Design Thinking (DT) hails back to the mid-1950s with the introduction of the subject, Design Science, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Design Thinking is defined in different ways by various academics, industry leaders but all believe in keeping the customer at the core while designing a new product/ service or improving an existing product/service

DT has been through phases, a few listed below

Design Council, a British organisation, in 2005 created a process model called Double Diamond.

Fig 1Double dimond - Fig 1

Stanford talks about the phases of Design Thinking and it shows a linear progression from one phase to another whereas.

Stanford DT processFig 2

Nielsen Norman group shows a loop that goes back and forth
Nielsen Norman GroupFig 3
(Knapp, 2016) says the big idea of the sprint is to take a small team, clear the schedule for a week, and rapidly progress from problem to tested solution.
Jake Knapp idea of sprinting through phases of DTFig 4

Why Is Design Thinking Important?

  1. It reduces the risk associated with launching new ideas
  2. It helps organizations learn faster
  3. It generates solutions that are innovative, not just incremental

3 Essential Aspects of Design Thinking

  1. Empathy (people-centered)
  2. Ideation (generating a lot of ideas)
  3. Experimentation

The regular innovation process consists of 4 stages – ideate, define, design and develop. These stages have to be linked efficiently to foster innovation. On the other hand, Design Thinking process has 5 stages- empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test.

The robust design way of thinking is relevant to systems, procedures, user experiences and protocols.  Companies, now, aspire to ‘think’ like designers and make use of the design principles to excel at the workplace.

Design Thinking Tools:

  1. Visualization
  2. Journey Mapping
  3. Value Chain Analysis
  4. Mind Mapping
  5. Brainstorming
  6. Concept Development
  7. Assumption Testing
  8. Rapid Prototyping
  9. Customer Co-Creation
  10. Learning Launch

When faced with a problem, instead of “I have to solve this”, Design Thinking encourages one to ask “what question can I ask that would move you forward?”

Done Right, Design Thinking…Captures the mindsets and needs of the people.
It paints a picture of the opportunities based on the needs of the people.


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