What is design thinking?

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There are a lot of theories surrounding design thinking, but in essence it is a way that designers can use human-centered techniques to solve problems. In a way, this method of creating products puts users at the center of the process, and designs products which are needed by the market rather than products which are manufactured specifically for profit.

We also discussed further the idea of reframing ideas and problems. This concept tells us to look at a problem from a different perspective. For example, in class we looked at how a mechanic might need to reframe the way they look at the service they provide to their customers so that their customers are more comfortable when interacting with them.

There are a few steps to create new products using design thinking:

Step 1: Empathise with your users

Step 2: Define the problem which users face using insights gained in step 1

Step 3: Ideas, challenge assumptions by creating solutions for the problems and gain feedback on the ideas

Step 4: Prototype and start creating solutions taking into account the feedback from the ideas stage

Step 5: Test the solution with users who experience the problem and gain more feedback, return to the empathy stage and figure out if you have solved the problem.

Engestrom’s Expanded Activity Theory Model


Activity Theory is a frame work which looks at people as embedded actors. It shows that within a society certain things need to exist for problems to exist and to be solved. And a process needs to be followed in order for an idea to bear fruit.

I think design thinking is not the answer to every problem in the world, however it is a good way forward to solve some very big problems by implementing solutions which people want.

It would be great to see if design thinking processes could be applied to the video game industry, where many users who play online games report problems and issues with a game but are often not considered by the developers. If design thinking and lean startup methodology is used for game design it is possible that consumers would be happier with their experiences when playing video games.

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