The Simplest Illustration of Design Thinking You’ll Find Out There

First, what is common in the process of making a Nike footwear, the creating of the Burj Khalifa plan or the stage coordination of William Shakespeare's play, Hamlet?

The art called Design Thinking.

Design Thinking is basically an interdisciplinary systematic process that involves empathizing with the user, challenging and redefining existing problems, in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions.

Design Thinking Process

Two friends, James and Valerie decided to embark on a project that challenged the status quo and would help humanity in the long run. Here is how they incorporated design thinking in creating this product.

While having lunch and looking over the window, James aked Valerie “What if cars ran on water?” “It would be a novel innovation creating both economic and climatic solutions” she replied. They thought about the possibilities of hydro-run cars and decided to design one.

They created 3 models of the hydro cars ensuring the prototypes had alternatives. The first model, Model A had water at exactly 0 °c, while the second ran at 50 ° c and Model C at 100 °c. They tested all three prototypes and model A didn't start, model B started and stopped while Model C ran for just an hour. To get the Model C running for a longer time they went back to the ideation stage to brainstorm on possible solutions.

  1. Observation: This is the exploration of natural events and phenomenons around us. This is basically the stage where we empathize with users and think of better ways to specific solve problems.
  2. Brainstorming: This births ideas and is also called Ideation Phase.
  3. Prototyping: This is the creation of mockups used to test the functionality of a design.
  4. Testing: This is the trial of a design to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the prototype.

“Human-centered design is a philosophy, not a precise set of methods, but one that assumes that innovation should start by getting close to users and observing their activities.” — Donald A. Norman

In conclusion, design thinking cuts across all fields and its application is boundless. On this note, I challenge you to apply the design thinking process in any task this week.

Sharing nuggets acquired from my journey to Self development.