Design thinking principles

Within UX there are many terms and analogies that are used when describing design processes. When designing something the process can become complex and at times muddled. Design thinking is a thinking process that simplifies this and promotes a more organised way of thinking.

What exactly is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is a way of solving creative problems, it is a human centered creative process that uses strategical approaches to build meaningful and effective solutions. Within UX the user is at the centre of the experience, focusing on how the user interacts and experiences the product. Design thinking also puts the user at the center – focusing on understanding their needs and requirements.

Design thinking pulls together what’s desirable from a human point of view with what’s technologically possible and efficient. Considering users’ behaviour and environments makes the design a human centred process. Have you ever been in a rush in a car park trying to pay for your parking and the machine is very unclear to use? On top of this it has multiple stickers with instructions on how to use it that ends up making it even more confusing? This is a situation where Design thinking was not considered! The users (in this case of the machine) were not thought about as much as they should’ve been – imagine an elderly person is trying to read the instructions and they can’t see the text because it is too small, factors like these are what design thinking revolves around – always making sure the user’s needs are met.

Focusing on the person you’re creating for not only makes the design more effective but encourages us to think about how we interact with design and products daily and how sometimes a logical process behind a design can benefit those using it massively.

Not a Designer? No worries!

Design thinking allows those who aren’t trained as designers to generate great solutions! Using creative tools allows for the innovation of new groundbreaking products/design in social contexts. By thinking like a designer, it not only creates a better understanding of the user but also promotes a new way of thinking about design – you aren’t primarily thinking about the design but more who the design is for.

Design thinking is thought to start in the middle of these concepts:

Intersection where design thinking lives

Design thinking is commonly explained in 5 stages:

  • Empathise – gaining an empathetic understanding of the problem you are trying to solve; it allows designers to gain insight on their users’ needs
  • Define – from putting together the information collected in the empathise stage, the define stage is for defining the problems you are yet to solve
  • Ideate – as you’ve already gained an understanding of the users’ needs and defined the

problems to solve, during this stage you will be ready to start generating ideas

  • Prototype – a mock up product can now be designed, these are then shared within the design team and investigated and re designed – by the end of this stage you will have a better idea of interacting with the product and what changes are needed
  • Test – the product is then tested using the best solutions already identified, it’s important to note that this stage isn’t always the end of the design process as it will often provide more insights and ideas

Design thinking is never a linear process and that is what makes it special. It is a universal concept – no matter what industry you may be in, design thinking always applies.

If you are thinking of starting a career in UX or are just curious to learn more, we have several UX courses that may suit your needs. Click here to learn more.

Hannah , ,