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Design thinking

/dɪˈzaɪn ˈθɪŋkɪŋ/

“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success."


Design thinking is a design methodology for solving problems using solution-based approach. It’s an iterative process in which we thrive to understand the user’s pain, challenge assumptions, redefine problems, in order to create new strategies and solutions.

Similar to the Lean Startup approach, Design Thinking also focuses on understanding the needs of potential customers outside the building. But its motivations and tactics are different from those of Lean. Design Thinking doesn’t start with a founder’s vision and a product in-hand. Instead it starts with “needs finding” and attempts to reduce new product risk by accelerating learning through rapid prototyping. 

Typically a Design thinking process encompasses the following stages: 

  • Empathize with your users
  • Define your users needs and their problems
  • Ideate by challenging assumptions and creating ideas for innovative solutions
  • Prototype to start creating solutions
  • Test solutions

In the first phase we state the problem and explore the human context. The second phase then allows us to frame the problem we are solving. The third phase helps us find the ways to solve the problem through brainstorming. The fourth phase allows us to experiment and build quickly to learn from it. And the final phase is the actual implementation of the solution and seeing if it works.