What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is a concept and methodology in which the end user, the customer, is in focus during the whole process. A classic example of design thinking in product development is the launch of Apple’s iPhone in 2007 that completely revolutionized the market.

Design thinking in practice is a set of 5 stages which briefly can be described as follows:

  • Empathise - The first situation means to fully familiarize yourself with the end-user’s / customer’s situation, problem, motivation, conditions, past experiences, etc.
  • Define (the problem) - During the second stage, the working group compiles the knowledge learnt during the first stage and boils it all down to a definition of the core problem to be solved.
  • Ideate - Just as the title reads, this stage means that the working group generates different solutions ideas. Worst Possible Idea and brainstorming sessions are some common idea generation methods that are usually being used.
  • Develop prototypes - The next stage involves developing concrete prototypes that can be tested at an early stage.
  • Test - By testing you get valuable insights and lessons. It is not uncommon for the working goup to redefine the problem during this stage.

Why use Design Thinking?

Design thinking imply building knowledge through iteration until you are satisfied with the solution. Since the end user is in focus during the whole process, and testing part of the process the risk of “surprises” after launch is minimized.

Relevant terms: Scrum | Kanban