Every new technology, solution, gadget and app starts with one core need: to fill a gap. Good design operates at the intersection of form and function, to solve problems.
This concept has been around for decades, but in recent years, IDEO, a design consulting agency that builds learning platforms and tools, has been championing the process as an alternative approach to traditional, data-driven problem-solving.
IDEO’s President and CEO, Tim Brown, defines design thinking as “the mission to translate observation into insights and insights into products and services that will improve lives.”
So, what goes into thinking like a designer?
Design Thinking 101: The Process
Broken down into three frameworks, the overall flow of understanding, exploring and materializing can be applied to any organization, company, project or problem to help us develop solutions that have impactful results.
Stage 1 : Understanding!
Empathize: During this crucial first stage of the process, your focusing on one objective only: understanding as much as you can from a researchers point of view to prime yourself for immersion.
Define: After you’ve empathized, combine all of your foundational research and actively observe where your users’ problems exist.
Stage 2 : Exploration!
Ideate: Our personal favorite, this is the stage in the process where you brain dump a range of crazy, creative ideas.
Prototype: Map out or actually build representations for a range of your ideas.
Stage 3 : Materialize!
Test: Gather as much feedback from users and clients as possible. Does the solution improve how they feel, think, behave, etc?
Implement: Put your vision into full effect. Launch. Monitor. Measure.
Ready to take a deep dive on design thinking? See it in action and learn how the designers at UberEATS crafted the future of food delivery (and continue to innovate) based on empathy and an appetite for complex logistical challenges.