5 Stages in Design Thinking Process

It’s very important to know why we should consider Design thinking process.

Why Design Thinking

“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.”
— Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO

This approach, which IDEO calls design thinking, brings together what is desirable(What makes sense to people and for people?) from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible (What is functionally possible within the foreseeable future?) and economically viable (What is likely to become part of a sustainable business model?).

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Empathise –

The first stage of the Design Thinking process is to gain an empathic understanding of the problem you are trying to solve. This involves researching area of concern through observing, engaging and empathizing with people to understand their experiences and motivations. Empathy allows the designers to not assume rather understand the real issue from the users prespective.

Define –

At this stage the team member already have got the information they gathered in empathise stage to figure out and analyse the problem. This stage is crucial as at this stage team members can define the problem based on the data collected and not on assumptions.


In this stage once the problem has been defined the team can together come up with alternative solutions to solve the existing problem. Every idea to solve the solution should be heard and listed as its very important that the team members listen to each others point of view. And at this stage the more ideas present to solve the existing problem the better it is. For example in our first class while creating product for Natalia I had come up with 4-5 different alternatives so I could collect feedback from her.


A prototype is a sample, model, or first stage of a product which is built to test a solution or process. It is build with the least amount of investment so it can be checked , tested and learned from. At prototype stage the team members can understand the problem and issues they might face while creating the original product. Also by testing it with close people or different group they can understand how the consumer might behave to the product.


At this stage one should aim at learning from the reactions of users, how they behave with it , what are the problems faced? This is a repetitive process in terms of fixing some features in the product to solve the required problem. Working on the given feedback and making required changes help us reduce the risk we would take in the final product. As after following these steps we as designers would be sure of the changes that are required in the final product based on the feedback by group of potential users.

Its important to know that even thought its listed that there are 5 steps in design thinking process, the steps don’t need to follow a specific order and it end up being a iterative process.



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