Feb 25, 2021
Design thinking is a useful methodology for many companies that develop complex products and services. They may encounter ill-defined problems, or they may be developing something that doesn’t exist yet. With design thinking, a company learns about the intended user--often from interviewing customers--and then offers usable experiences. The company can more easily anticipate how potential users will react to the product or service, which helps increase chances of market success.
Design thinking can be a powerful tool to find innovative solutions to complex problems. By evaluating research and testing assumptions, we can create products that users will want to use with increased user satisfaction.
Stage 1: Empathise—Understanding users' needs
Here, we collect ideas, stories, and insights, to gain empathy for users. By being able to walk in the shoes of the user gives us a deeper insight into the problems we’re trying to solve by understanding what users think, say, feel and do.
Stage 2: Define—Create problem statements
By creating personas: a fictional representation of an ideal user, we gain insight into different types of customers and the various challenges they face. We will then use these insights as the basis for recommendations and interactions throughout the product design process.
Stage 3: Ideate—Challenge hypotheses and brainstorm ideas
We use brainstorming as a process to discuss technical and design challenges whilst generating new ideas about how things can be improved.
Stage 4: Prototype—Simulate real products
The goal of this phase is to prototype possible solutions to create a better understanding of what users need from the product and how they use it. A lifelike prototype is quickly assembled using applications such as Figma or Adobe XD all without writing one line of code.
Stage 5: Test— Will users be satisfied?
The design thinking process is iterative. It's not a linear series of activities, but a cyclic journey in which teams test and improve their ideas incrementally. Teams often use the results to redefine one or more further problems, returning to previous stages to make further iterations, alterations and refinements – to find or rule out alternative solutions.
Each stage contributes to the entire product design project and can be revisited at any time based off newly acquired knowledge. Its purpose is to gain the deepest understanding of user behaviour and what their ideal product/solution would be.