An Introduction into the World of Design Thinking.

There are 5 main stages to design thinking

  • Empathize
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test

Empathize

To create desirable and meaningful products/services, you need to understand who your users are and what they need. Observe them with empathy, which means withholding judgment and not making any assumptions.

  • Lean canvas
  • User research. Identify who you need to interview and where to find them.
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Customer journey maps. Put yourself in their shoes and map down what they would say, think, do and feel when approaching a problem. Speak to them to get their perspective and to see what they face day-to-day.

Define

After gathering all the insights from the empathize stage, you will need to analyze all the findings. This is called “synthesizing”.

Ideate

This is probably the hardest stage of the process.

  • Design sprints
  • Rapid prototyping. (I like to use Figma to mess around with some wireframes when approaching app designs)
  • Sketching. This is a great way to ideate quickly and explore. They don’t have to be good. It’s the idea that matters.
  • Research existing designs to your problem and see how you can evolve existing designs.
  • Combine two existing things and making a new product out of the two. For example, smartwatches (phone+ watch= smartwatch)
  • SCAMPER: A creative thinking technique, that stands for: substitute, combine, adapt, modify/maximize/minify, put to another use, eliminate, and reverse.

Prototype

The objective of the prototyping stage is to turn your ideas into something tangible which can be tested on REAL users. These are not meant to be perfect and are built to see how they are going to be accepted by the end-user.

  • landing pages with the intent of the product.
  • static web/app builds ( like using webflow.com for quick no-code environment)
  • design prototypes
  • lean web apps ( using bubble.io for example)

Test

Time to test your prototypes on actual users.

  • Analytics ( google, mixpanel, hotjar…)
  • User testing ( customer interviews) — — go directly to who you are targeting and get their input, so you can iterate on your design.
This illustration from Stanford’s institute of design summarizes the process pretty well.

How can one become better and faster using design thinking?

The real answer is that there is no quick way to get better at this. It all comes with time and practice.

Now Get Started…

Here are a few resources that helped me get started and learn the process of design:

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Farah El Siss

Farah El Siss

Sharing my insights and thoughts about the world we all live in today.