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#46 - Design Thinking V - What is Design Thinking? I

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Article written by
Juan Jesús Millo

Design thinking process

This is the continuation of part four, Design Thinking IV - 1990s to Present

As discussed in the other posts, Design Thinking is a design methodology, or is it a method or process for problem solving, or is it a creative approach, or is it simply a user focus for non-designers?

Design Thinking as a design methodology?

The most basic and accepted definition of Design Thinking, a design methodology. We will see different definitions and descriptions based on the authors and their approach to the solution in comparison to traditional design methodologies, but, basically, It is a non-linear, iterative process that teams use to understand users, redefine problems and create innovative solutions to prototype and test. It is most useful to tackle problems that are ill-defined or unknown.

Design Thinking as a method or process for problem solving.

In addition to a design methodology, Design Thinking is a problem-solving method or problem-solving process.

A problem solving method or a problem solving process? What is the difference?

  • A design method is anything that are specific techniques, rules or ways of doing things within the discipline of design.
  • A design process is the articulation of these methods, in the form of actions, events or steps.

Design thinking for wicked problems.

The beauty of Design Thinking is that it can be articulated as you want, it is totally flexible when it comes to adapting to different scenarios, so both the definition of whether it is a method or a process are totally valid.

Also, thanks to the authors we have discussed so far, we have a series of methods and steps previously thought and studied, making the implementation of this process much lighter and accessible to everyone.

Returning to the problem solving approach, Design Thinking is especially useful when solving Wicked Problems, (regardless of how well defined the problem is), effort is invested in defining the problem, the requirements and the scope.

Articles & Ideas

Computers and Creativity

The value of computers is not inherent; it is what we are able to do with them that makes them valuable. But what we can do with computers is often limited by the depth to which we are able to think creatively? Molly Mielke

When is It OK to Be Inconsistent in User Interface Design?

Consistent design enhances learnability and is usually best for usability. But if the problem you're solving is sufficiently different, then inconsistency may be better. Kathryn Whitenton

6 List Item Attributes to Include for Cross-Sells (68% of Desktop Sites Are Missing One or More)

Providing cross-sell recommendations on the product details page streamlines the user’s shopping experience: Alternative cross-sells help users find the “right” product and supplementary cross-sells save users time and effort by locating compatible items. Sally Collins

Best Practices: Designing autosuggest experiences

The search bars analyzed were across operating systems, communication apps, e-commerce apps, social media apps, and cloud storage apps on the web, desktop, and mobile. Pranava Tandra

Adding change management to your DesignOps’ strategy

DesignOps is a transformative function that focuses on the very heart of the teams’ operative system. For this reason, a participative approach to change management is key to ensure success and impact. Yet, the importance of change management as a core skill is still often overlooked. Patrizia Bertini

Documenting your Design System: The Convince Your Boss Edition

For most engineers and designers, there's a tiered system of priorities when it comes to what you're going to work on. On top, the focus is on building the product. This makes sense. If you don't ship the product, and then improve it, you won't succeed as a company. Check. Luke Murphy

101 design rules

Musings, ramblings, and principles that I’ve shared with my team and randomly on Twitter. Reminding yourself of the principles that ground you is simply a good practice. Here are mine. Bryan Collins

Modify Your Design for Global Audiences: Crosscultural UX Design

Crosscultural design adaptations range from translation to localization. Researching general and contextual cultural differences helps you decide what type of design changes you should make. Feifei Liu

How to write inclusive, accessible digital products

For UX writers who work on digital products, listening to the writing in an interface is doubly useful. That’s because the technique is a pretty good approximation for how a screen reader works. Listening can make your UX writing better and your products more usable. Nick DiLallo



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