Design Thinking Process and Steps
The common Design Thinking model consists of five phases.
- Empathize: The first phase serves to completely identify the problem. The observation of the customer/audience is a central aspect in order to understand the wishes and needs of the customers and to detect contradictions.
- Define: In this phase, the information gathered from the empathy phase is structured and weighted. To understand the customer's point of view, methods such as "Persona" and "Customer Journey Map" are suitable. Personas allow teams to better engage in the role of the client by projecting the insights from the previous phase onto a fictitious person, the persona. A Customer Journey Map visualizes the customer's most important touchpoints with the organization to identify potential issues or vulnerabilities.
- Ideate: At this point, the team searches for as many solutions as possible based on the preceding phases. Here it is more about quantity than quality. Usually methods such as brainstorming, mind mapping and sketching are used.
- Prototype: Prototypes are developed and tested from one or more ideas. The prototypes can be repeatedly rejected or changed to ensure that all significant insights for the realization of an idea have been captured.
- Implement: If the requirements of the team and above all of the customer are met, and the feasibility and profitability of the solution is verified, the transition to implementation can take place.