ARTICLE SUMMARY: Design thinking is a methodology which provides a solution-based approach to solving problems.

Design thinking has been around since the 1940s. In the 1970s design thinking started influencing UX design and today it is now an integral part of UX design problem solving.

Depending on who you talk to there can be three to seven phases to design thinking. “The 5 Stages in the Design Thinking Process” by Rilkke Friis Dam focuses on five

  1. Empathize—Research Your Users’ Needs
  2. Define—State Your Users’ Needs and Problems
  3. Ideate—Challenge Assumptions and Create Ideas
  4. Prototype—Start to Create Solutions
  5. Test—Try Your Solutions Out

This process will help you to understand the human needs involved with your project and help you to reframe the problem in human-centric ways.

Let’s face it, there are times when clients don’t even know what they want, this process will help the designer in tackling complex problems unknown or ill-defined and give you direction.

This article provides links and a list of references to help you learn more about this, so, whether a new designer or an “old salt”, this is a great resource to have at the ready.

Let us know what you think in the comments.