Understanding consumer problems and transmitting ideas into physical solutions is the prime way of creating an efficient design. No matter what the product is, its design must provide ease and comfort to the user.

Until a few years ago, days design was either aesthetic or functional. But today, it has escalated to a much more complex level. Designing today requires innovation and a human-centric perspective. Complex level designs are pretty hard to design and need a different approach. This is an advanced approach is what we call DESIGN THINKING simplified in today’s era.

the new era of design thinking simplified
Models of Design Thinking

Models of Design Thinking Simplified

The Design Thinking stages essentially range from five to seven. The seven-stage model was initially proposed in 1969 by Noble Prize laureate Herbert Simon in his seminal text ‘The Sciences of the Artificial’.  This was further simplified by a five-stage Design Thinking model was proposed by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford.

Design Thinking Simplified in 5 Stages

Design thinking is basically a modern approach towards design where designers ideally use a five-stage process to come up with solution-oriented, user friendly, and impressive design. Although it is a non-linear and repetitive process, designers work in teams to understand the human design problems, challenge assumptions, and finally create a handsome and efficient design.

Every UX designer is aware of the Design Thinking process. As a designer, I would prefer the process from start to end. Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test with this design process is more simpler, authentic and user centric.

– Pooja Kulkarni (UX Designer)

This process helps in providing solutions to ill-defined problems by rearranging elements in more human-centric ways. Design thinking consists of five different stages which are not necessarily sequential. These phases depend on the user experience and what difficulties they face while operating the product. Let us take a closer look over the five stages of Design Thinking.

1) Empathize:

Understanding consumer behavior with the product and empathizing with their inconveniences during its use are the principle of this stage. This includes conversing with the experts in order to dig deeper into the problem and understand its origin through observations and engagement. Empathizing the customer issues helps designers to set aside their own opinions and assumptions about user experience and understand the actual user needs.

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Thus, in this stage, the designers collect the required information about the problem statement and use it in the further stages to ideate solutions.

2) Define the Problem:

Now that you have gathered all the necessary data in the ‘Empathize’ stage, it’s now time for the team to observe and analyze the core problems. The ‘Define’ stage also involves going to the core and establishing features, functions, and elements. This helps in solving the problem statement in a more efficient and systematic manner.

Once the problem is defined, one can brainstorm for solutions.

design thinking simplified
The third stage of Design Thinking is where the team has to ‘think out of the box’ and put forth ideas that would resolve the problem statement.

3) Ideate:

The third stage of Design Thinking is where the team has to ‘think out of the box’ and put forth ideas that would resolve the problem statement. At this stage, one will have enough knowledge about the users and their problem statements as they have already studied them in the first two stages.

Thus, ideating alternative solutions to the problem and looking at it through different perspectives would result in a successful idea. But it is necessary to ensure that we pick the best feasible idea from the heap of ideas that are born during brainstorming.

4) Prototype:

In order to transmit the ideas into reality and execute them in the product, it is crucial to investigate the existing features of the product. So, the ideas which were chosen in the previous stage now experiment.  

The only aim of this stage is to choose the best possible solution for the problems which were observed in the first three stages. Hence, prototypes are created using the best-selected ideas and the user experience is examined. This gives a clear picture for the team to reject or qualify a particular solution-based idea.

Apart from that, it also provides an understanding of consumer behavior with the prototype which narrows down the options.

5) Test:

The prototyping stage opens the door for the final stage of Design Thinking which is Testing. Intensive testing of the finalized solutions is tested and the results are analyzed. The results lead to more alternations in the end product depending on the experience of the user.

Design Thinking Simplified in 5 Stages
Even in the testing stage, the end product is optimized and refinements are made based on the convenience and usability of the consumer.

Hence, even in the testing stage, the end product is optimized and refinements are made based on the convenience and usability of the consumer.

This is how the five stages of Design Thinking are coordinated. Although the above stages are linear, it need not be the same every time. It can be done quite flexibly. For instance, the designers may create various prototypes which would eventually lead to the solving of an undefined problem.

Thus, carrying out these stages even in a non-linear manner contributes to the development of the product.

Whatsoever, this concept of Design Thinking has brought a revolution in the design industry. It has undeniably made the designing process simpler, efficient, and aesthetic. Most importantly, it gives the user just what they want!

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FAQs For Design Thinking

What is the new Design Thinking?

Design thinking is an approach wherein designers have to think about human-centered to understand their needs. Understanding consumer problems and transmitting ideas into physical solutions is the prime way of creating an efficient design.

How Yellow slice can help me with Design Thinking?

To apply design thinking we need to empathize, define the problem, ideate: prototype: and test.

When should Design Thinking be used?

Design thinking should be implied to understand the core of the problem or complex challenges. Designing today requires innovation and a human-centric perspective.

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