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

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Article written by
Juan Jesús Millo

Writing of the week

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.

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

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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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