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Design thinking | Definition

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What is design thinking?

Design thinking is an iterative process with the primary goal of understanding the user, testing assumptions, and redefining problems.

The goal is to find alternative strategies and solutions. Design thinking is a way of thinking and working and a collection of practical methods.

It combines creative and critical thinking and enables you to organize ideas, make the right decisions, improve situations, and gain knowledge.

The user of the software application is the focus of the process. Design thinking is extremely useful in dealing with problems that are unclear or unknown to the development team by reformulating the problem in a human-centric way.

This allows for brainstorming and a practical approach to prototyping and testing. Design thinking also involves constant experimentation: sketching, prototyping, testing, and trying out concepts and ideas.

Design thinking can be applied not only in software development but also in other areas.

Why is design thinking important?

In the modern enterprise, it’s easy to get a "tunnel-vision" when it comes to solving problems.

"We are doing it like this because it’s always been that way" — a common sentence in a lot of companies.

Design thinking challenges old ways of thinking. It doesn’t look at problems from a biased perspective. Instead, it always starts with the end-user.

In doing so, design thinking nurtures innovation.

Stages of design thinking

  • Stage 1: Empathy — research the needs of your users.

  • Stage 2: Define the needs and problems of your users. Summarize them and identify the core problems.

  • Stage 3: Idea — generate ideas to solve the users' problems. Think outside the box and look for new and alternative ways.

  • Stage 4: Prototype — create solutions. Don't develop a complete product yet, but create smaller solution proposals that can solve the users' problems and put them to the test.

  • Stage 5: Test — test your solutions. This is the final stage of the process. You can then return to one of the previous phases or complete the development of the product.

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