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Design thinking is a topic that has been gaining momentum in recent years. One of the major reason why it has emerged as a focal talking point which has gained wider awareness and adoption is because of the practical qualities it focuses on the design process and again it is not restricted to any profession or industry, it has a general appeal and can be applied in any sector with measurable success.

It is a way of thinking based on cognitive processes typically employed by designers.

As a design thinker, the following attributes of empathy, integrative thinking, optimism, experimentalism, and collaboration are a must have.

Design is more than applying an aesthetic coat to a specific idea—it’s applying a method for solving difficult and chaotic problems. According to Victor Papanek, in his seminal manifesto Design for the Real World, he defines design as “… the conscious effort to impose meaningful order.”

So how can designers apply design thinking in their design ?

In order to effectively apply design thinking in your design, you have to first of all understand the basic principles. The following elements are the basic principle of Design Thinking process which every designer must understand and apply

  1. 1. Empathize : This element helps the designer to understand that each problem he is faced with has a unique context, one which is defined by people. And so, by empathizing, the designer aims to understand the belief systems, values and needs that makes the audience of interest stand
  2. Define : This element allows the designer to deconstruct valuable insights gained from studying and empathizing with the audience. It helps the designer to define the specific challenge he is facing and enable him to work towards finding a solution. This element also enables him to piece all the information gathered together to gain better understanding of the audience and what they really need.
  3. Ideate : This element is similar to what we all know as brain storming. At this stage, nothing is off limits. The designer is encouraged to think in whatever direction and manner he wishes to. There is no differentiating between a good and a bad solution at this point. The idea is simply to think up as many solutions as you possibly can.
  4. Prototype : After the ideation stage, the designer is expected to have arrived or derived multiple solutions. Now in the prototype stage, he is required to test ONLY the best ideas which may vary from a post it note to a physical interactive activity.
  5. Test : At this stage, the designer is poised to learn more about possible solutions in relation to the audience being considered and depending on the outcome of the test could lead to a restart of the whole process . For instance, the designer may come to the realization that he either incorrectly defined the problem or failed in the proper characterization of the audience and thus will need to start all over again.

Design thinking is a patient but cognitive process of applying pure analytical skills in creating effective solutions that resonate with the audience.

So there you have it, our tips on how you can apply design thinking in your design. If there are more ideas that you would like to share with us based on the above discussion, kindly share with us in the comments section. We always look forward to hearing from you.

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