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The Design Thinking Master Quest: What is it!

In this series the design thinking master quest, we hope to break down the design thinking process in a non-bullshit fluffy-free way.

With that said there are a lot and we mean A LOT of awesome people that’s already talking about design thinking. It’d make no sense to shy away from their expertise, let’s embrace it!

What is design thinking?

Design thinking is a five-step process that people use to solve complex problems. The steps ensure that all aspects of the problem are sufficiently considered and help the users create well thought out solutions.

The steps themselves are super flexible and can be done in any order.

Most companies use design thinking in some way shape or form!

Design thinking master quest: The design thinking steps

The design thinking process can be split into five steps.

  1. Emphasise: Getting into the shoes of your users and understanding the market by doing user interviews and card sorting exercises.
  2. Define: Getting all your research, looking for trends and getting a solid understanding of your next steps via a badass problem statement.
  3. Ideate: Here is where you start to flex those creative muscles and come up with some kickass ideas. Blue-sky thinking is 100% encouraged.
  4. Prototype: Start making those samples by wireframing and dare we say it, prototyping! Low-fidelity, High-fidelity, pasta-art fidelity or whichever fidelity you feel comfortable with.
  5. Test: Show your users / potential customers what you have done and see if they like it.

If they do then yatta! You’re ready to launch! If not, then you need to go back to one of the previous steps and make improvements. 

Rinse and repeat until you have something that you’re all proud of.

The Design Thinking Master Quest

Design thinking is kinda everywhere, it’s just not considered design thinking in many instances.

For example,

  • You download an app. 
  • The app has a few bugs. 
  • You see that the app store has an update for the app with fixes to the bug. 
  • You download the update. 
  • The bug is gone.
  • You discover a new bug

When applying the design thinking methodology to this process, it’d look a little like this.

  • The app developers were alerted to the problem by their users (emphasise). 
  • They took the users feedback and made sense of what the issue was (define). 
  • They began thinking of a solution (ideate).
  • They started developing/coding a fix to the bug (prototype).
  • They tested to see if the fix worked, maybe with their QA team/users (test).
  • The developers release the app fix as an update.
  • The app developers are alerted to a new bug. (repeat)

That is the design thinking process oversimplified, a little too much, but you get what we are trying to say. The steps already exist in a way shape or form, you are just fitting them into a methodology. Design thinking tends to get used for things much much bigger.

Even though we are making design thinking sound super simple, it’s only a guide and with guides there are pitfalls. Bare that in mind!

Whatever your reason for using the design thinking methodology, you’d need to first assemble your squad of professionals.

Your squad should contain subject matter experts that you think would have a significant impact on your project.

power rangers dancing GIF

Once you’ve assembled your squad, it’s time to emphasise.

This is where you do a deep dive and get to know your users wants and needs.

In the next article, we will go over the emphasise stage, why it’s super important!

Emphasising is as integral to the design thinking process as a Pokeball is to Pokemon. In the next part of the design thinking master quest, we hope to go over this stage to give you a better understanding of how to start your own design thinking master quest.

Note: The design thinking process doesn’t have to be practised in this particular order, you can practise it in any way you feel comfortable with and meets your needs!

Note plus: Wanna challenge? How about trying your luck at one of our NSFW challenges… if you can that is.

Not Safe For Design, a creative challenge generator. #NotSafeForDesign to share your creations!

Use your challenge as a way to train your creative muscles or as a tool to build your creative confidence. Your challenge would also work great as design thinking practice, which is a great skill set to have. We can go on about design thinking, but there’s an excellent video from F.H.I.L.

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