Design Thinking

Design Thinking

What is the Design Thinking process?
1. Discover
Learn about the user and begin to understand and empathize with their needs, desires, and problems
2. Define
Address a problem from a specific point a view
3. Ideate
Focused and purposeful brainstorming for solutions to the problem
4. Prototype
Simulate the user experience of the solution
5. Test
Validate the prototype by gathering feedback from users
Iterate throughout the process

What is Design Thinking and why is it important?
Design Thinking is a process for creating products and services which are useful and delightful for users. It is a way of thinking and working that utilizes hands-on methods geared toward:

  • Understanding the user
  • Challenging assumptions
  • Redefining problems

User satisfaction = Increased revenue

  1. Discover – Learn about the user and begin to understand and empathize with their needs, desires, and problems
    • User interviews – qualitative research methods in which a researcher engages with individuals to gather insights, opinions, and feedback about a product, service, or experience.
    • Stakeholder interviews – gather perspectives, expectations, and concerns of stakeholders to inform decision-making and ensure alignment with their interests and goals.
    • Surveys – data collection tool used to gather information from a sample of individuals, typically through a set of structured questions.
    • Data analysis – process of inspecting, cleaning, transforming, and modeling data to uncover meaningful patterns, draw conclusions, and support decision-making.
    • Metrics – quantifiable measurements used to assess, track, and evaluate the performance, progress, or effectiveness of a process, system, or entity.
    • Competitive analysis – evaluating and comparing the strengths and weaknesses of a business or product against those of its competitors.
    • Customer journey maps – visual representations that illustrate the various stages and touchpoints a customer goes through when interacting with a product, service, or brand.
    • Observation – gather qualitative data by directly observing and documenting actions, interactions, or natural occurrences without direct interaction with the subjects.
    • Context mapping – visualizing and understanding the broader environment, circumstances, and factors that influence a particular situation, design, or problem.
  1. Define – Address a problem from a specific point a view
    • Personas – fictional, detailed representations of target users or customers created to understand their characteristics, needs, behaviors, and goals.
    • Empathy maps – visual tools that capture and organize insights about a user’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
    • User journeys – various stages, touchpoints, and experiences users go through, providing a holistic view of their interactions with a product, service, or system.
    • Assumption mapping – visually representing and documenting the assumptions that individuals or teams make about a project, product, or situation.
    • Task analysis – systematic process of breaking down a complex activity or process into smaller, manageable components to understand the steps, actions, and cognitive processes involved.
    • Storyboards – visual sequences of illustrations or images arranged in a chronological order, used to convey the narrative or flow of a story, process, or user experience.
    • User stories – concise, user-focused descriptions of desired functionality or features written from the perspective of an end user. They typically follow a simple template (“As a [type of user], I want [an action] so that [benefit or goal]”).
    • Problem statement – clear and concise description of an issue or challenge that needs to be addressed.
    • Comparative analysis – examining and evaluating the similarities and differences between two or more entities, such as products, processes, or strategies.
  1. Ideate – Focused and purposeful brainstorming for solutions to the problem
    • Design sprint – time-constrained, collaborative process used by teams to solve complex problems and test ideas rapidly.
    • Card sorting – participants organize information or content into groups or categories based on their perceptions and preferences.
    • Information Architecture – organization, structure, and labeling of content in a way that facilitates effective navigation and understanding.
    • Crazy 8s – design thinking exercise where participants sketch as many quick ideas or solutions as possible in eight minutes.
    • Affinity maps – visual tool that help organize and categorize large amounts of information, ideas, or data generated during brainstorming or research sessions.
    • Task-flows – visual representations that outline the step-by-step sequence of interactions and activities a user performs to accomplish a specific goal within a product, service, or system.
  1. Prototype – Simulate the user experience of the solution
    • Paper prototypes – hand-drawn or printed representations of a user interface, allowing designers to quickly sketch and iterate on design ideas before moving to digital development.
    • Micro-interactions – small, subtle animations or visual responses within a user interface that enhance user experience by providing feedback or guiding users through specific tasks.
    • Detailed task-flows – comprehensive visual representations that outline the intricate steps and interactions users take to achieve specific goals within a product or system.
    • Wireframes – simplified, skeletal representations of a user interface, illustrating layout, structure, and basic functionality without detailing visual design elements.
    • Mockups – high-fidelity static representations of a user interface, incorporating visual design elements, colors, and typography to provide a realistic preview of the final product.
    • Interactive prototypes – digital models of a user interface that allow users to interact with a simulated version of the product, providing a more dynamic and realistic user experience compared to static mockups.
    • Design documentation – comprehensive records that document design decisions, guidelines, and specifications, serving as a reference for designers, developers, and other stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle.
  1. Test – Validate the prototype by gathering feedback from users
    • Usability testing – method of evaluating a product’s user interface by observing real users interacting with it, typically to identify usability issues and gather insights for improvement.
    • A/B testing – controlled experiment where two or more variants (A and B) of a webpage, email, or other digital content are compared to determine which performs better in terms of user engagement or conversion rates.
    • Heuristic evaluation – expert evaluation method where usability experts assess a user interface against a set of recognized usability principles or heuristics to identify potential usability issues.
    • Q/A – process of ensuring that a product or system meets specified requirements and standards through systematic testing and validation.
    • Observation – systematically watching and recording behaviors, interactions, or events to gather information, insights, or data in various research or testing contexts.
    • Metrics – quantifiable measurements used to assess and analyze the performance, effectiveness, or success of a product, service, or system.
    • Shadowing – research method where an observer follows and closely observes a user or subject during their daily activities to gain a deeper understanding of their behaviors, needs, and challenges.
    • Eye tracking – technology used to measure and record eye movements and gaze points, providing insights into where users focus their attention within a visual stimulus, such as a webpage or interface.