Design and design thinking are two different things. Design is everywhere. It is hidden or evidently visible in the things we see, it is the products we create with design tools, the aesthetics we choose, the thorough details we focus on.

But design thinking – that is exclusive. It is our mind’s personal portal of communicating with the world. It is training our cognitive processes to think differently, to bend in unconventional ways. Design thinking is more open-ended, yet systematic and more empathetic in its approach.

We as humans, are accustomed to archetypes of thinking and creating that is acquired through learned experiences and repetitive activities. These patterns allow us to quickly and unconsciously apply our learned skill and knowledge in predictable or unpredictable
situations. But also limits us in thinking with a new mindset and to open our thoughts to newer avenues. Design Thinking will help visualisers challenge their familiar patterns, question their knowledge and create new ‘schemas’ of information to crack problems.

Design Thinking involves seeking a deeper understanding of the user. In doing so, the designer becomes more curious, more empathetic towards them. When that happens, it helps to observe better, re-think on observations and seek newer solutions. The designers not only question the problem but also begin questioning the results. Design Thinking is a useful tool especially when the customer knows what he/she has in mind but is unable to express it tangibly. This helps the designer to shed light into the unknown, only to finally arrive at more flexible problem-solving solutions.

Some of the processes that can aid a designer towards design thinking is engaging in deeper brainstorming, conducting surveys, sketching, creating samples and models, adding emotion to their art and engaging in a richer exchange of ideas with the prospective user.

The following are the 5 essentials of The Design Thinking Process:

There is an interesting acronym to remember the 5 essentials of design thinking:

  • E – Empathize with your customers
  • D – Define your user’s requirements, interests and end-goals
  • I – Ideate. Challenge your own mindset to explore new directions.
  • P – Create a Prototype to start thinking in myriad directions.
  • T – Test your ideas.

Deign Thinking is the ‘out of the many boxes’ thinking. You open one box you find one solution, you open another, you may challenge yourself with another intuitive thought, until you unbox the very last one that gives birth to a more tested, more creative, more empathetic, more unconventional design baby.

Design thinking is an imperative tool to re-imagine design in the future. It is the strength of the future.