Design Thinking is a way to creatively solve problems!
While solving problems, we generally target the symptoms and tend to diverge from the main problem. Design Thinking helps you find the right problem. It is a user-centered method to solve problems. It helps generate solutions that are not linear but are based on innovation and continuous development.
In this, you observe, engage and immerse yourself in the end user’s routine. This can be done through shadowing or maintaining a log track. Empathizing is the core element of the design thinking process. Spending a few days living the life of your end user might actually give you insights that would have never occurred to you. This, in turn, could save up a lot of time in the later stages of development.
After research, reframe the challenges based on insights and combine them to form a goal. This is essential to gain focus on the problem. With the properties clearly synthesized, you gain clarity to move ahead.
Come up with as many ideas as solutions. This is mostly done through brainstorming in teams. The ideas should be both – large in quantity, as well as in diversity. Step beyond obvious solutions to harness the innovative potential of your solutions. After this step, find common patterns among the solutions and shortlist them.
“If a picture is worth 1000 words, a prototype is worth 1000 meetings.” – Tom & David Kelly, IDEO.
To prototype is to get the ideas and explorations out of your head and into the physical world. Different prototyping methods are- sketching, making clay models, building from Lego bricks, rapid prototyping, etc. Through these, you can actually learn and make changes, if any, in the prior stages itself. You can manage the solution building process.
After identifying the best solutions in the prototyping phase, the completed product is now tested. Even if this seems like the final stage, it is in fact an iterative process. Different discoveries in the process lead to redefining the problem.
Here are a few steps we carried out to identify the above points-
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