Design thinking and why you want to get to know the method


Normally an article is always started with the words “What is actually XY?” So, a definition. But this is usually not the question that really arouses interest. Usually, the central and exciting question is: Why do I need to know? Or: What problem can I solve if I have this information? This article is about design thinking and the following answer: Because design thinking is there to solve problems. And we all want it all. Especially when it comes to learning. Or?

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Design Thinking is what is behind Apple

The whole thing sounds too nice to be true. But before we go into the details, there is now a summary of what design thinking really means: the user is to get his problem solved. Simple, right? No. Many systems, programs or educational offerings are still being developed without directly asking the potential user what he needs and whether he is dealing with what has been developed. Design thinking is about making it better, but with the system.

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In 6 steps to success

That’s why we go into the details and come to the battle plan at Design Thinking. For this, it usually requires 6 different steps, which should be tapped one after the other.

These are the following steps:

1. UnderstandingDesign

The first step is the already mentioned definition. What should be developed and how? The target group can also be invited or consulted directly. It is important that all important framework conditions are at least basic, clear, milestones, challenges and previous (competitor) offers.

2. ObserveDesign

In this step, the basic definition of the first phase will be optimized. As many users, as possible should be observed as closely as possible. Interviews with people concerned are good and meaningful, but even better: Watch directly at work or solve problems. Then the results are as unadulterated as possible. However, there is a risk that potential users may feel observed and behave differently. Depending on the product and initial situation, it makes sense to observe “normal” or “extreme” users (very (in) competent users of a program for example). All findings must be carefully documented.

3. Define the viewDesign

From the collected observations, it is then possible to develop low-profile profiles based on which the product can be developed. “Personas” are often required for this. Personas are character profiles that try to capture a “typical” user. But this is not just about superficial things. The persona is supposed to be real. Including age, appearance, family status, hobbies and everyday problems. The livelier the persona works, the better. Ideally, the persona should be as focused as possible and based on the experience gained from the observation phase.

4. Finding ideasDesign

In this phase, the game is played. Yes, played! It is about developing as creative and new ideas as possible without inhibitions. Everything for the personas designed. This works all the better, the more different the idea-finding group is composed. In the best case, “real” users also participate in the meeting and get involved. In the ideal situation, there is a playful environment with dice for painting, kneading figures and similar utensils. The mind is to be kept at this stage. Classical brainstorming is usually the standard procedure.

5. Create prototypesDesign

Based on these ideas, the first prototypes are then developed. It is important that you do not invest too much time into the detail. In many cases, an extended paper sketch is enough to show certain sequences. The faster it goes towards the next phase, the better. But important: The real user must understand what is to be visualized

6. TestingDesign

The prototypes are now being thoroughly tested by real users, and all progress and problems are carefully documented. Once a prototype fails to reach the target, it is discarded and the next design is created. Then test again. Phases 5 and 6 alternate until the user is satisfied with the product. Only then is the goal achieved.

Back to the learning day

If you are still not convinced, you can look at this study on the effect of design thinking.

Conclusion: This method has become established especially for the area of learning and the provision of learning opportunities. And you only need one question: What does my customer really need? And 6 steps.

The author is an expert on occupational training and a prolific writer who writes extensively on Business, technology, and education. He can be contacted for professional advice in matters related with occupation and training on his blog Communal Business and Your Business Magazine.

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