How to Use Design Thinking to Solve Problems?

How to Use Design Thinking to Solve Problems

Firstly, the idea of design thinking was coined by Herbert Simon in 1969. Later, it was developed by scientists at Stanford University. In simple words, Design thinking is a way to solve problems as per the interests of users. The formula “benefits for people + possibilities of technologies + consideration of business interests” helps developers to create sustainable products.

The basis of design thinking is the principle of anthropocentrism as anyone who uses this principle subordinates his research and work to the interests of users, not the interests of the company, the boss, the project manager or the bureaucracy. The main objective of design thinking is to go beyond the existing stereotypes and usual ways of solving a problem and help customers get the desired products as soon as possible. But, how it works? Let’s find out.

  1. Empathy

Empathy is the ability to manage the expectations of people and understand what they really care about, their needs and desires. This is the main quality of design thinking as it is empathy that allows you to distance yourself from your assumptions and beliefs about the world and look at the problem through the eyes of the user. Always keep in mind that a real designer is always an empath as he/she looks for the most comfortable solutions for individuals.

2. Focusing

In this stage, it is necessary to systematize the information that you received through empathy, analyze your observations and highlight the key problems of the user. Its main motive is to formulate a question to which you will look for an answer in the next stage.

3. Generate Ideas

Once you have identified the main problem of customers, create and work out solutions. This is the main moment when you need to “think outside the box.” When everything goes well, people often give up critical thinking to which we are all so accustomed. Always keep in mind that Criticism can ruin a good idea. Just everything, even the most delusional thoughts on paper. When creative ideas come up, select viable ideas and proceed to the next stage. This also increases your ability to deal with design thinking problems in an easy way.

4. Prototyping

In this stage, you need to test the performance of your ideas in practice. You don’t need to run a concrete plant or develop a pixel-based layout. It is enough to make a budget version of the product with functions that will help solve the designated task. The prototype will help you to find the right solution, notice the flaws, refine it and create a product a new product in case you get the success.

5. Testing

In the end, you should test the finished product and the best solutions that you developed during prototyping. This is the final stage and design thinking is an iterative process. You can use test results to identify and solve other problems. You can do it using customer feedback about the prototype or the working version.

Application of Design Thinking in Design

Just imagine that a product designer needs to develop a prototype of a new microwave. He can interview people who have microwaves, collect feedback, find out the pros and cons of individual models — and propose a solution based on the information received. The designer can also communicate with people and learn about their habits and patterns of behaviour in certain situations so that he can find out that all the microwaves heat differently. Always keep in mind that the moment of insight, when you understand the true problem of the client and user, is called insight. This is the key to create innovative products and services.


Always keep in mind that the ability to ask questions is a powerful tool that every designer should be fluent in. During the web design and development process, it will help obtain useful information and properly assess the situation. The search for answers contributes to growth- both individually and professionally.

Create an atmosphere of trust where the thoughts and abilities of each participant are respected and encouraged. If you are a designer, make sure everyone understands: your questions are sincere curiosity and a desire to explore the product in order to offer the best design solution. Best of Luck!

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