Designers, leaders, entrepreneurs, etc., frequently use design thinking techniques to solve business problems. This process entails observing and analyzing what customers truly want and require. The process is similar to brainstorming, but it focuses on finding practical solutions rather than solving a problem individually. Because it allows teams to create more meaningful solutions faster, this approach is often more effective and less expensive than traditional approaches. It also assists teams in avoiding compromises, which is critical to the success of an innovation.

A company should start with a problem statement when creating a fantastic design. It will aid the team in narrowing down their options, which will then be tested to determine their viability. These concepts are turned into prototypes, scaled-down versions of products that may be built or implemented in the future. A prototype can widely vary in sophistication – a paper model to an interactive digital model. The synthesis phase follows, with the goal of testing and refining the concept.

What is Design Thinking?

The Design Thinking method encourages team collaboration and aims to make a solution as effective as possible. It focuses on bringing ideas based on real-world user needs, and it entails reframing and defining problems in a human-centric manner. Then, it assists teams in prototyping ideas to test and improve them. Aside from the process’s benefits, it also increases the participants’ knowledge and expertise.

The problem must be defined as the first step in the process. An essential tool for an individual is abductive reasoning, and design thinking is the process that employs this tool. The team should solicit feedback from internal functions during the development process, and it is crucial because it will be the product’s user. It, however, is not the only step. Companies must include the right customers, including executives, in the design process.

A design thinking online course can help you take the first step towards your journey as a student, entrepreneur, young professional, product manager, and learn from industry experts.

Three Phases of Design Thinking – Using Design Thinking to Authenticate Your Projects

Start by interacting with your users or customers when applying design thinking. Then, enlist their assistance in the endeavor. To collect data, you can hold brainstorming sessions or interview people. Focus on the users’ requirements during the ideation stage, and make a prototype after that. Before it becomes the real thing, a prototype is a simplified version of the final product tested on users. You can then use the information to improve employee retention and customer service.

The amount of attention your teams may devote to Design Thinking will primarily go via three significant phases. The three phases are as follows:

  • Collaboration
  • Innovation
  • Acceleration

1. Phases of Design Thinking – Collaboration

The team will discuss, gather information, and experiment with ideas throughout the design thinking. The ideation phase encourages the team to think outside the box and experiment to identify the most outstanding viable solution. During this stage, the team often builds prototypes, scaled-down replicas of the goods and systems being developed. They may then show these prototypes to their target consumers to check whether they are the best answer.

The Collaboration phase assists designers or leaders in synthesizing the knowledge obtained from the research process. They also begin to ask “How Might We?” queries. These are ideal for brainstorming for the Ideate phase. These insights are often recorded on Post-its, one note per Post-it, and a team may utilize personas or a journey map to arrange this information. Traditionally, design thinking teams use a giant whiteboard covered with thousands of Post-it notes.

2. Phases of Design Thinking – Innovation

Following the Collaboration phase, the design team may synthesize and Innovate themes and reframe their findings into questions more applicable to the Ideate phase. Personas and trip maps may be used to arrange the data. The collaborative team may also utilize a vast whiteboard covered with Post-its to chronicle their learnings. For this procedure, the team brainstorms ideas on a vast board with many Post-it notes for this procedure. You can generate as many ideas as you want, as long as they are based on a genuine issue. It is critical to include individuals from various backgrounds to include their opinions. The next phase in the design process is prototyping.

The Innovate phase expands on the concepts generated during the ideate phase and creates basic iterations of a problem-solving product. At this point, you might concentrate on several solutions and detect flaws in your first ideas. During the final Innovate phase, you will mix the most exemplary ideas from each step and solicit user input. You will determine if the solution works if you do this rapidly.

3. Phases of Design Thinking – Acceleration

Finally, you must accelerate your ideas into action. Each incremental step must be validated with your customer, just like you did in the previous phases. Clickable prototypes may be created from sketches using one of the many prototyping systems now on the market. To assist you in deciding what features to include in the final product, you may use the prototype. Throughout the process, you’ll be putting together a finished product. Establish a fast feedback loop for new product releases in your company’s business plan. The DevOps tool stack has been designed to allow development teams to make course corrections based on end-user feedback to ensure timely releases.

Keep in touch with your customers regularly. Customer feedback is the most crucial information your team can use to design the following product.

Bottom-line – Putting the Pieces Together

Your demands may be accommodated by the framework of the three steps mentioned (Collaboration, Innovation, and Acceleration). The only exception is that you must communicate and verify progress with your customer at every stage of the way.

Defining the user’s issue you’re trying to solve is the first step, and it’s now time to identify the problem. You could seek assistance with a course such as Stanford Design Thinking Course, where you would learn to apply various Design Thinking frameworks to solve any problems you’re facing. At the same time, the solutions you arrive at should be comprehensive and flexible enough to accommodate any situation. It should be accompanied by as much data you can gather, which will only prove beneficial.