaging, as well as emphasizing with individuals for understanding their motivations and experiences plus plunging yourself in the physical environment so as to gain the profound personal comprehension of the problems involved. In fact, empathy is essential to be a human-centric design procedure like Design Thinking principles, and empathy will allow the design thinkers to put aside their personal assumptions regarding the world for gaining insight into the requirements of the users.

At this particular stage, a substantial amount of info will be gathered depending on time constraints for usage during the subsequent stage and for developing the best possible comprehension of the users, their requirements, as well as the issues that underlie the creation of the specific product.

2. Define

During this particular stage of the design thinking principles, you need to put together the info created by you which you have accumulated during the previous stage. At this point, you will be analyzing your observations and synthesizing them for defining the main problems which your team has identified until now. You ought to define the issue in the form of a problem statement in a human-centered way.

The Define stage will allow the designers to accumulate some fantastic ideas for establishing features, functions, as well as other elements which will enable them to solve the issues or, at least enable the users to resolve problems on their own without much difficulty. In this stage, you will start progressing to the subsequent stage which is Ideate.

3. Ideate

During this particular stage of the design thinking principles, the designers will start generating new concepts. You have been able to comprehend your users as well as their requirements in the previous stage, and ended up with the problem statement which is human-centered. This type of solid background will help your team members to start thinking outside the box for identifying innovative solutions to the problem statement which you have created, and you can begin to go for other ways of viewing the issue. 

You will come across lots of ideation technics including Brainwrite, Brainstorm, Worst Possible Idea, as well as SCAMPER. Worst Possible Idea and Brainstorm sessions are usually used for stimulating free-thinking and also expanding the problem area. It is of prime importance to get quite a few solutions to problems at the start of the ideation stage. You have to pick several other ideation technics when the ideation phase comes to an end which will assist you in investigating and testing your concepts so that you will be able to figure out the most effective way of solving an issue or providing the elements needed for circumventing it.

4. Prototype

At this stage, the design team will be producing several scaled-down and inexpensive versions of the product which will enable them to probe into the problem solutions created in the earlier stage. It is possible to share and test prototypes within the team or in other departments as well. This happens to be an experimental stage where the main intention will be to figure out the best possible solution for every problem identified in the earlier stages. The solutions will be implemented one by one within the prototypes and they will be accepted, improved or rejected depending on the experiences of the users. At the completion of this stage of the design thinking principles, it will be possible for the design team to have a better concept regarding the restrictions inherent to the product as well as the issues which are already present.

5. Test

The designers will be testing the product rigorously by making use of the best solutions which have been identified during the earlier stage. This happens to be the last stage of the design thinking principles and the results which have been generated during this stage will be used for redefining problems and informing the comprehension of the users, how individuals think, feel, and behave. Even during this stage, the designers will make alterations as well as refinements for ruling out problem solutions and deriving a profound understanding of the final product.

Published by Srajan Gupta

UX / UI Designer

Srajan Gupta UX / UI Designer