Design Thinking, simply put, is a “human centered” methodology or approach to innovation. At its very core it is about developing empathy for the end user of a product or service so you understand them and designing a solution that will solve a problem.
Anyone can do Design Thinking. Here is a 4 step process to get you started.
Step 1: Explore
This phase is all about getting to know your end users, learning about their lives, emotions and needs. The goal here is the understand the world through the user’s eyes. Exploration can be accomplished through more traditional methods like qualitative focus groups, One on One interviews or Ethnographies. Or can be just purely observational- watching and studying the end user in their environment. The more relevant the context of exploration the richer the insights.
Step 2: Reframe
After gaining insights about your end user it is important to come back and reframe the problem. Rarely are your initial assumptions completely correct. Asking yourself if this is the right problem that you need or want to solve is essential.
Step 3: Generate
In this step, you leverage the insights and needs from Step 1-2 and turn them into innovative solutions. Generate lots of ideas, combine ideas and then pick the ideas with the most potential. There are lots of methods to generate ideas, our favourites are Related Worlds (What If co.) and Scamper.
Step 4: Prototype
In this last step, you develop early versions of the solution that should then be taken back to test with users. Prototypes don’t always need to be physical objects, a wall of POST IT notes or drawings be just as effective. The best solutions are iterated based on a continuous feedback loop with users.
By using this 4 Step process you can quickly and confidently build out your solution for your end user.