Think Like a Designer! Follow These 6 Stages of Design Thinking

Think Like a Designer! Follow These 6 Stages of Design Thinking

Have you ever heard about the phrase "think like a designer"? Has your boss or colleague ever asked you to do it? Surely, you must have heard about that famous phase. It is actually a very powerful motivation; however, some of you might misinterpret the meaning behind it. No, you don’t get asked to design dresses or buildings, but you are asked to solve complex problems using creative solutions - like a designer.

DESIGN THINKING. What is exactly design thinking? Design thinking is an approach used to solve problem by using more practical and creative solution. It can be applied to any field that is not related to design specific. Design thinking is progressive and user-centric. It works by seeking to understand people’s needs and find effective solutions to them.

Design thinking has four principles. The four principles of design thinking were proposed by Christoph Meinel and Larry Leifer, the Hasso-Plattner-Institute of Design at Stanford University, California. What are they?

The 4 Principle of Design Thinking

1. The Human Rule

All design is social in nature.

2. The Ambiguity Rule

Ambiguity is inevitable.

3. All Design Is Redesign

All design is re-design.

4. The Tangibility Rule

Making ideas tangible facilitates communication.

Design thinking is very useful when solving problems that are unclear or unknown – by reframing the problem. In order to best utilize design thinking to produce best solution, you must fully understand its process. Here are the six stages of design thinking that you should know so you can think like a designer!

The 6 Stages of Design Thinking

1. Empathize

This stage aims to obtain a deep understanding of your users’ needs. Empathize is a process that requires you to set aside your own needs, way of thinking, and assumptions. Instead, you must put yourself in their situation. Try to observe a lot, immerse yourself in their environment, and consult to experts if needed so that you will get a lot of useful information that will guide you in the next stage.

2. Define

In this define stage, you will process and remove the irrelevant aspects of information that you gathered in the first stage. Next, process the information, start making connections, analyze them, and define the core problems and needs. Remember, your goal is to define a problem statement that is going to be used in the next step, and don't forget to always use a 'human-centered attitude'.

3. Ideate

The ideate stage requires you to find solutions for the problems and needs that you obtain from the define stage. This stage represents the transition from problem identification to solution creation. Try to use many ideation techniques, from brainstorming to prototyping, from mind mapping to sketching, in order to generate a very wide range of ideas.

4. Prototype

This prototype stage is about experimentation and turning ideas into actual products or solutions. This step is critical for putting each solution to the test and identifying any constraints or flaws. Depending on how well the proposed solutions perform in prototype form, they may be accepted, improved, redesigned, or rejected throughout the prototype stage.

5. Test

In this test stage, you ask your users to provide feedback on the prototypes (solutions) you've created, but it's also an opportunity to learn more about your users. The results obtained are frequently used to redefine problems and modify and refine your prototypes, in a circular process that should eventually result in a solution that works well for those users in that context.

6. Implement

This is the stage at which your solution becomes a reality and is launched and tested on the users. While the design may be fantastic, it may not have met the needs of the user in the way you expected. Although your idea may not be realized this time, the process is non-linear, so you take what you've learned and begin again.

Design thinking is useful not only for designers, but also for creative employees, freelancers, and business leaders. It's for anyone who wants to instill a powerful, effective, and widely accessible approach to innovation, one that can be integrated into every level of an organization, product, or service to drive new alternatives for businesses and society.

Design thinking can lead us to new and innovative things. Find out other Digital Inovation Strategy only at Multimatics!

G. (2021c, December 3). 6 Stages in the Design Thinking Process. Talent Garden.
Stevens, E. (2021, November 23). What Is Design Thinking? A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide. CareerFoundry.

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