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What do you need to know about design thinking process

Updated on May 30, 2017

Today, every business is longing for innovative ideas. Innovative and creative ideas are necessary for the branding of businesses. Normal innovation process consists of 4 steps such as ideate, define, design, and develop. However, in design thinking process, there are 5 stages such as empathy, define, ideate, prototype, and test. These 5 stages are not considered as steps because there is no hard and fast rule for implementing these stages in a particular order.

Stages of design thinking process

Design thinking helps to deal with complex problems, understand human requirements, analyse the problem in a human-centric way, create innovative ideas through brainstorming sessions, and craft a strategic method for prototyping and testing. An understanding of these 5 stages of design thinking help to find solutions for complex problems occurring in our businesses.

This model was suggested by Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design, Stanford, which is a leading university in giving training on Design Thinking. By implementing these 5 stages of design thinking, you can involve in a creative process that helps in the smooth workflow or thought process. Design thinking helps us to come up with more ideas and choices in terms of creativity and innovation.



Empathy is the first stage in which the design team will analyse the problem in an empathetic manner. To make this possible, the design team consults with the experts to know more about the problem. The team observes, engages and empathises the problem along with these experts to understand their experiences. The design team also analyses the target audience to find out what they need, how they look forward and what expectations they have. The design team has to encounter with these problems and solve them in a proper way to create an innovative design. Having an empathetic approach to the design helps to connect with the target audience easily and effectively.


With the help of the insights given by the experts, the design team defines problems according to the requirements of the potential customers. The team evaluates the observations and combine them to define the problems faced. The problem is defined in a human-centric manner to create right solutions and opportunities.


Once the problem is defined clearly, then the team of designers look for different methods to solve the problem. The design team generates several new ideas that can help in solving the problem. At this stage of design thinking, every idea generated by each team member is considered to get different perspectives on the problem. The ideas generated are sorted out to find the best solutions for the problem.


In this stage, the design tem visualises the solutions for the problem. Different techniques are used for this such as rapid prototyping, sketching, etc. Regardless of the techniques used, the aim of this stage remains the same as our team creates a rough draft for solutions- to analyse whether these solutions are suitable for solving the problem.


The best solution or prototype is selected for testing the product. At this stage, the team receives feedback from the users. This helps to understand whether the solution used meets the requirements of the customers.


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