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A Simple Guide On Design Thinking for Beginners.

According to Interaction Design Foundation, design thinking is often referred to as ‘outside the box’ thinking, as designers are attempting to develop new ways of thinking that do not abide by the dominant or more common problem-solving methods. At the heart of Design Thinking lies also the interest and ability to ask significant questions and challenging assumptions. Design Thinking offers us a means of digging that bit deeper to uncover ways of improving user experiences.

While there are different approaches to the Design Thinking depending on who is executing it, the process typically boils down to the following five stages:

1. Empathize

2. Define

3. Ideate

4. Prototype

5. Test.

Below, I will walk you through each step of the process using a solution to a passworded phone which can be used in case of contacting close relation on case of an accident or loss of phone.

The first step of the design thinking process provides an opportunity to immerse ourselves in the user’s mind. Accidents often occur without being able to contact close relatives of the person involved. This can be done effectively via pulling direct quotes from interviews demonstrating how people who have had such relatives feel in their own words.

In this step, we combine and analyze the research to draw insights from the data that will help define our problem statement and guide ideation in step three. For example, to help affected persons reach their relatives in case of accidents or loss of phone.

The third step of the design thinking process is to brainstorm ways to address our user’s needs. Which is to reach relatives in case of emergency. Ideas of allowing the emergency interface on the mobile phone be able to access portions of the phones contact designated for emergency purpose can be generated.

Prototyping allows us to represent our ideas into physical form to gain feedback from the people we are intended to serve (mobile users). The prototype should be a realistic representation of the solution that allows you to gain an understanding of what works and doesn’t work.

The time is to revisit the problem statement and make sure the end solution meets the need and resolves the user’s frustrations. It is also the time to ask relevant questions such as, is our solution compelling enough to change users experience?

The goal of design thinking is to remove the ambiguous experience of user, validating that a solution addresses a real problem while gaining an intimate understanding of people who might use it. The end point of design thinking process is innovation.

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