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the five phases of Design Thinking Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test

Design Thinking as a Strategy for Innovation

Innovation can be defined as a novel solution to a problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than current solutions. There are different techniques used to develop an innovative idea, but one of the most used ones is Design Thinking.

Design thinking is the architecture on which the thought processes that point to innovation and the development of new ideas are established, always within a framework of action that pursues customer satisfaction through the most direct way, the delivery of value.

A design thinking cycle is characterized by:

  • The search for person-centered innovation.

  • The need for observation to discover unmet needs within a context and the limitations of a particular situation.

  • The iteration of the solutions, which are completed with new ideas, testing and adjusting.

  • The involvement of customers or end users, which minimizes the uncertainty and risk of innovation.

  • The use of perceptions, which are trusted, with the understanding that they complement the objective data.

There are 5 phases within the Design Thinking methodology. They are the following:

  1. Empathize with users or customers. It is the way to extract the maximum information, data from communication, verbal and nonverbal, that will lead to the achievement of actionable knowledge.

  2. Define your needs, your problems and your ideas. A basis on which to develop alternative approaches and new approaches that add value.

  3. Create ideas that challenge assumptions and lead to innovative solutions. It is one of the most important moments and on which more iterations can turn.

  4. Set up a prototype. That it will not be understood as the final solution nor will it be seen as a definitive answer to the problem, but as an advance, one more step, in the middle of a cycle of continuous improvement.

  5. Go to test mode with the different solutions proposed. Because tests are necessary on the road to excellence to ensure the adjustment and future satisfaction of the client or user.

Conduct research about how other companies have used Design Thinking and share with your fellow learners.

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This article is from the free online course:

Upcycling: From Green Ideas to Starting a Business

Living in Minca