Design Thinking Process

A process cycle based in a 5 stages:

  • Empathize
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test

Empathize

Objective:

  • Understand customers’ needs
  • Deep insight into what they need and expect from the solution/product

Activities

  • Engage with stakeholders
  • Use innovative methods to collect information
  • Understand the problem/need
  • Record observation to answer what, how, and why

Guidelines to follow:

  • Adopt appropriate method to gather relevant information
  • Engage stakeholders positively
  • Experience the problem to understand the impact

Define

Objective:

  • To create a well-defined and meaningful problem statement to focus on

Activities

  • Information analysis
  • Collaborating observations that help define the core problem
  • Provide clarity and scope to the problem

Guidelines to follow:

  • Focus on the positive aspects of the customers’ needs
  • Eliminate negative aspects identified in their needs
  • Identify connectivity between problems by identifying similar context
  • Break down the problems into sub-problems
  • Define each problem to create meaningful problem statement

Ideate

Objective:

  • To generate and define multiple ideas

Activities:

  • Collect as many ideas as possible
  • Think, think, think…
  • Brainstorming
  • Use tools like charting, mind maps, boards
  • Gather all solutions suggested by the team of thinkers

Guidelines to follow:

  • Don’t get into details, feasibility, and viability during this phase
  • Don’t evaluate ideas
  • Focus on generating ideas
  • Always create visualization of ideas

Prototype

Objective:

  • To testify an idea
    • Verifies whether an implemented solution is successful
    • Identify further problems with the implemented idea to refine
  • Gathering feedback from the users about their experiences with the product

Activities:

  • Identify the type of prototype needed to illustrate the ideas
  • Capture all the key aspects of the idea and solution with the prototypes

Guidelines to follow:

  • Don’t spend too much time on the prototype always build prototypes with the intended users in mind
  • Checking feasibility and collecting feedback is the primary objective of prototypes.
  • Don’t focus on internal problems

Types of prototypes:

  • Basic prototype model: provide limited tested features, it’s inexpensive, may not be useful for some cases, you will get limited feedback.
  • Operational prototype model: operates like finished products, they are expensive, users can visualize how they will operate, you will get deep feedback.

Test

Objective:

  • Return to your users and test the prototype for obtaining feedback

Activities:

  • Engage with stakeholders
  • Understand if the needs are covered
  • Collect as much feedback as possible

Guidelines to follow:

  • Focus on assertive and defined feedback
  • structure the test activities with the user stories.
  • explain what was implemented and not implemented in the prototype (set expectations)
  • Don’t focus on internal problems

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