The power of Design Thinking

Design thinking has been progressively gaining momentum over the last decade. Its essence, as defined by Tim Brown of IDEO, is using the designer’s acumen and methodologies to align human needs with technological feasibility and viable business strategies, thereby creating customer value and market opportunities. This approach seeks a harmonious balance between practicality and innovation, art and science, analytics and intuition, leveraging a key tool in design: abductive reasoning.

“In abductive reasoning, we try to presume a fact by using supporting facts. Example: Some people cannot see (fact). Tim constantly walks into objects (supporting fact). Tim cannot see (abduction).”

At its core, design thinking is user-centric, employing a range of tools and methods to address a problem. It integrates logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning to not only envision potential futures but also to forge outcomes that positively impact the user. This mindset prioritizes solutions and action, blending analysis with creativity. The typical design thinking process includes:

  1. Empathize: Gain a deep understanding of the user’s experience through observation and direct engagement to immerse in their reality.
  2. Define: Synthesize your observations to create a user-centric problem statement.
  3. Ideate: Broaden the spectrum of solutions by generating diverse and numerous ideas, pushing beyond conventional solutions.
  4. Prototype: Bring ideas to life in tangible forms for interaction, fostering empathy and further insights.
  5. Test: Engage with more refined products, gathering observations and feedback to enhance prototypes, deepen user understanding, and refine the initial perspective.

Try out high-resolution products and use observations and feedback to refine prototypes, learn more about the user, and refine your original point of view

This process is integral to almost every field of design-communication. While mastering design takes years, the principles of design thinking can be adopted by non-designers for leadership and innovation. If you’re facing challenges that design and technology can solve, feel free to reach out for a creative consultation.

“Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

— Steve Jobs